Bikini babes, flying body parts and the undead. These older games can be hours of hack and slash fun for very little money.
As the gaming community grows beyond teen age boys and men living in their mothers basement, there is more call by gamers for titles that represent women beyond the large boobed back drop in skimpy clothes that many accuse the gaming industry of filling games with. If this describes how you feel, then this article is not for you.
I’m going to talk about two games that don’t try to hide their overt sexuality, but display it front and center as part of the game package. These games are ‘Lollipop Chainsaw’ and ‘Onechanbara : Bikini Samurai Squad’.
One look at the cover for either title shows the main characters exactly as they appear in the game. Lollipop Chainsaw displays main character Juliet Starling popping out of her skimpy cheerleader outfit while shouldering a massive chainsaw, Onechanbara : Bikini Samurai Squad shows character Aya and all her attributes in a cowboy hat, bola and and a tiny lace bikini posing with a katana (samurai sword).
So right from the get go there should be no surprise about what you’re going to see in the game.
Both of these titles are a few years old, Grasshopper Manufacture’s Lollipop Chainsaw was released in 2012, and D3Publisher’s Onechanbara was released in 2009, (both of those are North American release dates) and can be picked up for about $10 – $15 each.
To date the only title with a sequel was Onechanbara, which released the title Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Slayers exclusively for the Wii console in 2009. Oddly enough it was released very close after the first one, and to date there is no confirmation if further sequels will be made for either title.
Both games were released to mixed reviews and criticism, with Lollipop Chainsaw faring slightly better in the reviews of the overall game quality. Either title was panned for it’s blatant sexuality, storyline with complaints about the camera and repetitive combat.
But what were people expecting? These games are button mashing, hack and slash, T and A festivals. And they make no apologies about it or try to hide it.
Both games start with a very sexual opening film. Lollipop Chainsaw begins with Juliet lounging in her bed, falling out of her pyjama’s and looking at the camera suggestively during the narrative.
Onechanbara opens with one of the characters, (Saki), in a Japanese schoolgirl outfit watching television, and cuts back and forth to sister Aya taking a shower before putting on sheer underwear.
The beginning videos are short, and right away you are thrown in the action with very little build up. You see the girls, zombies pop up, and the slash fest begins.
It doesn’t take more than a few moments to figure out the buttons and very quickly you are jumping and chopping zombies to pieces all over the place. Blood splatters, body parts fly and hordes of zombies turn to ash around you leaving glowing orbs to collect in both games.
Both games feature an on screen map so finding where you have to go is very easy. Also, (in both games), the zombies are not particularly clever or tough; there’s just a ton of them to chop your way through.
The gameplay is fast and furious, but players will have to pause every so often to reset the camera so they can see enemies. However the ladiess in either game are pretty tough and can take a lot of punishment, so it doesn’t really create much of a concern that you’re going to die.
Lollipop Chainsaw is similar to playing a comic book, both in it’s look and the dialogue.
Juliet constantly makes comments and jokes as she chops her way through the zombie hordes. While other characters do appear to help her, she is the only one that you will play throughout the game with a few brief exceptions. Her constant companion is the magically preserved head of her boyfriend that she wears on her belt, and occasionally you will throw the head on a monster to perform certain tasks.
Throughout the game you will receive power ups, upgrades and unlock different outfits for her to wear.
Despite her looks, she has a naive innocence about her, (as revealed in the dialogue) but isn’t the stereotyped ‘dumb blonde’ type of character. She is a smart assed, happy go lucky person that carries on full conversations with her boyfriend’s head while carving zombies and monsters into pieces.
Occasionally a zombie will grab you and you have to shake them off, but this does very little damage. The game allows you to move the camera quite freely, and if you rotate the camera to look up Juliet’s skirt she will pull it down and glare at you while telling you off. There is even an award called “I swear! I did it by mistake!’ for trying to look up her skirt more than once.
Throughout the game her family and sensei make appearances to help her out. Each one of them are also quirky characters with their own joke cracking personalities, but Juliet remains the star of the show throughout. Cut scenes are brief, with background and information being shown as a comic book page, accompanied by dialogue explaining what is going on.
Onechanbara does not have ongoing dialogue throughout the fighting sequences, and the cut scenes in ‘Story Mode’ are a little more serious. However, this game allows different characters to be used, and with the push of a button you can swap out characters in the middle of a fight. Each character has their own set of attacks and weapons, which the player can use to adapt to the situation at hand. The dialogue is in Japanese, and as you fight blood splatters on the screen and drips off the ladies and their weapons. Between levels, as the game loads, there is a mini game to play. As a mini cartoon Aya, (known as ‘chibi’ or ‘short person’ in Japanese anime and manga) you’ll slash mini zombies apart for extra glowing orbs. The zombies can’t hurt you, so there’s no danger to injuring your character when gameplay resumes. The zombies come in a variety of types, and some will grab your sword when you slash them and hold on for a moment allowing other zombies to attack you.
Like Lollipop Chainsaw you can dress the characters up and create new outfits for them. Characters appear in an outfit screen in their underwear, and players can modify the hair, eye, skin and lip colour as well as the outfits. Although when the younger Saki appears on the screen, some people may get a ‘Free Candy’ alarm going off in the back of their head.
Unlike Lollipop Chainsaw Onechanbara has a series of different modes for players to choose from with ‘Story’, ‘Practice’ and ‘Quest’ being three of the options. Both games total a stage score by kills, combos and hits that are displayed by a hit counter during combat.
The ladies in either game are not hapless, confused victims trying to survive. Rather they are ass kicking sex bombs that jump into the fray and start carving up enemies without a second thought.
In both games the characters parade around showing off their bodies without any care. In Lollipop Chainsaw Juliet has pole dancing scenes, while in Onechanbara Aya’s boobs bounce and move around as she jumps. In both games the characters strike sexy poses, and throughout the game will shake what they have if left standing for a few moments.
These are not detailed plot, deep character games; they are hack and slash, button mashers loaded with digital eye candy, and neither game attempts to be anything else. Since both games are older titles they can be bought fairly cheaply, (as mentioned before they both average about $10-$15). They are not highly involved games that require any strategy or thinking, but are games you throw in the console to turn your brain off and just be entertained by.
If you’re looking for a game loaded with detailed environments, involved quests and challenging combat that don’t sexualize their characters, these are not the games for you. But, if you don’t mind adding a mindless title to kill a few hours, (as well as a few hordes of zombies) then consider adding Lollipop Chainsaw, Onechanbara : Bikini Samurai Squad, or both to your library.