Onee Chanbara Origin Takes you Back to the Beginning
Depending on where you live, Onee Chanbara Origin could be a completely different experience. For fans in Japan, it’s a remake of two classics from the PlayStation 2 era. For fans in North America, it’s a proper introduction to the series. The OneeChanbara series has a solid history but gamers in North America didn’t get the chance to enjoy it until the third entry in 2006. This remake is now their opportunity to experience this hack ‘n’ slash classic from the beginning. Regardless when someone was introduced to the series, this is a solid entry that fans will enjoy.
Onee Chanbara Origin is basically everything gamers love about the hack ‘n’ slash genre. It’s easy to get into, the action starts right away and it’s mindlessly fun. It has all the tropes and trademarks that has defined the genre.
A Bond of Sisterhood
Onee Chanbara Origin is a remake that combines the first two games into one adventure. Players begin by taking on the role of Aya, an expert in killing the undead (while receiving support form Lei). The story begins with her searches for her father (Oboro) and sister (Saki). During her search, she learns that Saki has fallen under the control of a powerful demon called Eva. Once the sisters have reunited, they have to work together to find their father and stop Eva.
Don’t expect much from the story. It’s not suppose to be a work of Shakespearean brilliance that makes you want to explore yourself. It’s a hack ‘n’ slash were you kill waves of zombies and other undead monsters. This is not to say the story and dialogue are bad. It’s actually very cheesy but in all the right ways.
The cheesy story and dialogue actually complements the games colorful world. One created using anime style cell shades with colors that pop. It’s because of this design choice that allows what should be a grim world have a sense of joy. This gives the overall experience a lighthearted tone to offset the amount of blood that is splattered everywhere.
The Art of Killing Zombies
Onee Chanbara Origin puts players into the action from the very start (with some easy to read guides). This works to its advantage as the game wants the player to have a good time from the start. Those new to the series will notice how mindlessly fun the game is in all the right ways. Your character has a katana and she is cutting up waves of zombies (what is there not to like).
If there is one thing I have always enjoyed about the hack ‘n’ slash genre is the ease of learning the gameplay mechanics. This game is no exception. Players will be quick to learn the combat system and the RPG mechanics. The combat and combos are simple to understand (especially thanks to the control layout). RPG mechanics are also simple, players level up and they get points to boost either their health, attack or defense.
Finally, I have commend the game on its rich replay value. The game does everything possible to make you comeback for more. Be it unlockable content, better gear, new outfits, or because you love the level.
A Broken Katana
During my playthrough, there are two issues that I found to be annoying. The first is the partner is useless in combat or as support. The second it the tutorial does not explain some important details.
Later in the game, players will unlock Saki as a playable character and partner. In theory the partner should help out the player. Unfortunately they are very useless in combat or as support. For the most part they just stand back and maybe attack an undead once in awhile. In a boss fight, they almost do nothing. At best, you could swap your character so the other may recover. Just be grateful you don’t need to protect them during the heat of a battle.
The tutorial does explain most of the basics of the game but not everything. Frustrating is that there are some important details that are overlooked. Other times, it fails to properly explain a move or gameplay mechanic. Players are better at exploring the games many options and features before progressing further.
The Return of a Classic
Onee Chanbara Origin is both a remake of the first two games and a proper introduction to the classic series. It’s a cheesy experience that embodies everything that defines the hack ‘n’ slash genre. At the same time, it gives players so many reasons to comeback for more.
Disclaimer: One PR provided the game used in this review.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
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