Fans of katanas, machine guns, and sexy babes have a lot to look forward to in Onechanbara. Coming out for the Xbox 360 and Wii in February, these games offer a ridiculously bloody, action-packed experience. I recently caught up with Josh Austin, the producer of Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers (Wii) and Onechanbara : Bikini Samurai Squad (Xbox 360), to talk about the games. Josh and I chatted about the game's price point, the use of blood, poking, and...wait for it..."February 27th!!!!!!".
Raymond Padilla: Josh, this is going to be a big year for you! You've got two Onechanbara games coming out in February and in March, your brother -- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin -- is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame!
Josh Austin: He's not my brother. I don't even think that's his real name.
R.Pad: What?!? I need a minute to pretend you didn't say that.
[Gets another Oronoco and soda.]
R.Piddy: Anyway Josh -- Onechanbara! You've got girls, you've got guns, you've got katanas -- what's going on here?!?
JA: Onechanbara is a big deal in Japan. There's like seven of them over there. It has a big following in Japan, but in America, it has a smaller,cult following. So we're going to bring these great games to America. We're making them acceptable for the American audience while keeping the Japanese flavor. We're going to keep the original Japanese VO and give it English subtitles. We want to make sure that American gamers will get to experience that crazy, over-the-top style Onechanbara has. It's like a B-horror movie meets Kill Bill. It's totally gory and bloody. Gamers will feel like they're playing a samurai movie with sexy girls. It's a really crazy title that we think will stand out on the Wii and 360.
R2P2: When you say "acceptable for the American audience", what do you mean? You have guns! You have girls! What American gamer isn't going to accept that?!? [Yes, I was actually yelling this question.]
JA: [Laughs] Is it really acceptable to have girls that are barely dressed, running around, and chopping up zombies with blood squirting everywhere? [Laughs] On the Wii, you have a lot of titles that are kid friendly and stuff like that. You have a bunch of adults that are playing these titles with kids and at the end of the night they want to play something that's more mature. I think Onechanbara will fit that bill. It's $20 on the Wii and $30 on the 360, so it's not a very expensive title, but there's a lot there. There's a lot of experimenting you can do with each character. There are four characters on the Wii and seven on the 360. Each of them have their own story elements. So you'll play with one sister and play with another sister -- you'll figure out how they interact and flow with the story elements. So there's a lot of depth in this inexpensive title.
R 2 the Izzo: A lot of people are going to be drawn to this game simply because of its sex appeal. What do each of these sexy ladies have to offer?
JA: Onechanbara means "sisters in blood". So there's a lot of blood on the screen. All of the girls get covered in blood. There's blood everywhere! You've got girls that use swords to chop zombies up and cover themselves in blood. You've got girls that have machine guns and stuff like that to shoot zombies and cover themselves in blood. So basically, the whole thing is about blood! Blood is squirting everywhere and as you collect more blood, you get more more powerful. So if you get covered in blood and your rage meter goes all the way up, you'll enter this mode where you can chop the crap out of everyone or shoot the crap out of everyone -- and everyone is disintegrating! It's just over-the-top and crazy. Best of all, it's not a hard game to play. So basically, you have this title that doesn't cost a lot of money and you just get to have fun and play it.
R-Pad: So it's visceral and sexy. Who doesn't love that?
JA: Exactly! Gamers can just pick up the title, learn it really quickly, and just dive into it.
R_Pad: How are you taking advantage of the Wii's motion-sensitive controls?
JA: In the Wii version, you feel like you're wielding a sword. The controls are interactive with the sword play. Up-down motions are one slash. Left-right motions are another slash. Poking at the screen is like a forward thrust. So you've got really cool controls on the Wii. On the 360, you have more graphical enhancements.
R*Pad: But not as much poking?
JA: Yeah, but not as much poking.
RPad: And the guys love poking.
JA: [Laughs] Yeah, totally! The 360 version has better graphical features. You can also change the characters' outfits. You can change their tops, their bottoms, and whatever. On the Wii version, you can only change full costumes. Both versions have unique gameplay and story elements. They're completely different versions.
Raymond: Josh, I have to ask you, do you know what's happening on...let me get this right..."February 27th!!!!!!"?
JA: Yeah, both these games will be out by then. Is there anything else happening? I don't know what games are coming out on February 27th.
Ray: Don't worry. It's not important, but a few readers of TheFeed might explode or something.
JA: They should stay tuned for Onechanbara! Both versions of the game will be out next month.
R|Pad: Okay, so why should somebody by one of these games instead of something that might be coming out on February 27th?
JA: Well, the price point is fantastic. If you've played Earth Defense Force or any of our Japanese titles, you'll find out that there's a lot of depth there and there's a lot of things going on there. Onechanbara is over-the-top. It's different. It's a lot of fun.
R 2 the Izzay: And who doesn't love chopping up tons of zombies with sexy girls?
JA: Right! Nobody can argue against running around and chopping up zombies with naked girls while blood is flying everywhere. Nobody.