Review: Senran Kagura Estival Versus - Endless Summer (PlayStation 4)
- Release Date (NA): March 15, 2016
- Release Date (EU): March 18, 2016
- Release Date (JP): March 18, 2016
- Publisher: Marvelous Inc, XSEED Games, Marvelous Europe
- Developer: Tamsoft
- Genres: Action
- ESRB Rating: Mature
- PEGI Rating: Sixteen years and older
- Also For: PlayStation Vita
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Marvelous Games sent GBAtemp a copy of Senran Kagura for the PS4 to review. Downloadable version reviewed.
Senran Kagura is... overwhelming. At first, but that wears off quickly. What lies beneath is what determines if this game has legs or not.
Well, not those kind of legs
The story starts with two sisters visiting their other sister's grave, paying respects. Through the bushes (and, within seconds, your first panty shot) the girls spot their dead sister being brought back to life by a witch. This could be an interesting story, but it immediately gets lost in tutorial and boobs, I mean girl chit chat that brings nothing to the story or the game overall.
Get used to lots of this.
The gameplay is where this Dynasty Warriors anime clone should really shine. The combat is simple and explained to you over the first few hours of gameplay. This is excessive, because all of these mechanics could really have been shown off in a few short sequences. Estival Versus takes its sweet time showing off all the characters and extended control tutorials. Combat centers around using square for light attacks and triangle for heavy hits. Both can be appropriately mashed and eventually launches the enemy (or group) away from you in a combo finisher. You can extend that combo by quickly tapping circle to launch yourself after them and continue pummelling them in the air. This chaining is a really useful way to fight enemies, majors, and bosses. So useful... it breaks the game. Bosses can be chained into oblivion and none of the majors can stand up to your fury.
Other combat moves require stripping off ALL of your clothes and donning a new outfit, supposedly to give you more power. Not that you really need it.
If that isn't enough, you can enter "unbounded" mode where you strip off everything but your undies and can chain attacks together with no combo breaking penalties at the cost of your defense. Again, completely unnecessary.
You have quite a variety of other things you can do on the battlefield, including wall running, destroying select parts of the environment, and lobbing grenades. None of these work all that well. You can trap enemies behind you with a wall run and hairpin turn behind you to get a cheap shot in. Destroying the environment is dicey. Barrels, tables, and chairs places around can be smack with whatever you happen to be wielding and the just... disappear. No shrapnel, just a tiny plume of dust and it is gone, no more chair. The grenade mechanic is tricky to use at best. First you need to find one out in the battlefield. Once you do, pick it up and it becomes auto equipped. Tossing it in a tactical fashion is tough. The enemy AI tends to mob around you in a tight pack not leaving much room... where your set trajectory always lands a grenade. Which is a real shame, because most of them have nice effects, poison, fire, ice, electric, which gets a few of the scantily clad baddies off of you for a few seconds.
Outside of story mode, there are a few others where you can fight one on one to test your skills and earn some unlockables. Other said unlockables can be bought in the in-game store
Ultimately the battle system feels clunky. For a game which prides itself with a colorful (and somehow boring) cast it is basically the same girl with a different hairstyle and swimsuit, it's as if Tamsoft was bent on sinking the entire budget into the breast engine, not to be outdone by Team Ninja and their DOA beach volleyball series. That said, they did do a decent job making each girl seem different in fighting style, so there is a bit of variety there. But, so many times while in the middle of a fight, I would combo a group of enemies. I could not figure out why, but sometimes I would freeze up and be stuck in some pose, likely the game waiting for the correct button press to continue. But this almost always ended up with my getting pummelled to the ground. Fighting left me very unfulfilled, hits don't feel like they really connect, or when they do, they really send the enemy flying, and you didn't do anything all that strong. The battlefields are really boring, nothing to much fun to look at for the duration of the fight.
I guess I am just wishing there was more to this game than breasts.
+ Jiggly boobs. Everywhere.
+ Possible beginnings of a decent anime story, but lost in...boobs.
+ Lots of accessories to dress up your girls in
- Slow cumbersome combat.
- Same-y feeling combat.
- Painful dialogue explained in portrait-ville
- Boring environments
Of course its eye catching... at first. Once you sweep the boobs aside, the environments and enemy design is boring and repetitive. Luckily there are tons of collectables and the ability to customize your girls like you want. You can tell this is where the real focus is.
It's like eating a mouthful of sand. Dynasty Warriors games are a dime a dozen, so a clone needs to excel at something. This one chose the unfortunate aesthetic choice of oversized bouncy bits over gameplay. And it really shows. Combat is fast, but certain combo chains leave you wide open wondering why you can't react. Missions give you the feeling of "Is this over yet?" rather than "I can't wait to fight another wave!"
There is certainly plenty to do. Lots of battles, things to collect and unlock, modes to complete, and girls to dress. This should keep you entertained long after you finish the story.
out of 10
(not an average)
Look. My guess is that if you already like this series, you know why you are here. But if you aren't you are in for a very shallow, fan servicey, Dynasty Warriors clone.