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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

That franchise about bikini-clad zombie slayers just won't die

Back in Japan, Onechanbara is a pretty big deal. It's a game about women who wear bikinis and kill zombies.

As that concept no doubt suggests, Onechanbara is rather exploitative, and unlike games that do this kind of theme well, like Lollipop Chainsaw, Onechanbara also doesn't have the self-referential humour or subtle criticism of exploitation running through it. It's pure titillation (or at least the games are, don't ask me about the mangas and animes and things, because I have no idea), and for some reason people keep buying these games.

The latest one: Onechanbara Z: Kagura has been announced for the PlayStation 3. This game includes an additional playable character; a girl from a dating game. Sounds wholesome.

If you preorder the Japanese version, you also score even sexier swimsuit DLC as a bonus.

As anyone who has read my writing over the years knows, I'm a fan of otaku games. I'm even able to get along with the Japanese approach to exploitation in most of them because games like Lollipop Chainsaw and Hyperdimension Neptunia do things in such a way that it's clear that the games are poking fun at themselves more than they are trying to be genuinely erotic or titillating.

I have more concerns with Onechanbara, because it's games like this that stop people having positive discussions about sexuality in games. When there are examples this juvenile, it's that much harder to take those games with something genuine to say seriously.

Anyway, these games have a patchy track record with being localised. Hopefully this one stays in Japan.
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