Xbox 360 Review: Onechenbara


Playing a game with the subtitle Bikini Samurai Squad is a good indicator of what you’re getting into. The game doesn’t stray far from its concept, a straightforward beat-em-up with few frills short of the enormous gore factor… and bikinis. Repetition is high, graphics are awful, and every level feels the same, yet somehow this manages to be fun.

Onechanbara followed the same path as publisher D3’s previous title, Earth Defense Force. What started as a budget franchise on the PlayStation 2 in Japan has finally made its way here on the 360. The game is originally from 2006 and its roots show, although even looking at it with the proper context, it still looks terrible.

Onechenbara’s simplicity is everywhere. The simple attack system recalls classic games of the genre with few updates worth mentioning. In other words, plan to hit X a lot. That’s as deep as it gets.

Level design is awful. Running around to find key cards grew old in Doom over 15 years ago, but here it’s unberable. The sheer number of empty rooms an hallways are a complete waste of time. It only serves to put more zombies on screen and increase repetition.

The only gimmicks involve blood gathering on the sword requiring it to be wiped off from time to time and a rage meter. This fills as blood covers the girls bodies. When full, they go into a zombie rage that saps away their life. You need to quickly find a statue or use a found statue head to restore your normal status.

A low number of enemy models continues the games track of simple and repetitive. Why war veterans are popping out of the ground along with modern police is anyone’s guess. However, regardless of what they are, there’s no question slashing them into a mountain of pieces is fun.

That’s why Onechenbara works so well. Despite all of the problems, many of which would destroy any other game, it’s somehow a pure blast. Bring in another friend for local co-op and you’ll have an even higher level of enjoyment. It has the same appeal of Earth Defense Force 2017, which also had the same issues.

While undoubtedly an acquired taste, Onechenbara is the type of game that will draw a cult following and likely carry it until the end of time. It’s everything a die-hard male gamer should want, including over-the-top sex appeal (and physics), boatloads of gore, and co-op. Good luck finding something as weird as this that can still entertain.

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Flat sales for luxury models\

Post-Tribune (IN) February 8, 2008 | The Associated Press THIS ELECTRONIC VERSION MAY DIFFER SLIGHTLY FROM PRINTED VERSION Automakers are introducing plenty of luxury vehicles at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, from the $78,000 Yes! roadster to Porsche’s performance-oriented Cayenne GTS. But the models may be met by empty wallets. Analysts and automakers predict luxury sales will fall this year as the nation’s economic woes put a pinch on high-end buyers.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, president and chief executive of Porsche Cars North America, said Thursday that Porsche has seen a downturn in U.S. luxury sales, particularly in the past two to three months, and believes the segment will have a tough time compared to 2007. Porsche’s U.S. sales edged up 1.4 percent in 2007, compared to a 3 percent decline in sales industrywide.

“We are currently forecasting what we call internally a mild recession,” Schwarzenbauer said at the Chicago Auto Show. “If it’s a mild recession, we don’t see a huge impact on our forecast. If we have something deeper, then we have to talk again.” Luxury buyers are often resilient in the face of wider economic concerns, and 2007 sales bore that out.

U.S. luxury sales were flat in 2007 even as the industry fell as a whole. web site 2007 porsche 911 gt3

But in January, sales of BMW, Ferrari, Lexus, Jaguar, Lincoln and Porsche vehicles all dropped, among others.

Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac were among the few who bucked the trend, with both those brands reporting sales increases of 7 percent thanks to new vehicles.

Although one month doesn’t establish a trend, Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Irvine, Calif.-based Kelley Blue Book, said it’s likely recent stock market declines have given luxury car buyers the jitters. Downturns on Wall Street — in this case caused by recession fears — affect the higher-income customers who buy luxury vehicles, Nerad said. In addition, many of those buyers have seen their home values drop and adjustable rate mortgages go up, he said.

Nerad expects the luxury vehicle slump to continue until the stock market bounces back.

“It’s not that these people don’t necessarily have the money to buy. There is also the feeling that maybe this isn’t the best day and I’ll postpone my purchase for six months,” Nerad said.

Another headache for European luxury makers is the weak U.S. dollar, which forces them to either take a loss or raise prices for European-made vehicles.

Mark LaNeve, General Motors Corp.’s vice president for North American sales and marketing, said one reason Cadillac is doing well is that it’s making cars in its home market, avoiding currency fluctuations.

A weak yen could work in favor of Japanese luxury makers. But Lexus spokesman Greg Thome said the brand is nevertheless expecting a tough year, particularly in the first six months. Thome said Lexus thinks sales will be flat or slightly up compared to 2007, when they were up 2 percent.

Some automakers think they can profit from the malaise. Hyundai Motor Co. introduced its first luxury sedan, the Genesis, in Detroit last month. The Genesis will sell for just under $40,000 when it arrives on the U.S. market in June. go to website 2007 porsche 911 gt3

John Krafcik, vice president of product development for Hyundai, said 3 in 10 consumers in a recent survey conducted for the automaker said they need a car this year and will choose a brand that’s “value focused” instead of a premium brand.

“It’s one of the reasons we think we have an opportunity to grow this year in this market with cars like that one,” Krafcik said at last month’s Detroit auto show.

Still other luxury makers insist the economic downturn won’t affect luxury sales at all.

“We are quite confident that at least the premium operations will be stable,” Audi AG Chairman Rupert Stadler said last month in Detroit. “It could be different in the mass market.” German-based Funke & Will AG, which makes the handcrafted Yes! roadsters, isn’t altering its plan to introduce two coupes to the U.S. market this year: the $77,995 Roadster 3.2 and its $97,995 turbocharged version.

“We don’t see ourselves as a luxury car. It’s a driving car,” said Ingolf Hainish, the company’s head of sales.

—— AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher, AP Business Writer Jeff Karoub and Associated Press Writer David Runk contributed to this report from Detroit.

AP-CS-02-07-08 1535EST The Associated Press