Ah here we are again. That magical time of year it starts getting cold so everyone hides inside to enjoy the insane amount of new games coming out. To help me kick off this wonderful season, my editor sent me a text around 2am after I’d been playing Alien Isolation (review coming soon) for a solid 4 hours. Of course being the embodiment of manliness that I am, I of course jumped ten feet in the air and screamed like an actual xenomorph crawled out of my phone and asked to borrow my chest cavity for her new baby. After collecting what was left of my sanity, I responded to find he wanted me to review Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus. We apparently got a few upcoming games for free and I lucked into this one.
Ok, so there’s something we need to get out of the way…like now. I’m sure a fair amount of you know of the game and franchise so far, however for those of you that don’t (like I didn’t) I need to warn you of a couple things no one warned me about. The first being the difficulty curve, HOLY SHIT?!?! I was seriously like two missions in and getting my ass kicked left and right. Do not go into this thinking you can just sort of walk through half paying attention and beat it in a night. As for the second thing…how do I put this delicately…boobs. Like…everywhere.
Ok, now with that out of the way, let’s move onto the actual review shall we? Right off the bat the art was amazing. The game looked extremely polished and if you told me I was watching an anime on my vita’s Netflix, I would’ve believed you. The movement, attacking, and transformations looked outstanding, but I’ve long held the belief that without good control and good story behind it, the graphic quality is a little pointless. Nice to look at, but that’s what screenshots are for.
As far as story is concerned, as I mentioned previously this is a series and I’ve only played this one, but from what i gather, it’s about several girls at a school. There are several schools and several different characters at each school to choose from, so I picked a few and ran through as much of the story as the difficulty would let me before I got depressed at how bad I am at this game. As horribly as the opponents beat me, I still had a lot of fun. The game plays a bit like Dynasty Warriors or God of War. You CAN get through just mashing buttons and hoping for the best, but the more finesse you add and the more combos you figure out the better off you are in the long run.
While we’re on the topic of game play, the controls were incredibly easy to figure out and intuitive. As I mentioned above each character has a transformation that puts them in a new outfit, but changes how all their combos work. It also restores you to full health. More often than not, you’ll be about to finish off the boss and she’ll just dash to the side and transform and go back to full health and essentially restart the match. I enjoyed the transform mechanic because it meant I had figure out when was the best time to transform, and learn a whole new set of moves at the same time. Now this is still a game with rampant boobies and lady bottoms that defy the laws of gravity, so instead of cuts and bruises to display that you or you’re enemy have taken damage, your clothes get torn and ripped off. I’m serious. There’s never any full nudity (that I found at least). Even when you beat the opponent and knock her lingerie off, the naughty bits are always covered by a slash of light or they’re posed so that you can’t see anything too scandalous.
In all seriousness though, I genuinely enjoyed this game. It’s one that I may not have looked into if it wasn’t given to me, but after playing it, I definitely recommend it. It’s not something I’m going to sink the majority of my play time into, but it’s been a nice way to unwind. Just turn on the game and take out all the frustration I’ve been feeling from the other games out on whoever is unlucky enough to fight me in the story. Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus comes to the States on October 14, 2014 and I recommend you at least look into it. If it ends up not being your type of game, there’s still the lingerie lottery!