You know those bad movies that think they’re good? Boring right? Okay what about bad movies that know they’re bad? Entertaining right? Senran Kagura Estival Versus doesn’t fall into any of these camps, it’s a good game that everyone thinks is bad.
Senran Kagura has always had a reputation of being a boob game and stopping at boobs, this isn’t the case. As I discovered in the November of last year Senran Kagura is a series full of amazing characters with emotional arcs. The simple yet fun gameplay also doesn’t hurt.
Since the day I played Shinovi Versus I’ve been extremely hyped for Estival Versus, I was so excited I gave it the number one position in my Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2016. So like the title said is Estival Versus any good?
The answer is an astounding yes. No… It’s an all caps YES, with an exclamation mark YES!
I don’t need to tell Senran Kagura fans why this game is good, you already know why. With that said the rest of this *Review in Progress* will be dedicated to the newcomers or those on the fence, or better yet those that think this game series sucks.
Unfortunately in order to enjoy Estival Versus you will need to do some research, it does a terrible job introducing you to these characters. If you have the time and money I suggest you buy Shinovi Versus for VITA or get it for the PC later this year, if time and money is an issue then do your best to research Shinovi Versus.
Now the next hurdle is the fanservice. There’s a lot of it. It’s also set on a magic beach which means even more bikini’s then before. I’m going to show you two pictures and if these are off-putting or if you don’t think you can get past it then unfortunately this series isn’t for you because it only gets more fanservicey.
Thoughts on those pictures? They made me laugh. If you had the same reaction or if you shrugged, then excellent! Get ready to experience some of the best video game characters ever.
I’ve put around 4 – 5 hours into Estival Versus and while it’s moving a bit slower than the other games in the series, it’s already setting the foundation for some big events.
The shinobi girls are whisked off to a magical beach festival place where the dead are alive, they meet lost loved ones and will they meet any past villains? Who knows? It’s a brilliant idea though.
We see the girls deal with the stress of a dead sister returning, an important figure from the Gessen Academy’s past returning and the mysterious appearance of Asuka’s Grandma who seems to be behind everything.
Death has played a big part in the lives of all of the characters in Senran Kagura and thrusting the girls into this situation is an incredibly smart writing decision. I personally can not wait to see what happens next.
Don’t worry it’s not all dark and gloomy! The series still has it’s goofy humour with the boob groping Katsuragi, accidental fights, forced bikini’s and secret attractions (looking at you Yagyū and Hibari.)
While Estival Versus may be lacking when it comes to other PS4 graphic powerhouses, it’s still one of the best looking games on PS4 thanks to the colourful surroundings, characters and strong art style. Sure the environments are a bit low poly, and there’s some blurry textures here and there or even small and odd looking levels but it’s still looks amazing and it never gets old.
The characters are looking better than ever and I don’t mean that in a sexy way, maybe a little, actually maybe more than a little… I mean they have slight alterations to their outfits! That’s totally where I was going with that!
The outfits are no longer flat and all have a vibrancy and life that was lacking from the earlier titles. Small additions such as extra physics or separating of different fabrics have done wonders to the character designs. I no longer want to just enter Frantic mode (which strips to lingerie but more on that later) to finish the levels quickly, I will now gladly use their Shinobi form to wreck shop.
Yes! If you’re new you wouldn’t know about Frantic mode… Well you basically exchange defence and clothes for extreme power. It’s silly, goofy, daft but most importantly funny, actually it’s most important because it gives us more gameplay options!
You can use the two different forms while fighting, you’ll probably end up going for your favourite but I recommend having a look at everyones Shinobi outfits because they do truly look really good.
The gameplay is best explained as Dynasty Warriors but not quite. Senran Kagura has a big focus on air combos and the transformations as well as timing your Shinobi Arts (super attacks) for the best outcome.
Estival Versus also has increased mobility especially when compared with other games in the genre, you can double jump, air dash and wall run as well as the other standard action game movements. This helps keep the somewhat repetitive combat fresh.
The levels are split up allowing for you to easily replay them on harder difficulties or replay your favourites. While I would’ve liked for the developers to take advantage of the PS4 by having connected levels and maybe even a hub world to explore, it’s still fun even if it feels a little dated and held back by the VITA version.
I’m going to end this here because I don’t want to start talking about stuff that could be misleading just in case my opinions change but I’m pretty sure if they do change it’s only going to be positive.
So what do you think of the fanservice? I like it, I think it’s funny and I don’t think it ever crosses the invisible imaginary line. What about you? Is it something your open to? Don’t care? Ignoring it? Or is it too much for you? Let me know in the comments.
Expect the review to release in the coming days and come back soon for some gameplay narrated by me.