Warning: The featured article will sport images of a rather mature game title and may be insulting or offensive to others. Younger minded individuals are advised to avoid this article. You Have Been Warned.
Alright! So imagine, you are enjoying a nice day in class when all of a sudden your fellow shinobi class mates all begin to glow! Weird right? Well that’s only the first part! Next thing you know you are teleported to a whole other world and so are your rival schools! This is, Senran Kagura: Estival Versus (Senran from here on out), in a nutshell. This buxom, scantily clad, girl vs. girl game has a lot to digest and is visually phenomenal. Not in the sense you are thinking. The game’s story follows several Shinobi schools after they are transported to a tropical island in an alternate dimension. You know… This game’s story is so minute compared to the rest, here is a quoted portion from the game’s Wikia page….
The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and so it is with the lives of young shinobi. Death comes swiftly — for the lucky ones — and, for those still living, grief is a constant companion. Ryōbi and Ryōna, two shinobi sisters of the Hebijo Clandestine Girls’ Academy elite, know that truth all too well, and they mourn their beloved elder sister every day.
But, when a mystical phenomenon appears, drawing the shinobi world’s finest young ladies into a parallel dimension, everything they know about life and death turns upside down. Taken to a strange world resembling a warm summer island, the girls find themselves face to face with their departed loved ones.
The island’s mysterious mistresses challenge the girls, who hail from four rival schools, to a contest of strength and wits. The winning school, she promises, will not only learn the highest secrets of shinobi lore, but will also have the honour of laying their loved ones’ souls to rest.
The buxom beauties prepare for a new kind of battle, facing not only their rivals, but questions galore. Can the island’s hosts be trusted? Will the other schools play fair, team up, or cheat? Will there be time to enjoy the beach before the fighting starts? Will anyone manage to keep their clothes intact? And… if they win, can they bear to be parted from their loved ones a second time?
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus is unlike anything I have played before it. It is both fan service out the window, with clothing becoming damaged and eventually exposing the character’s undergarments or leaving them entirely nude. Take the actually gameplay in focus and you have a really stable core. I mean I have been immensely dumbstruck by how well this game actually plays! The fights are fluid if not entirely bug free and the general combinations, while lacking in a diverse setting for a varied list of combinations, the game still makes up for it all with a stable and relatively bug free experience.
While I would love to talk about the game’s, ‘story’ it frankly is just not there for me. Granted, I have had mixed views about story crammed into fighting games so I want to focus on an aspect of the game that I feel is surprisingly good. As stated above the game features some solid performance in terms of its gameplay mechanics. While the fights are flashy at best, the core gameplay experience remains a beautiful constant. I had a very hard time finding anything to nitpick about the actually gameplay, aside from the lacking list of combo’s in a game to prides itself as a fighting-esque game. The game’s actual fights are pretty cookie cutter when it comes to the template but offers enough variation in scene and enemy type to still be tough and engaging throughout the actual game.
Now don’t get me wrong, the main focus of this game is fan-service from the get go. From the clothing destruction to the nude finishers, this game has it out for a particular audience and it very well knows what it’s gameplay can offer. It just happens to present this with a game that runs at a solid 60fps on PS4, while maintaining a still honorable 30fps on the PS Vita. I can vouch for the steady and solid performance on the PS4 end of the spectrum and while the screen can have a lot going on all at once, the game still manages to pull ahead with little to no noticeable drop in performance throughout it’s run. There are some gameplay differences between the PS4 and PS Vita titles but it is not enough to warrant an outcry. The general mechanics remain the same while the multiplayer aspect of the gameplay takes a loss from 10 on PS4 to only 5 on the Vita.
The main focus is on fast and fluid gameplay and a bit of… personal time with your favorite girl(s). The game, like many other Japanese titles, features a mode where you can pester and poke at your favorite Shinobi ninja and while I surely had to test this for the science of game reviews… I can say that I feel that it is for certain individuals and that’s all that there is to that mode. You simply touch and poke at your favorite girl… Now the multiplayer aspect is fairly diverse and has a spin on the classic game mode of capture the flag. While I have not directly dabbled into the actual multiplayer section of the game, I have seen enough to know that if you like competitive game modes with a little more flash than your average title then this is right up your alleyway. There is a diverse playstyle among the girls of the game so your multiplayer charades may not end badly, it may just be a cyclical pattern of repeating moves and some of the shinobi girls are more than capable of being a complete nuisance.
A Game About Boobs and Flimsy Clothing
Now like all guys, I cannot help but say there is a pretty strong draw here. I mean with DoA Paradise introducing many of my generation to jiggle physics, many other games after it would push the ticket in someway. That being said yes, it is very much a game with a particular set of objectives and base in mind. Does this make it a game for the perverse or the otaku? Well, I would argue against the fact that it does. I have not felt that way once. Now I will state I have felt uncomfortable in some areas but many forget how open we are in the west at showing overtly grotesque scenes and gore. Where that will make others feel very uncomfortable or perturbed, this will make some feel the same exact way but after all, it is just a game. I happen to enjoy the customization aspects, in regards to making every girl feel unique and custom with the dressing room aspect. While, yes it all gets torn away, it is still fun to see that I have a unique character that I can enjoy playing as in game. Now to touch upon the destroying of clothes aspect, if this is something that really bugs you, then rejoice in knowing that you have the option to turn this feature off! Fantastic isn’t it? Especially if you love how the game looks and plays, then it is all the better choice!
Now I am sure this game is no stranger to controversy and as such take everything you see about this game with a grain of salt. Yes it is first and foremost a fighting game with voluptuous babes and yes their clothing becomes torn and destroyed in the process of fighting but that is what makes this game unique. It’s like its own mixture of brandy that has stewed for a long time and actually has a lot going for it. You just got to move past the fan-service to see that there is a phenomenal game here. Will only men enjoy it? Possibly. I do know a few YouTube ladies that have played and love this game as much as I do and that is saying something right there! Granted this will always be seen as a game about girls fighting until the their clothes are knackered and their bodies laid bare. Sort of reminds me of Kill la Kill in a way… Hmm. Speaking of the girls, you have a huge roster of 25 combatants to choose from, each one having a particular move set and while some of them tend to blur together, there is still enough variation to keeps things buttery smooth between each girl and class for that matter. As this game is focused on four different Shinobi schools fighting against one another, each class has an assortment of ladies (both new and old) who come to the fight bringing their own skill sets.The Four academies in particular are… Hanzo, Gessen, Crimson Squad (Ex Hebijo) & Hebijo.
Overall, the game is solid. There is no way around it. If you look to ignore that fact then you are just being unfairly biased against this title. While the move sets are limited and the mission types repetitive, the game chugs along with a solid performance factor. This game has had no drops in performance on my PS4, even with all of the special effects and action going on. Now as far as the PS Vita version is concerned, all I can say is that Marvelous has stated it will run with a maximum of 30fps as well as a scaled down sense of scale when fighting multiple enemies. However the price difference is negligible between the two versions and I would argue that if you have a PS4 and a PS Vita buy either version. IF you want better performance and larger multiplayer sessions then by all means, grab the PS4 version. I would highly recommend any fan of fighters and hack n’ slash to give this game a try. You can purchase Marvelous’s game from any GameStop location, stock is dependent on store. You can also digitally purchase it from the PSN store.
Buy Senran Kagura Estival Versus: http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/senran-kagura-estival-versus-endless-summer-edition/127447
Buy Senran Kagura Estival Versus: https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/games/senran-kagura-estival-versus/cid=UP1023-CUSA03235_00-0000000000000000
Official Website: http://estivalversus.com/projects/estival-versus-pre-order/
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