Marvelous Games has localized its ninja based action fighting game for western audiences with the release of Senran Kagura Estival Versus which follows in the footsteps of several other games in the series on PS4 and PS Vita. With crisp looking visuals, lots of bouncing boobs is this version worth getting if you’re not a fan or didn’t import the Japanese version which released last year. Take a look at our Senran Kagura review for the full picture.
Senran Kagura Estival Versus Review:
Today we’re taking a look at Marvelous Games’ latest Senran Kagura game with the release of Senran Kagura Estival Versus which released in Japan last year and now is westernized on PS4 and PS Vita. We’re going for the jugular from the off. Do you like boobs? Are you transfixed by bouncing mammaries? Does cleavage make you excited and have you ever wanted to grab and pair of boobs and not suffer the consequences such as a slap in the face? Well if you’re not a fan of boobs – that’s probably most women players – then this game isn’t for you – you can leave now. If breasts are your thing then be prepared for some titillating imagery that will raise your pulse. Actually scrap that because if you’re a fan of Senran Kagura then you’ll be well versed in how the game’s characters are portrayed and Estival Versus is no different with its fan service.
Aside from the young female fighting ninjas from various schools there’s a fairly decent (albeit) basic free-roaming action hack and slash game here. There are limited hard and soft attacks and various specials you can unleash by transforming into your ninja shinobi form. It’s quite basic, easy to play and just fun to let off some steam. You can work through the Kagura Millennium Festival where grandma has called all the girls together under mysterious circumstances. Cue totally deranged, twisted and perverse storyline which will have you chuckling at the madness or feeling slightly embarrassed that you’re actually enjoying things like panty eating contests and boob groping battles to name but a few. Actually it sounds worse than what it is, in reality it’s just some themed scenes before and after you jump into one of the levels to fight off large groups of opponents – removing their clothes in the process – and battling one of the other main characters for supremacy. Repeat and rinse for many hours whilst sitting back and marvelling at the story. What is charming about the game’s characters is their unique personalities and mannerisms which are wonderfully realized during each scene. Yes there’s basic animations used but there’s enough to get a feel of things – some characters are quite uppity whilst others more playful . For some there’s perhaps too much dilly dallying about with all the dialogue but at least there’s options to skip and just jump right in to the next mission if you so choose. The biggest draw from this westernised release is now being able to understand what’s being said, and frankly there’s some classic dialogue here which is filled with dry and sexualized humour.
Players can also jump into a handful of unlockable missions for each character as well with the Shinobi Girl’s Heart missions which act as special challenges for each of the girls where set criteria has to be met. So aside from all the dialogue you’ll have plenty of fighting to do although being honest does get a little repetitive after so many hours and after seeing the girls clothes get ripped off for the umpteenth time.
In terms of visuals the game follows its anime inspired looks very well and where it lacks in detail it makes up for it in colour and personality. All the girls look different from the neck up at least and with a plethora of clothing/accessory options to tinker with means you can spend quite some time playing dress up. What’s neat is how the costumes remain during the story mode which means if you’ve got favourite threads you can play with those even if they are being worn by the opposition. During the fighting gameplay it runs fairly smoothly but can dip a little when there’s more enemies on screen but mostly the game engine handles the masses of enemies well enough. The camera can be a little problematic at times as well when close to walls and surfaces but this is a minor grievance which can be overcome by locking on. Probably the biggest gripe aside from basic looking stages for the most part is the fact many areas are locked off via barriers even when you’re encouraged to explore and break down the opposition’s towers to unlock more gear. It seems like a wasted opportunity for the most part but does mean battles are kept condensed. Audio comes in as expected with lots of Japanese dialogue and typical music which can be muted if you prefer. It’s hard to say whether the characters are well acted as the Japanese sounds great regardless. One caveat is you’re only getting English subs here rather than a complete overhaul of the voices in English which means if you’re just not into the story then the Japanese import would have been a better bet.
Gamers can sink quite a bit of time across the two main modes then spend ages ogling the girls in the Dressing Room which allows you to zoom in on your girl of choice, customize her clothing, hair and accessories and then grab her boobs and pull on them, slap them a little and get a reaction. It’s a fun thing to do if you’re that way inclined and can be quite mesmerizing in an immature kind of way. Whilst it’s obvious this is a bonus bit of fan service it’s a shame there aren’t more animations or dialogue to make it less stagnant. You can create diarama scenes with one to five girls across various levels and this is actually quite cool for taking screenshots with various poses, but again is let down by its simplicity and not having many animations to mess around with. It’s not something most players are likely to spend much time with once the initial buzz has worn off. That leaves the online component where you can take your battles against other players (up to 10) across various modes. This does require a PS Plus membership even if you want to play with bots. This is a fun extra which once populated with like-minded players will be the part of the game which holds the most longevity, aside from improving rankings and extra difficulties of the single player that is.
Senran Kagura Estival Versus is a welcome game in the series and one that hardcore fans will most likely have already imported the Japanese version last year. For newcomers, there’s lots to like despite the simplicity and for those who are well versed will find a familiar gaming experience that doesn’t deviate from tried and trusted formulas Marvelous are now known for. If you like sexualized themes, large breasts and tongue in cheek humour wrapped up in a neat but simple fighting game then this is worth checking out even if it’s not going to win any awards for complexity.