Take a look at our Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash review PC in glorious 4K 60 frames per second in the video and determine whether this version is the definitive game to go for.
Marvelous Games are back with their school girl ninjas in the rather wet looking Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash or peachy beachy splash – a spin-off game from the usual free roaming beat-em-up madness we’ve seen before. It’s not the first time the girls can be viewed in a different light as the cooking based “Senran Kagura Bon Appétit!” provided plenty of music based jiggling outside of combat. So, what is Peach Beach Splash or PBS as it’s commonly referred to as? In a nutshell, the girls are mysteriously summoned to an unusual island where their schools are tasked with a new set of actions which ditch the swords and melee weapons in favour of water based guns. It’s a perfect excuse to soak the girls in water, remove items of clothing and see them jiggle around in swimwear. The game released on the PS4 last year and now has a definitive PC version of the same game.
So let’s rewind a little first. PBS offers a story mode where you pick one of the now familiar schools comprising of 5 girls in each. You’re then treated to a number of scenes which feature close-ups of the models performing the same animations we’ve seen in several games before whilst they talk, except this time each girl is in swimwear by default. The girls are there to fight each other for an ultimate prize of anything they desire should they beat the competition, but as mentioned combat is by way of water based versions of popular guns such as sniper rifles, assault, pistols, Gatling gun rocket launcher etc. rather than the usual swords. There’s some interesting exchanges of dialogue as expected and the introduction of two wild and wacky host characters who are broadcasting the entire event over “New-Tube” (a parody of Youtube in case you need that spelling out). As a viewer, it’s obvious the broadcasting is a little on the pervy side given there’s ample opportunity for the girls tops or bottoms to be sprayed off during bouts. It’s certainly not a new Japanese idea as several games offer similar combat with clothes ripping as a side focus. Each story comprises of 10 stages which range from shooting up clone enemies, putting out fires and combat versus the girls of the other schools in a knockout type scenario.
There’s an additional set of story missions available entitled Paradise Episodes, but the most fun can be gained from the V-Road Challenge cups. These are a series of rounds versus increasingly difficult opposition in 5 vs 5 bouts against the clock. Score the most KOs to win. If you’re successful your team can progress to the next round until you reach and beat the final. Once a cup has been won you can up the ante by moving on to the next (more challenging cup). The caveat here is should you lose in let’s say the semi-final, you have to start the cup from the opening round, so a bit of pressure added here although you do get some rewards for each stage passed. Interestingly throughout the game you’re able to acquire packs of cards which can be used to unleash attacks, modifiers and special moves in combat. You’re able to swap them out at any time and even upgrade them for greater power with any duplicate cards gained. Upgrading characters and weapons is a must as well which is an option for your team or favourite characters you choose to play as. It’s a neat meta game to mess around with and when things get tough can be the difference between winning and losing especially if you up the difficulty – the default easy setting is rather too easy. Alternatively, players can jump online and play with other players or bots in co-op survival or Versus which is nice option to have.
The PS4 version had issues with the combat due to how jagged and disjointed it felt and to be fair some of the same issues exist here as well such as the colour effects making it hard to actually see who or what you are hitting – so it becomes more spray and pray at times. However, the PC version supports a solid 60 FPS and when coupled with 2K or 4K viewing looks far better than its PS4 counterpart, more detailed and feels so much smoother to play overall that it makes quite the difference. The gameplay is still very basic though and perhaps lacking in tactics when playing single player battles. You will often have to babysit the AI by reviving them, and sometimes they will get stuck on the scenery. So if you are looking for a deep experience with boobs you won’t necessarily find it here.
Outside of the main combat sees the return of the shop and dressing room which allows you to purchase any unlocked gear and extras. The dressing room is the standard model viewer where clothing, hair and accessories can be swapped for each girl. An additional water based feature is being able to spray the girls with water showing off wet clothing effects as a new addition to what we’ve seen before. And yes, you can grope, slap and kiss the girls as seen in Estival Versus. The diorama also makes an appearance for those who want to create artistic scenes with the girls for a nice screenshot collection.
Visually, PBS looks great as expected, with plenty of colour and vibrant visuals supporting the anime looks. It’s familiar ground here and as mentioned looks sharp and stunning in 4K at 60 fps. It’s a shame a lot of assets have been lifted from the other games though rather than offering something fresh (aside from the wet clothing that is). Audio is as expected with great performances in Japanese with English subs being the order of the day.
In terms of length, there’s a fair amount to do here what with upgrading, unlockables and card collecting to strive for beyond the story completions, alongside raising the difficulty when replaying for added challenge. In this regard players will get their monies worth even if there’s quite a bit of repetition.
Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash is a comical, fun and colourful game to play for fans of the series. The PC version not only looks much better but play is improved considerably over its PS4 counterpart for sure and as a more smoother action when playing makes it more accessible for those looking for simple fun and games. However, it’s by no means perfect in its simplicity. The humour returns in full effect as does the lewd content for those interested, but overall the package will feel a little dry to those not familiar with what Senran Kagura is about which is ironic considering the water based gameplay. So the question remains, is this worth a punt? For the die-hard, hardcore fans then no question as Peach Beach Splash is aimed squarely at you. For those looking for a tactical third person arena based shooter then this isn’t going to scratch the itch no matter how sexy it looks.