Home > Games I Like, Video Games, Yes, McFly, I'm a Pig > Zombies Ate My Underwear: “Zombie Panic in Wonderland” Review

Zombies Ate My Underwear: “Zombie Panic in Wonderland” Review

zombies! and skin!
Akaoni via Marvelous Interactive; WiiWare; NTSCJ; Trailer

Remember Snow White and the Seven-Inch Heels? No, oh, um, how about Alice in Underwearland? Not ringing any bells (at least not any that wouldn’t get you arrested in public)? I know! How about Momotaro the Peach Boy! Surely you’ve—no? Oh. Um, OK, well…we’ll take it from the (halter) top, then…

Zombie Panic in Wonderland is the first title squeezed out of Spanish outfit Akaoni and recently erected a presence on the Japanese WiiWare shop thanks to Marvelous Interactive. Being the intrepid soul that I am, I laid my dollar bills down to give this fairy tale-cum-shoot ‘em up a proper, up skirt close, examination…

Outside of its obvious and overt charms—employing underwear models classic fairy tale queens from Alice to Little Red Riding Hood sporting PG-13-rated attire—and outfitting them with machine guns, bazookas and other, assorted, implements of destruction, it’s a fantasy come true for loli moe-lovin’, nascent-NRA members who have always dreamed about Alice in her underwear fighting off a marauding army of amorous (no, really) zombies hell-bent on ravaging a flaccid, undefended, Wonderland. (The girls, however, won’t let the situation get out of hand.)

The game itself is very similar to the DS title Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ to the point that it’s almost a certainty that someone from that game had a hand in Zombie Panic: you control one of the girls (and one boy) as they make their way through 9 (+1) levels destroying everything in sight, from hordes of rampaging undead to the brightly hued, destructible backdrops and bosses ripped straight from American McGee’s sketchbook.

You’ll find that the gameplay is very similar to Nam ’75 and, even more aptly, Cabal, in that this is, essentially, a shooting gallery of carnal (in many senses of the word) delights. Dorothy, Snow White, etc. stand at one end of the ‘box’ and essentially just keep shooting until hitting 100% destruction rate by mowing down wave after wave of zombie archers, zombie ninjas, and zombie pirates and their environs, all of which count towards the completion rate. Once you clear 100% (a somewhat arbitrary number since zombies will keep coming until you hit it—or run out of time) it’s on to the next shooting range, with every third a boss fight against some classic storybook character like, uh, the griffin-wolf-thing (?!) from Momotaro.1

To keep things somewhat interesting, enemies, background elements, etc. will drop numerous pick-ups, from ammo for your heavy machine gun and extra lives to clothes-eating moths. (I may have made up that last item.) And grenades, lots and lots of grenades, which come in very handy against the bosses which, if you’re tapped on heavy machine gun and flamethrower ammo, can take forever to kill.

The challenge, at first, is somewhat fierce, but once you get into the rhythm of moving left and right (enemies don’t anticipate where you’re going, by and large, rather almost always shooting at where you’ve been a la Space Invaders) you’ll traipse across the levels like Dorothy skipping down the Yellow Brick Road with a lot more verve and a lot less concern about being swept away by flying monkeys. If things do get a bit overwhelming, just spam the dodge button to duck out of the way and continue on your merry, blood-letting, way.

The only big nitpick (outside of wasting a character slot on a dude) is that movement speed is a lot slower than you might figure and there is no run/dash button to compensate–it very much feels like Space Invaders, in its rudiments, reminiscent of Space Raiders which itself was an update on the Taito classic, albeit neither of those had Snow White in some pretty slammin’ leg/foot wear, so ZPiW has that all over them, at least.

So the only real question is: is this worth the 800 (presumably $8 when it shows up here) Wii points? I think so: I certainly got a number of hours out of it and I have yet to complete the hard-as-nails (painted bright crimson, of course) extra stage. (And, yes, there is also a 2P (offline-only!) mode that sees you and another set of loli-legs bounding back and forth across the stage, so bear that in mind for those of you with, *sob*, friends.)

It’s also certainly a hellluva lot better than the game that inspired it and lots of people paid $20 for that, but it is very repetitive and the minimal differences between the assorted characters doesn’t make for a substantial difference on subsequent run-throughs…minus, perhaps, the way Snow White’s hips swing hypnotically as she sashays to the next area.

(One, pre-purchase, caveat before you shakily stuff your dollars into Dorothy’s garter (no, really): outside of the ‘twist’, this is a pretty bare-bones gallery shooter and once you’ve played one level, you’ve played them all–replay, especially after 100% completion (i.e. beating the extra stage and unlocking all the girls) leaves almost nothing to keep you coming back for moe.)

1 Relax: the other bosses are quite obviously from European-derived storybooks that we all grew up with. (And probably watched as ‘porn’ on Skinemax, amirite?)

  1. katex
    03/18/2010 at 19:31

    I forgot to agree that you’re a pig! But also: can I play when we come out? 🙂

    • ECM
      03/18/2010 at 19:43

      Hey, hey: I may be a pig, but what the hell does that make the Spaniards that concocted this fun little exercise in pig-baiting?

  1. 05/03/2010 at 17:32

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