School Girl/Zombie Hunter (PlayStation 4) Review

By Gabriel Jones 20.11.2017 7

Review for School Girl/Zombie Hunter on PlayStation 4

It's a zombie invasion! The undead are stalking the hallways of Kirisaku High School, obviously in search of fresh young minds. Though the Zombie Protection Force (ZPF) trains and arms students for possible outbreaks, clearly it wasn't enough to quell this one. Now, only a handful of survivors remain. There's no chance of rescue, so they must band together and fight back against overwhelming odds. With the power of friendship, and an endless supply of ammo, these schoolgirls can crush the invasion. Soon the disgusting zombies will wish they'd never risen from their graves.

Admittedly, this critic has a love/hate relationship with zombie videogames. There is an overabundance of them, and most don't do anything interesting with the concept. It's just a constant stream of mindless shooters. To this day, the one title that stands above them all is still the original Dead Rising. Sure, there was amusement in finding all of the different ways to kill the walking dead, but the real focus of the game was on time management. Deadlines were strict, and failing to meet them would result in dire consequences. In a way, the living dead are an unstoppable force of nature. Either the player learns to work efficiently, finding the quickest path around or through the hordes, or they give up and wait for the dumbed-down sequels.

It'd be quite the exaggeration to claim that School Girl/Zombie Hunter is as deep, nuanced, or well-designed as the 2006 classic, but at the very least it shares the same basic principle. The time limit is the threat, zombies are just an obstacle. Only a few of this game's 50+ stages involve eradicating the undead menace. Most of them require the player to reach a specific destination, or find key cards hidden in the school's many classrooms. Though animated corpses are easily dispatched, there are an infinite number of them. They constantly respawn, with every intention to assail the heroines and waste their precious time. The cramped corridors and labyrinthine level designs don't help, either.

Screenshot for School Girl/Zombie Hunter on PlayStation 4

Surviving a few nights in Kirisaku will require an understanding of movement. The most effective technique is the dodge roll. Not only does it allow the player-character to evade attacks, it can also stun nearby enemies. Yes, even explosions can be dodged with proper timing. Sprinting is a fine way to escape potentially bad situations. When the "zom-zoms" are just a little too close for comfort, swat them away with a bat, sword, or powerful kick. All of these actions drain stamina, so try not to overdo it.

The importance of guns in this game can't be understated. Whether it's to break up a group blocking a doorway, or shaking off a few pursuers, properly handled firearms solve a lot of problems. Up to five can be carried at a time, with potentially over a hundred to collect. While the weapons aren't nearly as fun or creative as in the E.D.F. series, there're still plenty of reasons to find the right loadout. Pistols, shotguns, SMGs, assault Rifles, sniper rifles, and RPGs are available. Each weapon has varying stats and their own special properties. Some guns are designed to be extremely weak, but can dismember a zombie in just a single shot. An "auto-aiming" firearm will focus on anything that stumbles into view. It's perfect for those chaotic circumstances where the player can't even think straight, let alone aim.

Screenshot for School Girl/Zombie Hunter on PlayStation 4

There are other factors to consider when deciding on a loadout. Zombies have a chance to drop items when they're killed, unless they've lost a limb or two. Medkits, grenades, and other useful drops are incentive enough to keep foes intact. Though ammo is infinite, reloading at an inopportune moment will lead to trouble. On the bright side, switching weapons is instantaneous. Here's a suggestion for the next sniper mission. Rather than trying to find the right moment to reload, consider equipping five sniper rifles. The intriguing weapon system is complemented by functional and enjoyable shooting mechanics. Granted, it's a little off-putting that dead ghouls bounce around like the early days of Havok software, but it fits the low budget aesthetics.

In this game, being able to run and shoot doesn't guarantee success, sometimes it pays to go the extra mile. As if their propensity for horrific violence wasn't bad enough, zombies are also perverts. The heroines can take advantage of this fact by… stripping. With a flourish, the ladies will strip down to their skivvies, leaving the clothes behind to distract the ghoulish fiends. As brazen and shameless as this stunt is, it's not terribly effective. Diversionary clothing only lasts for a few seconds. That's enough time to make a quick getaway, and little else.

Screenshot for School Girl/Zombie Hunter on PlayStation 4

Now, this is the part where it gets really weird and gross. The walking dead love underwear. It doesn't matter how hungry (for brains) they are, they will drop everything if they catch so much as a whiff of panties. About halfway through the game, the main characters get the option to take a refreshing shower. Their old undergarments can then be used for a very potent diversion. How potent? Well, it's all a matter of time. Ideally, underwear should be worn for at least thirty minutes of game time. When discarded, they can distract zombies for an entire minute. This is especially helpful during "protect the base" missions, or any stage that requires surviving in one area for a long time.

Alongside its apparent lack of class, School Girl/Zombie Hunter has an abundance of rough edges. The AI companions are pitiable in the sense that they can shoot the wings off a fly, but are sometimes incapable of seeing enemies that are right in front them. Boss battles revolve around knocking the opponent down repeatedly, and filling them full of lead as they try to get up. The frame rate is usually around 60 frames per second, but it will sputter depending on how intense the action becomes. The camera is also problematic, and that can be attributed to Kirisaku's narrow corridors. To be fair, it's impressive how much effort went into accurately modelling the school. It makes for an interesting place to explore.

The online coop mode is worth checking out. Though there are only ten missions, with objectives that rarely deviate from "protect the base" or "survive", it's still pretty fun. Rather than shooting everything in sight, players have to consider the situation and know when to pull the trigger. Explosive and poisonous zombies make frequent appearances, and will gladly explode when shot. Care must be taken so that allies aren't caught in the blasts. However, this mode's appeal isn't long-lasting. The poor netcode tends to result in enemies "skipping" around, which makes everything hard to follow. Then again, it could just be that good connections with local players are hard to come by.

Screenshot for School Girl/Zombie Hunter on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

To put it bluntly, School Girl/Zombie Hunter is exploitative and perverted schlock. It's also a pleasant surprise. Despite its miniscule budget and plethora of issues, this game successfully manages to have solid shoot 'em up action, as well as an inkling of clever level and encounter design. Deciding on the right arsenal for the next stage actually matters, and the moment to moment decisions can seriously impact one's chances of success. Of course, the subject matter won't appeal to everybody, though it's hardly surprising. This is a Tamsoft title, after all, and they know their audience.

Developer

Tamsoft

Publisher

Aksys

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

i wanted to love this one... i really did.
but its just too janky to love.

So better or worse than Onechanbara Z2?

I'm going to go ahead and say worse, but I un-ironically enjoy the Onechanbara games.

Yeah, Z2 really was some dumb fun. Was expecting this one to be more or less the same. It's probably one I'll still pick up for the right price.

worse.
this feels REALLY cheap. 

 

Oh geez. No English voices I assume?

none.

thats not even the worst of it.
 the cutscenes are done in a really low budgety way. it fades to black with every cut which gives the impression of an epileptic attack.

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