Senran Kagura : Estival Versus – Review
I know I said I don’t review games often but this might just become a more common experience. Especially when I get to review games as fun as Senran Kagura.
I know that first part is probably the wrong thing to lead you into a review of the recently Released Senran Kagura Estival Versus, but after spending the last 3 weeks with it and streaming the playthrough over on Twitch I must admit that I really enjoyed it.
Senran Kagura, I’m sure for those looking at reviews will require no introduction. It is a game that prides itself on following its producer’s mantra of “Tits are life, ass is hometown”. So, read on if you want to..
Senran Kagura Estival Versus carries on after the ending of Shinovi Versus. Each of the four shinobi schools are teleported to a tropical island and asked (then forced) to participate in the Kagura Millennium Festival.
The main story is both odd and charming. Whilst also being long enough to give you a solid chance to get a feel for the characters you play as. You don’t play as everyone during the main story, but you can replay missions quickly and easily after you complete them and the game allows you to select any character to use on these subsequent runs.
You also unlock more modes during your playthrough such as Shinobi Girls Heart stories, which are separate missions that focus solely on one character alone and give you a bit of story to go along with them.
There are a number of creative finishers throughout the stages, much like Mortal Kombat’s stage finishers, if you KO a character near a piece of equipment with a sign that has a red ! on it you will be shown a creative finisher. There are other odd little things hidden in the game at points including the below. Where I noticed that a character’s sweatband had an interesting phrase on it..
The battle system starts off quite simple, you only have a limited amount of options through your first few levels with the two buttons, but as you progress and level up it offers little flairs which add a bit of variety to the button mashing aspect.
You can use either keyboard or controller maps depending on your preference (I will say that both were very easy to use, although the controller seemed to be a bit more fluid)
As you level up the characters and progress the story you unlock the special abilities of each character, culminating in their Ultimate Secret Ninja Art, which are some of the most bizarre and devastating attacks you will see. They can require a bit of patience to get the spacing and execution right for the full effect but are well worth it. They can decimate the other shinobi’s and can allow you to end a round quickly to get a better rank.
As you play you will quickly gain a preference for characters to play as. A good number of them have attacks and special abilities that just feel disproportionate and out of balance with the rest of the roster. For me it caused a bit of annoyance when I had to switch back to these “weaker” characters in the main story mode.
Of course, there is lots of up front fan service but this is what makes up the rest of a Senran Kagura game. Including the return of the dressing room where you can pose and dress your favourite characters among “other” things that are decidedly not stream friendly.
The music in the game is also very good and aids the cutscenes and intermissions in their flow I had kind hoped that they would have included it in the games download like Bon Appétit so I could add it to my playlist.
I won’t spoil the end of the story itself but it is a nice journey for all the characters involved and despite the silliness overall, it does have some special moments which can catch you out.
This is a game that you should play and as said at the beginning of this review I can quite happily recommend it.
One thing to note is that whilst I did experience the same crashes I had in Bon Appétit! I finally found a way to resolve them. Simply turning off the Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel service in Windows stops the crashes instantly and allows you to get back to your Waifu battling ways.