Onechanbara Bikini Zombie Slayers is not the game of the upcoming James Corden and Mathew Horne movie Lesbian Vampire Killers. Onechanbara Bikini Zombie Slayers is far worse than that monstrosity ever would be.
It's a blood-soaked, torso-tearing, flesh-ripping third-person slash-em-up in which you slice and dice endless streams of spawning undead as one of two scantily clad anime-inspired sisters. And it's perhaps the worst game for adults on the Nintendo Wii.
Onechanbara Bikini Zombie Slayers exists so that adolescent blokes can perve over bouncing breasts and wiggling arses, and cackle manically as zombie blood sprays all over their faces. We can't criticise this shameless pitch. To do so would be hypocritical. Sex and violence are the foundations for countless games of a similar nature. Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, God of War.... the list of satisfying, rewarding and fun hack and slashers with women straight out of the "Weird Science" design manual is longer than your average virtual katana. But there's an important difference between those games and Onechanbara Bikini Zombie Slayers. They're great. This isn't.
Why? Where to start. It's boring, repetitive, frustrating, ugly, baffling, uninspiring... where to stop? The soul destroying combat forces you to endlessly shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuck while locked on to mindless, slow-moving ape-like zombies with the Z button. Yes, the game desperately wants its combat to be more sophisticated than that found in your average Wii action title. There are slow motion evades (press A just at the right time while locked on), counter attacks, combos, special moves (hold 1 and swing) and even two fighting styles for each sister. But, as with many Wii games, the motion-sensing controls aren't responsive enough to guarantee that your carefully timed Wii waggling is detected. What you end up doing is repeatedly flicking forward because, well, nothing else seems to work properly. Having to do this over the course of the entire game inevitably knackers your wrists.
A case in point: one of the two ways mud zombies can be killed, the game explains via one of its many pages of combat hints, is by ripping its heart out. To do it you need to execute three attacks followed by a brief pause then thrust the Wii Remote forward in a stabbing motion. I spent about 10 minutes trying to do this move, the Wii's motion sensing technology failing to decipher my swings like a translator failing to make sense of an alien language. In the end I ripped the mud zombie's heart out by complete fluke.
The repetitiveness of the combat is exacerbated by the uninspiring environments, lazy level design and tiresome gameplay. Throughout the entire game you're doing the same thing: moving through boring urban locations, spawning zombies, killing said zombies, moving on, spawning some more, killing some more, moving on, wiping the blood from your sword (really, if you don't your weapons become useless) then repeat ad infinitum. Occasionally you'll stumble upon a trap - an area that spawns a ton of undead and cage-like spikes that only disappear once you've killed everything in sight. Don't get excited though, these sections provide exactly the same gameplay as before.
There isn't even a mildly compelling story to keep you interested. The game thrusts you into the action with nary a care for back story, explanation or, you know, sense. All you know is that Aya, a Japanese cowgirl in a bikini who wears a scarf and wields a katana, and her little sister Saki, both of whom struggle against a cursed bloodline that threatens to overpower them, have taken it upon themselves to deal with an undead horde. Before each chapter there's a Japanese voice over and English text that slowly scrolls upwards against a still background, detailing the nonsensical thoughts of the two girls. And that's it. Although you'd never know it, Bikini Zombie Slayers is actually the sixth game in the series from Japanese developer Tamsoft (Battle Arena Toshinden), and acts as a sequel to the Xbox 360 game Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad. The lack of attention to presentation and localisation is one of the game's more disappointing, and needless, flaws. Publishers might not be able to do anything about the repetitive gameplay when bringing bizarre Japanese games to the west, but they could at least try to let us gaijin in on the plot.
There's the odd redeeming feature - two-player co-operative play and the sisters' animations are highlights - but Onechanbara Bikini Zombie Slayers' combat proves the killer blow. The wait goes on for a quality Devil May Cry, God of War or Ninja Gaiden clone on Wii. Only consider picking this up if anime bikini-clad zombie killers turn you on, or you don't have the internet in your bedroom.