previews\ Dec 10, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Onechanbara: vorteX - 360 - Preview

Zombies, zombies everywhere so it’s time to hack ‘n slash
if they get too overwhelming, you can simply cut and dash

Onechanbara: vorteX is a samurai action title that involves spinning, tumbling, dashing, leaping action moves with swords to battle hordes of zombies. The game incorporates arcade-type action, three-dimensional characters and environments, a bit of a mystery and 20 chapters of blood-splattering action – all on the 360 console system.

D3Publisher showed off the Tamsoft title during a recent event in San Francisco.

There is a plot to the story. Zombies are on the loose in rather large numbers, and are terrorizing the city. Aya and her sister Saki, who are both samurai trained, put their skills to the test to find out what is behind this threat.

The D3P press release summed up the gameplay like this: “Babes, bikinis, zombies and swords … who could ask for more!”

According to the press release, the game features include: 

  • 3 Playable Characters – Players can choose to play as one of three beautiful and dangerous characters. Gamers can switch between characters at any time during gameplay, creating unique gameplay strategies and play-through options

  • Killer Combat System – Each character has a variety of moves that the player can utilize to combat enemies in the air, on the ground, at a distance, when surrounded or even to evade attacks. The player can change weapon attacks – for example, switching between one katana for precision work, or two katanas to take out large crowds of enemies. The combat is varied even more with some characters able to use guns

  • Rage Mode – As they battle their way through the zombie hordes, characters will be more and more covered in zombie blood. This tainted blood will eventually cause the player to go into a rage state where they will gain more power and more agility allowing them to destroy enemies faster and bloodier. The downside to this is that they take more damage and gradually lose health while in rage mode – eventually killing them if they don’t purify their blood and return to normal. The player will need to learn when to utilize this feature to take out boss enemies throughout the game.

  • Motorcycle Levels – As Aya, the player is able to ride a motorcycle in some levels. The player will have to drive and slash at zombie dogs that try to knock her off the bike!

  • Co-op Play – Any mission in the game can be played in 2-player Co-Op mode so you can fight against the hordes of zombies with a friend!

  • Dress Up Mode – Throughout the game the player can acquire various items the player can use in the dress up mode. The player can change each playable characters clothing, hair style, hair color and makeup. After selecting an outfit combination the player can name the combination and save it, then use it in the main game.

  • View Mode – In View Mode the player can see every character in the game including the costume combinations saved in the Dress-Up mode and view the various animations and sound effects for each character. The player can also see the various movies unlocked in the main game

  • Loading Screen Mini-game – During the loading screen, Onechanbara features a 2D mini-game where the player controls Aya and slashes zombies to gather tokens.

There are several ways to play the game, including survival mode and players can use a quick hotbutton keystroke to change out characters before one falls to the seemingly endless onslaught of undead. Weapons will, during the course of the action, become stained with too much of the purplish blood (the game steers away from the red color for something a little less shocking), and can become stuck in a monster. At that time, players hold down a button to allow the in-game avatar to shake off the accumulated blood, so the weapons cleanly slice and dice.

In many ways the game is not for the squeamish. There is a lot of blood, and as the weapons cut, parts of the targets fly away. You may hack off an arm, a head, the upper torso, but what remains is likely to continue to attack until you hack it down to a point where it really can’t move any more. This requires constant motion on the part of the player controlled character. Standing in one place too long results in taking a lot of damage.

Easy to control, Onechanbara may follow a bit of a formula, but the end result should be a lot of fun for gamers who enjoy this type of title.

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