It’s already quite evident as to who Senran Kagura Estival Versus caters to, and that’s those who are already huge fans of the franchise along with die-hards who love a lot of big bouncing breasts. If you’ve played any of the past Senran Kagura titles then Estival Versus should come as no surprise, since much of the cast remains in the game but now you’re in an all-out slugfest for the top spot. If you enjoy hack and slash titles then Senran Kagura Estival Versus is right up your alley, since you’ll be smashing not only enemies in the game but the buttons on your gamepad as well. It’s an entertaining title that is meant to charm those who play it with lots of eye candy, but at the same time provide a fun experience that takes you outside reality for a little while.
What to Expect
Expect to see a lot of oppai in the game, that’s pretty much a given right off the bat. The game isn’t meant to be taken seriously in the context that, Senran Kagura Estival Versus is a game that you pick up and play just to have fun. The story isn’t going to blow you away by any means, but you’ll sure be blown away by all of the scandalous action that takes place during missions. All of your favorites are there from Renka to the wild yet graceful Ryona, and you’ll be able to use them all in whatever way you desire during these action-packed scenarios. There are also 5 brand new characters added to the roster, 3 that were previously unplayable, along with 4 other guest appearances which brings the total character selection to a whopping 34. Outside of the mission based gameplay that’s full of fun, there are adventure type scenes that resemble that of visual novels, and you can sit and watch as these girls settle their conflicts and learn more about them as you progress.
“Death comes swiftly -- for the lucky ones -- and, for those still living, grief is a constant companion.” Ryoubi and Ryouna are on a search to uncover the truth behind their beloved sister. Suddenly, the life they once knew is turned upside down when they’re transported into a new world, filled with warm weather, beaches and have reunited with the departed. The island which they’ve landed on is filled with mystery, and the mistresses they encounter offer challenges to both girls, to prove their strength and wit. There are four rival schools and the one who comes out on top, the mistresses promise they’ll receive the highest secrets pertaining to shinobi lore. Now with this new battle in front of them, can these two make it all happen? Can these mistresses be trusted? And if they win, just what will the outcome be?
Plenty of Action But Repetition Kicks In
Senran Kagura Estival Versus is certainly a fun game once you boot it up and take part in its relatively solid tutorial, that walks you through all of the attacks and special moves you can do within the game. Once all of that is out of the way you’re thrown into where the real party happens, where you can take part in missions that span across 8 days. While this may seem long at first, you can clear much of the game pretty quickly without much effort needed. The cutscenes are certainly lengthy and provide a laugh or two, while the visual novel sections are sure to wow those who fancy the genre. The question is, does it all last? The answer is an unfortunate no. This is because while all of the bouncing oppai and quirkiness are fun in the initial stages of the game, once you start to find yourself halfway through everything starts to go numb.
The action scenes allow you to go berserk on the enemy, while the special attacks are a pleasure to watch, but after several repetitive scenarios that luster starts to slowly diminish and you’re left with just another fan service fill. Perhaps we’re being too hard on these scantily clad ninja girls, but we feel they need some discipline otherwise things just wouldn’t be fair. Reading through the visual novel portion of the game was a plus for us only because it provides new players along with fans of the series, an in-depth backstory about each of the characters and their personalities. This was nice because it introduces the cast in a very lighthearted way, and it doesn’t rush you through it all but rather takes its time to ensure everything is clear and understood. Being able to sift through various costumes and don them in battle was quite endearing since it provided an incentive to actually continue racing through each mission to unlock them all.
Each character’s costume is split into three parts, the first being the Uniform, then Shinobi Outfit, and lastly everyone’s favorite Lingerie. You can dress up your favorite girl in whatever fashion you desire which adds an extra element of excitement when playing through missions, but then once all of the costumes and other hidden items are unlocked you’re left with a blank slate again. Everything just felt like a party that ended abruptly, and everyone who stopped by left all of their mess for the host to clean up. It was an absolute blast to come up with crazy ways to extend combos for show, but just how much of that can you bear (no puns) over the long run? Again, for those who are heavy followers of the series this game is surely right up your alley, but for anyone who’s simply looking for a quick fix that’s pretty much what you’ll get.
The multiplayer side of things in the Shinobi Dojo are intriguing, and allow you to duke it out with 2-10 players to see who the best shinobi is. This is perhaps where most of the fun takes place after breezing through the campaign because there are a handful of fun modes to choose from all of which resemble the typical modes you’d find online. One of our favorites was point battle, where you’d go out swinging with your favorite girl and amass as many points as possible before the timer runs out. This was a thrill to play because everyone is scurrying around to find enemies to accumulate points while trying not to get in each other’s way.
In total there are 6 modes to choose from, Understorm, Capture the Bra, Shinobi Survival, Walker Battle and Shinobi Deathmatch. All of them come with their own perks so we encourage you to try them all out to see which mode serves you best. This is honestly where we spent most of our time because being able to play with others just adds that extra element of fun and competition, but not to the point where it becomes overly fierce. It’s a nice way to just take all of your unlocked costumes online to show off, score high on the leaderboards, and then go to bed thinking about oppai.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
While the single player campaign felt a bit dry, the multiplayer really made up for it with its abundance of modes to choose from, and the fast paced action it provides. Most of your time playing single player will be heavily invested in just unlocking hidden items, then taking them online to really make use of their potential (or just style points). While it’s all fun and games online, however, much like the single player once you’ve dabbled with everything and are satisfied, the game is pretty much finished. The replay value may come in for those who are hardcore completionists, but other than that once you’ve had your fill it’s time to hang up the shinobi costumes and go back to class. Camera angles at times during special attacks were wonky, although you’re able to control the camera so it wasn’t too much of a big deal. Overall, Senran Kagura Estival Versus feels like a festival that had all the hype behind it, but once it all finished it was time to head back home.
Great diversity of characters, all with their own unique personality.
Excellent Japanese voice acting along with the English subs.
Online multiplayer was a ton of fun, and best played with friends.
Oppai all day.
The visual novel segments were quite nice to learn more about the characters.
Everything felt too short and the festival ended before everything could even take off.
Poor camera angles at times made the game suffer.
Became too repetitive after a while.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We had our moments with Senran Kagura Estival Versus and those moments were pleasing with a majority of it being online. Outside of that, the festival just seemed to start off great but ended abruptly which made things a little heartbreaking, and while dressing up our girls in sexy clothing was good in the beginning it all became a bore afterward. We’re looking forward to seeing how Peach Beach Splash pans out, and we’re hoping it provides a lot more thrill than Estival Versus. What do you all think of Senran Kagura Estival Versus? Was it a blast to play? Or did you too succumb to the mind-numbing sameness that often popped up in the main campaign? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to share your favorite articles on social media to keep the community buzzing!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!