Onechanbara Z2: Chaos Review

  • Publisher: Xseed Games
  • Developer: D3Publisher
  • Rated: M
  • Release Date: July 21st, 2015
  • Platform: Playstation 4
  • Rating: ★★★☆☆

Onechanbara Z2:  Chaos is a hard game to review.  It doesn’t look much like a Playstation 4 game, as the last generation probably could have handled it fairly well.  It isn’t a very deep game, as you can hack and slash your way through most of it without breaking much of a sweat.  It lacks the polish you would expect from most games made in the last several years in fact.  At the same time, Onechanbara Z2 is just so much damn fun to play.

The story in a nutshell, you take control of two sets of sisters, pairs who are from warring clans that are forced to work together to take down the undead from destroying the world.  The sisters all wear the most revealing clothing (at times about nothing if you get some of the DLC) which are more or less bikinis practically.  While there is a little more detail to it than that in the game, that’s what it boils down to.  The dialogue is pretty terrible (though the voice actresses have plenty of fun with it) and the story is told through artistic screenshots that just scream the developer didn’t have the time to create actual cut scenes.  From all that the game sounds like you would want to avoid it like the plague.  But then you actually start playing it and have a blast.

The game is a simple hack and slash where you can switch between the four characters, their two weapons, and their alternate weapons.  Each character feels significantly different from one another which makes switching between them actually exciting.  While the graphics are nothing to write home about even if it was on the Playstation 3, this actually works in its benefit as the game runs extremely smooth for all the bloody carnage you are unleashing.  At times all four characters will be on the screen slicing and dicing the undead, blood splattering everywhere at a frantic pace and it doesn’t skip a beat.  If you want plenty of zombie grinding fun, this is packed to the brim with just that.  Your weapon will get covered with zombie blood and you will have to flick it off so they don’t wear down.  You characters even get covered in blood, but instead of wearing them down it will eventually throw them into a blood rage that makes them stronger and faster.  Its small details such as this that make the game charming beyond comprehension.

It’s not completely mindless, as it does add in various combos for each character, power up transformations, blood rages, and an evade.  You, however, have no block which can make things more difficult than they should be.  As for the evade, it can cause problems since it is set on the same right trigger side as the enemy lock button which by default must be held down to stay locked on.  This means if you lock on to a boss, you must let go and unlock on them just so you can evade.  While it can be changed in the options, it still is odd to have it setup like that in the first place.

During each level you earn yellow orbs which convert to in game currency for you to purchase different weapons for the characters, new combos, rings for new upgrades, and various consumable items such as for health.  The different weapons are disappointing as they are just for show and have no stat difference between one another.  Unlocking the various combos becomes satisfying as you slowly learn the old ones, or even if you are just button mashing away.  The rings are interesting as they can be equipped to a character to make them faster, more resistant to damage, or more powerful, but there is only one of each ring so you do have to decide which character gets which.

Of all the shortcomings, the most disappointing is the lack of multiplayer.  On a title such as this, we wouldn’t expect online play, but cutting out split screen takes away from sharing the action with a friend which would be perfect here.  Considering you can have all four characters on-screen at once while the computer takes ahold of the other three, would adding in a second player have really been a problem?

It is such a bizarre package that the part of your brain that deals in reason will wonder why you want to play this.  If you do actually take the time to play it, the other part of your brain that just wants to have illogical, zombie-halving fun will be loving it.  Onechanbara is not a series that will ever produce a AAA title or win awards.  If you have played any of the previous games you will know they never tax the power of the system they’re on.  Yet Z2:  Chaos is just pure fun you can sit back and enjoy for all the undead blood you will spill.

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