There are lots of video games out there. As such, there are lots of types of games. Super Mario Odyssey is a fantastic platformer. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a huge game with so much attention to detail. Overwatch is a co-operative team based shooter. School Girl/Zombie Hunter is a zombie shooter game… Yeah, let’s go with that.
Part of the Onechanbara series of games from Japan, SG/ZH lays on the action from the very beginning. For reasons seemingly unknown, your school and most of the world is overun with the flesh eating undead. Thankfully you are one of five Japanese schoolgirls who have an innate mastery of all types of firearms and survival skills (apparently). Right away you are dispatching the dead, rescuing other survivors, and waiting for supplies and information to come to the school you’re all holed up in. It’s simple and straightforward, which is what this game (and entire series) is all about.
In lieu of a grand narrative like other titles in the games, SG/ZH is broken down into missions. Each mission has a central goal and sometimes features some side-goals as well, like finding certain collectibles. After each mission you’ll learn some more about what’s going on or some new information about one of the girls. Then it’s back to the mission select screen. I liked the simplicity, as it lent itself well to short, or long, play sessions.
As you are slaying the hordes of zombies, you’ll also pick up loot in the form of new guns. The available guns are standard affair for shooters: pistols, SMGS, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles. Each girl is able to use every gun, but usually excels in just one. You also have a melee weapon you can use if you are surrounded, which is remarkably good at taking out enemies. I tended to find myself playing Mayaya, who could see hidden collectibles on the map, but really any character would be just as good.
As the game progresses you’ll start to encounter more challenging foes in place of the cannon fodder typical zombies. Fast zombies, hulking tank-like zombies, and more will make taking down wave after wave of enemies more engaging than just spamming fire. This is where your selection of weapons will be most valuable, as you’ll only be able to select up to four to bring into a mission, meaning you’re missing one. If you’re short on a shotgun, you might have trouble taking down the hulking monstrosities that soak up bullets like a sponge. However, if you brought along a sniper rifle the heads are gonna pop on those far away police zombies. While I wasn’t blown away by the gameplay, it does handle well and is typical of what you’d expect from this type of game.
So now we’re left with the elephant in the room. Or, rather, the absurdity in the room. If you are at all familiar with the Onechanbara series this title is a part of, you know the deal. For some reason, in this world, zombies are attracted to girls clothes. At any given time in a mission, you can take off your clothes, throw them out, and hordes of zombies will swarm to them. Tactically it gives you a chance to take out some enemies unobstructed, but truthfully it just gives you an excuse to look at your character in nothing but a bra and panties for the remainder of the mission. In other games in the series you actually become more powerful the more blood you have on your skin, so this game isn’t far off. It’s by far the most ridiculous aspect of the game, and easily the only reason anyone knows of or plays this game. It’s funny at first, but after a few rounds it really makes me wonder why this “mechanic” even exists…
Overall School Girl/Zombie Hunter is an alright game. It’s a budget title for sure, and from that you get a very basic action shooter. There are other, better games out there to waste your time on, so if you’re playing this it’s likely for the nearly naked girls you can gawk at. With that in mind, I still had some fun with this game. It’s absurd and not great by any means, but there are certainly worse games out there.
And let’s leave it at that.