Please note. This review will contain NSFW (Not-Suitable-For-Work) material, such as nudity – This is literally a game about busty anime chicks smacking the stuffing out of one-another and ripping off eachothers clothes. You have been warned.
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus is a titular action brawler game developed by Tamsoft and published by Marvelous Entertainment. The game was originally released in the west on Playstation 4 and Vita in March 2016 and has now bounced its way onto PC on March 17th 2017.
Shinobi from various schools are brought together on a mysterious island and are challenged to a contest of strength and wits. The winning schools is promised to learn the highest secrets of Shinobi lore.
If you’re anything like me and this is your first Senran Kagura game, then you’re going to be slightly out of luck as there is no character development and synapses as to what has happened throughout the previous games.
The narrative is displayed through a number of in-game cutscenes, visual novel style segments all with the original Japanese voice overs.
Appearance and Music
Just like my more recent anime themed games that I have reviewed recently, “aesthetic is what you would expect from an anime themed game, all of the characters are colourful and able to show a range of emotions – I would go as far to say this is easily one of the prettiest anime games out on the market at the moment, especially when comparing this to the recently released Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.”
The environments used throughout are well put together however there isn’t a lot of variation between some levels. The main reason for this revolves around the fact that there are some large levels which are cut down, limiting sections you can explore and when you are given the opportunity to explore you aren’t adequately rewarded.
With the above being said, let’s not forget that this title was originally developed for Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita. Taking this into consideration the quality of what we’re seeing on PC is amazing it’s just the variation.
The music fits the feeling of the game world, it’s nothing too heavy and fits very well with the anime theme of the game
The game provides what you would expect from a musou game, you pick a character from a large roster of varied characters and go defeat waves upon waves of enemies in the field. There are light elements of adventuring across a zone, however the game will keep you locked into place at various points.
When you’re not fighting large waves of generic enemies, you will find yourself in one-vs-one or two-vs two combat. This is where the combat, in my opinion becomes slightly stale as the tempo of the combat is reduced and you find yourself slowly exchanging blows until someones apparel gets torn until they’re left in their lingerie. While the result of this is an extreme amount of fan-service, this does also have an effect on your character: less clothing equals less defence.
What I have found to be incredibly interesting with this system is that, when you get to the point of all of your clothes falling off, you can initiate a shinobi transformation. This results in a Sailor Moon type transforming – your character goes completely naked and then summons a new outfit. Once transformed you will gain access to an enhanced skillset and Secret Ninja Arts which make taking waves of enemies out easier.
The more you play as a specific character, the more experience they gain as well as new devastating combos to be used in the field. Which is brilliant as my initial grievance with this title is that the combos feels too simple and slow. After investing a handful of hours into my favourite waifu, I felt my enjoyment growing. (Unintentional boner reference)
There is a selection of 32 waifus to pick from, from various shinobi schools from the games universe. There are also collaboration characters, which in the original version of the game were presented as DLC: this also includes Ayane from Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden.
Each character comes with their own unique combo’s, personalities and outfits. However with Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, you are given the opportunity to dress up characters in a way that you wish, this means you can dress them in other characters outfits and you can provide accessories and even customise the lingerie that they wear.
This also means that you can change their outfits pre and post Shinobi Transformation, giving you complete control over how the characters look.
Once you have dressed your waifu in a way which meets your tastes, you can then take them into a diorama mode, you can pose your character and take screenshots. You can modify your characters pose, facial expressions and emotes. Also what’s better than one waifu, multiple. You can bring all your favourite characters into one posed picture.
Finally, there is a mode which I don’t quite understand the meaning of as it has no effect on gameplay at all. You can remove all UI elements and grope your character, there’s a heart meter which fills up the more you grope and once you’ve filled the meter your character blushes, once you have achieved this you can hold the characters hand and go in for the kiss.
The game itself seems to be a relatively stable port however please keep in mind that I am running an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. Keeping an eye on my FPS counter in steam, I have maintained 60FPS throughout the majority of my playthrough with some minor unnoticeable drops which haven’t impacted my playthrough or experience.
This is a really strange game. I’ll admit that I am not a social justice warrior and I do enjoy the human form. However I just found playing this game incredibly strange. The game clearly has a niche and it is meeting the expectations of that audience to a tee.
If you’re looking for a title which offers a lot of variety, original japanese voice over, a decent combat system once you have invested time into your favourite character. Then you will find this title to be an adequate timesink. And let’s not forget that there is a metric shit ton of fanservice.
7.5 / 10