If I had to think about a series that I’ve never played before but had always had an interest in would have to be the OneChanbara series. It looked like a pretty fun hack-n-slash with waves of the undead; what’s not more to like? It seemed like a series that didn’t take itself too seriously, and you know what you were expecting when you played it. Over the years, this series has made more of America’s appearance with games on the Xbox 360, Wii, and PS4. Right in time for the 15th anniversary of the series OneChanbara Origin returns to its roots by retelling the story of the first two games with a whole new art style!
OneChanbara Origin starts with the player taking control of Aya, who searches a dystopic Tokyo for her father, who has recently gone missing. She does this while learning more about her mother and sister, who has been apart for quite a while. Along the way, the sisters team up to achieve their own goals and fight through hordes of the undead. Like most Tamsoft games, the gameplay is broken up by short gameplay sections that can be completed between 5-10 minutes, followed by a cutscene.
While the combat is not as freeform as Devil May Cry 5, it still feels fluid and easy to chain combos together. The player could brute force their way through many situations, or they can time their attacks at the right time for a “COOL COMBO,” which speeds up your combo and does a little additional damage. Another interesting feature is the blood lust feature: the more enemies you kill, the more this gauge builds up, and once you fill it up, you’ll go into a rage mode and end up doing more damage. If you continue to fill this meter up, you’ll go into a frenzy mode that increases your attack but drains your health at the same time. However, every time you hit an enemy, you gain health back, so make sure you keep going berserk on the enemies.
While the combat is entertaining, the camera and lack of enough recovery frames keep this from truly amazing. While you can lock on to enemies to get the best view, there are points where the camera has a life on its own. If you are close to a wall, the camera will spaz, making it difficult to play the game. There were many points where I was killed because of this. While my review is based on the PS4 version, it is worth noting a PC version of OneChanbara Origin. From reports I’ve seen, it seems like the PC port is unstable at the moment, leaving the PS4 version as the version to play. Take that with a grain of salt since I have not played the PC version.
Until this entry, OneChanbara had this semi-realistic look; however, it was ditched for Origin in favor of a more anime flair, and I believe it was the correct choice. This series has never looked this good before, running at a smooth 60 frames. Upon seeing the Origin trailer, I got a little confused since I didn’t think I was looking at the same OneChanbara series that I was used to. The main character designs were handled by Katsumi Enami, who’s known for providing character designs for Ys Seven and the Baccano series. I would feel if the series had always embraced this style that it would be more popular in the west.
OneChanbara Origin is in a pretty interesting spot in my mind since it’s not a mind-blowing experience by any means. It doesn’t come close to other hack and slash games like Devil May Cry 5, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. It’s easy to pick it up and play short bursts. While the story isn’t the most unique, it’s interesting enough to have you see it through, and the game looks great. If you want some mindless fun pick it up. If you want a more polished hack and slash game, I will wait on OneChanbara Origin. Find out more info about the game on the official website!
OneChanbara Origin Review
It's easy to pick it up and play short bursts. While the story isn’t the most unique it’s interesting enough to have you see it through and the game looks great. If you want some mindless fun pick it up. If you want a more polished hack and slash game, then I would say wait on OneChanbara Origin.
Wonderful new look
Camera has a life of its own
Short recovery leaves players open to being locked in place