|Onee Chanbara Origin
|October 14th, 2020
|PC, PlayStation 4
It’s been a while since I’ve visited the zombie filled world of Onee Chanbara. These games have always been a guilty pleasure of mine for their over the top fan service, and fast paced action. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the series, D3 Publisher has released Onee Chanbara Origin. This is a remake of the very first two games in the series that have been upgraded to full HD with a new art style. Let’s see if this new remake packs all the sexy zombie killing of the previous entries.
The story begins as Aya is searching for her sister Saki after their mother has died. The two sisters have had bad blood between each other for a long time, and their feud could turn deadly at anytime. Aya is aided in her search for Saki by a mysterious woman named Lei. Will the two sisters make peace, or will their Baneful Blood drive them to madness?
The story here is much more streamlined than it was in the original releases. The characters seem a bit more fleshed out, and the flow of the game is just much improved overall. Stages are well thought out, and each battle feels important. You never feel like you’re wasting time grinding through endless hordes of the undead just to get to the next story segment.
When I first saw the new art style I was a bit iffy on it. After spending around eight hours with the game, I can safely say that I love it. The animations are smooth as butter, and I love the character designs. Aya and Saki have never looked better. Boss monsters are still gruesome, and the environments are well represented as well. The slash effects look amazing and give the girls weight as you slash the undead into bloody chunks. I really hope they do future games in the franchise just like this one.
This franchise is known for its amazing music, and Onee Chanbara Origin delivers. The vocal tracks are so catchy, you will be humming them for hours after playing. The battle music is frantic, but with a fantastic beat to slay zombies to! The game includes voice overs for a few different languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. The English dub is pretty good, but I honestly prefer the Japanese cast. This is likely because it’s what I’m used to, but I’m glad D3 gave lots of options here. I have to say, the lip syncing is pretty rough when you go with the English dub. I’ve seen old Jackie Chan movies done better. Hopefully, this is something they will address in the patches down the line.
Satisfying fast paced combat is something I came into this fully expecting, and it did not disappoint. Combat is fast, fluid and most importantly fun. Like the previous entries, the girls have a couple of weapons at their disposal and a ton of combos to dispatch the baddies. You can switch characters at anytime with a simple button press, and even pull off some combo action this way if timed correctly. Perfectly timed attacks will start a Cool Combo. These combos do a bit more damage and the girl’s speed will increase. As they become covered in the blood of the undead, their bloodlust will rise. When it reaches a certain level, they will go into a Berserk Form. If the girls are covered in even more blood, they will transform into a Xtatic Form. You will constantly lose HP when this happens unless you are slaying enemies, but your attacks will be ultra powerful as well.
Story missions are pretty straightforward, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost on the map. I would suggest busting all the breakable things in the environments, because some will contain helpful items. These items can also be purchased from the in-game shop at anytime during a mission. There are several in-game challenges that can be met during gameplay as well. These will unlock things like new items in the shop, music and artwork for the gallery. Playing the Endless Survival mode that unlocks post-game will count towards these challenges as well.
I have to say, Onee Chanbara Origin is a solid series entry. The new art style looks great, the music is fantastic and the gameplay is really fun. The problem here is I feel like the pricing on this one is a bit much. The base price of $59.99 for a six hour story mode is steep. Also, there are no unlockable costumes in the game. Those have to all be purchased as DLC. They do offer a Deluxe Edition for $74.99 that includes all the DLC costumes and missions. This is a much better deal than just buying the base game since there is quite a bit of DLC content, but I’m not a big fan of this pricing structure. The PC port has some issues as well, but I do feel like most of these will be taken care of with patches down the line. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you will probably want to jump on this one ASAP. You’ll find a lot to love here, and since it’s been a while since you got to cut up some zombies with the girls, you’ll be more than satisfied. Everyone else may want to wait a bit for them to line out some of the bugs or a sale before diving in.
Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.