Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad Interview (Xbox360)

D3 Publisher and Tamsoft are bringing a Japanese-centric hack-and-slash action game to the U.S. tomorrow in the form of Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad for the Xbox 360. Outside of the Xbox 360 release, they are also localizing the follow-up that occurs after titled Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers for the Nintendo Wii. So with all this samurai goodness ready to be unleashed on gamers tomorrow, we thought it would be a great time to catch up with D3 Publisher and speak on what to expect with the Xbox 360 iteration of the Onechanbara series.

Strategy Informer: Could you first please tell us your name and work related to Onechanbara?

Alex Coward: My name is Alex Coward and I am the Localization Manager at D3Publisher and I am responsible for video game translation and testing.

Strategy Informer: For those who have not heard about Onechanbara, could you explain the name?

Alex Coward: Onechanbara is not exactly a real Japanese word but two words combined to make a greater meaning of blood sisters and sword fighting, which fits perfectly with the story. Aya and Saki are infected from their ancestory with a baneful blood that causes them to go in bits or rage and power which goes hand in hand with destroying zombies at an incredible rate.

Strategy Informer: Why do you feel Onechanbara was picked up for localization over other Asian releases?

Alex Coward: Onechanbara is incredibly popular in Japan, there are a number of Onechanbara games that are part of the Simple Series and a full feature movie released in Japanese theatres. We are very excited to share the popularity finally in our markets as there has been a lot of positive talk about the game.

Strategy Informer: How was the localization process for Onechanbara?

Alex Coward: For myself it was fun, once the script was translated I could finally understand the story, we also decided to leave the voices in Japanese to keep more of a cultural feel to the game, even in the subtitles we tried to mimic the flow and style of how they are speaking.

Strategy Informer: Do you feel the localization process has improved this generation?

Alex Coward: I think that by localizing the game we have enabled a new generation of Onechanbara players. Now, new players can follow the story of the Blood sisters and their search for their Imichi ancestry.

Strategy Informer: Fill us in on the story – what are players going to get themselves into?

Alex Coward: Players are going to get into a great pick up and play title. Bikini Samurai Squad (360) and Bikini Zombie Slayers (Wii) are two completely different stories as the Wii version takes place after the 360 version. Both stories feature Aya and Saki battling a zombie infestation plaguing their city and players will have the opportunity to fight a variety of different enemies. Can I say a Zombie Whale might be in your future or a little bit of sword slashing while on a motorcycle. Ideas like that make Onechanbara such a fun game to play by yourself or in co-op with a friend.

Strategy Informer: For replay value – such as multiplayer and multiple play-throughs – what can gamers expect to keep them coming back to Onechanbara?

Alex Coward: Onechanbara provides a variety of gameplay modes. One can play in story mode, quest mode, free play mode, survival mode or for 360 they can download a variety of different outfits and play in dress-up mode. In addition both games have local co-op where players can get together with their friends and rip through zombies with their swords.

Strategy Informer: What does the 360 release have in terms of advantages over the Wii version?

Alex Coward: I don’t know if I would say advantages as every gamer looks for something different in each game but gamers can of course enjoy Onechanbara in picturesque 720p beauty and will get the opportunity to download a lot of extras like girls, outfits and accessories that is not in the Wii game. And did I mention the Zombie whale. Oh yeah!, that too…

Strategy Informer: Why’d you decide not to port the title to the PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3?

Alex Coward: This is the first time Onechanbara is brought to the U.S. and we decided to bring it on Wii and 360 although we haven’t ruled out any other possibilities.

Strategy Informer: What type of DLC should we expect?

Alex Coward: In the 360, gamers will be able to download additional girls including Misery, Himiko and Reiko in addition to an array of outfits for the girls to wear.

Strategy Informer: How do you feel about Xbox Live Avatars? Are there any chances of samurai bikinis becoming available as clothing?

Alex Coward: Oh that would be pretty cool, I can see that now but unfortunately nothing is planned for that.

Strategy Informer: Is there any interest or potential to go further with the series?

Alex Coward: I think everyone wants to know what’s next for Aya and Saki, they are bad ass girls who don’t let anything get in their way.

Strategy Informer: Are there any more titles that could be prospect localized projects for D3Publisher?

Alex Coward: D3 is always looking for great upcoming projects and we will definitely let you guys know when we make those announcements, so stay tuned.

Strategy Informer: Which would get the best of the other, the samurai or the ninja?

Alex Coward: Of course the Samurai, but only if that is samurai is wearing a bikini; it’s always the best distraction.

Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad will be released for the Xbox 360 tomorrow.


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By nobuargaoda (SI Core Veteran) on Feb 10, 2009
Hack and Slash Adventure.... could it be better than Onimusha? maybe we should paly it!