More Oneechanbara Goodness

I have now finished two, count them, two whole games on the Wii.  That brings my average up to just under 1 per year.  I should play through another one before next April.

Anyway.

After Klonoa, which was a nice 12 hour romp, a victory only slightly tempered by the tendency of game reviewers to say things like “It will only take you about five hours to play through, but it’s a fun five hours”, I could have started the PS2 sequel… but the last time I tried going directly from one game into the next was with the Ratchet & Clank series, and as much as I loved the first one, starting right into the second was a little too much.

Instead I went back to Ayu & Saki, those being the heroines of the Oneechanbara series, a rather eyeroll-inducing girls vs. zombies series that languished in the netherworld of Japanese-only releases until quite recently.  I played through the Xbox 360 version about three months ago, which just happened to end on a bit of a cliffhanger, so getting around to the sequel sounded a good plan.

First things first: If you played the 360 game, the Wii version is a big step backwards in a lot of ways.  There are fewer enemies, much smaller levels, only 8 levels – you play through the 8 levels four times each, but it’s still only 8 levels – no mid-game cutscenes and lower quality graphics.

But – it’s also a lot less frustrating than the 360 version, actually has helpful popup tips that explain how to play, and the graphics are somewhat compensated for by the game actually throwing massive hordes of the undead at you, in numbers that I wouldn’t have expected on the Wii.

In addition, the obligatory gun-using character is much less annoying than the gun character on the 360 version.

Finally, it IS slightly cheaper.

One new thing – both of the sisters have separate storylines that you can play through, something that differs from the kind of interleaved story in the 360 version, but after you clear their storylines, you unlock additional stories for each of the main boss characters.  Playing through those is neat, because you finally get to know their motivations and it answers a bunch of questions that the main stories raise.

Also, Misery’s story ending is quite possibly the darkest ending to a video game I’ve ever seen.

Metacritic gives the Xbox version a 39 score and the Wii version a 55.  I say that makes a 94 overall.  Check ’em out.

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