The opening cut-scene tells you all you need to know about Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad. The title tells you all you need to know actually, but anyway. A bottom is having a shower. It's all rosy and rounded and pert, like two boiled eggs wrapped in a velvet handkerchief. Steam rises as the bottom sways gently under the cascading water. The aesthetic is only ruined by a dirty great tramp stamp, which is probably supposed to be the Celtic symbol for peace or serenity or dolphins but looks more like a Rorschach test for whether you're likely to kill dogs.
Cut to another room in the same apartment. A pre-pubescent girl in a school uniform is watching a news report about zombies. She shouts something to the bottom, which turns out to be attached to a hot chick. The Hot Chick races into the lounge, her modesty protected only by a pot plant in the foreground, where she pulls on a pair of microscopic pants and prepares for battle.
What would you equip yourself with in this situation? A kevlar vest, perhaps? Camouflage gear? A nice pair of sensible shoes? Don't be ridiculous. The most suitable attire for fighting an army of flesh-hungry mutants is a bikini, thigh-high boots, a feather boa and a cowboy hat. For everyone knows that zombies have no fear of military operatives, but are terrified of strippers and Venga Boys.
So yes, you'll probably have the measure of Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad by the end of the first cut-scene. If not, you'll have the measure of it within five seconds of playing the first level. This is how long it takes to work out what you're supposed to do for the entirety of the game (kill all the monsters) and how you're supposed to do it (mash all the buttons).
It's good fun, for the first ten minutes. Slashing enemies to bits is easy and enjoyable, and the visuals are satisfyingly spurty. It's possible to sever the torsos of several enemies at a time without difficulty, and watch as their bottom halves wander helplessly about. It's not long before Hot Chick is covered in blood, great big splashes of it dripping off her feather boa and pooling in the brim of her cowboy hat.
But it's also not long before you notice the game features the kind of rotten clichés that ought to have been outlawed ten years ago. There are invisible walls everywhere, so even though your character is spectacularly acrobatic, she can't jump over a foot-high fence. Enemies are pitifully slow and thick. To stop you just racing past them to the next exit, you're regularly trapped in confined areas by fences which magically appear out of the ground. You can't jump over them, as they're a whole three feet high, so you just have to keep slashing away at enemies until the fences disappear. Sometimes you'll need a key to access the next area, but it'll be nowhere to be found. Once again, it's a matter of mowing down zombies until the key magically appears.
The combat is similarly hackneyed and repetitive. Most enemies can be dispatched with a single button press, but hold down two buttons at once and you can perform a supremely effective combo move that stops time and takes out all enemies in the immediate vicinity. Fun at first, dull after the 1587th time. Even the first boss can be defeated just by performing this move again and again. He won't get the chance to take a swipe at you, and you'll topple him without sustaining a scratch.
If you want to mix things up a bit - and you undoubtedly will, more than, say, you've ever wanted to have sex with anyone in your life - you can use the left trigger to switch control between Hot Chick and Pre-Pubescent Schoolgirl. They each have special moves and combos, but are equally good at decking zombies. I'd go with Hot Chick for preference. This is because the way the Pre-Pubescent Schoolgirl's skirt flies up at the slightest provocation, revealing her tiny white pants and very nearly her Coco Hernandez, makes me feel uncomfortable.
Though not quite as much as the animation of her in the costume-customisation tool, where she jiggles up and down in just a bra and knickers, and you can rotate the camera underneath her so... Yeah. You can call me a prude or a miserable old dried-up feminist lesbian if you like, or just a lesbian for knowing you can do that with the camera. But this girl is not so much "barely legal" as "barely eligible for the key stage 3 assessment exam".
Besides, Hot Chick has bigger tits, and they waggle about in a way that makes the Dead or Alive girls look like they're wearing sports bras. The tits move independently from Hot Chick's body at almost all times, as if they have not just a life of their own but a job, a mortgage, a long-term relationship and a Facebook account.
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