Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is a frolicing good time – Review
By Zoe Howard On 4 Feb, 2018 At 05:59 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

 

Come one, come all… to the Peach Beach Splash! Your favorite scantily clad samurai-in-training are back and changing things up in a way that most probably wouldn’t have seen coming. They put down their weapons and pick up squirt guns! If you are up for the ridiculous, then strap in for a ride that will leave you smiling til the very end.

A mystery man has gathered the samurai schools together for a new challenge; a challenge none of them are prepared for. They must drop their usual weapons and take up squirt guns, knocking out team after team until only one remains. While it would be easy to say the story is your usual fanfare of a Senran Kagura game, it’s the delivery that makes this series work. Instead of the usual switching between teams per level, the game lets you pick which team you wish to play as and run through their levels before moving on to the next team. While this does help keep you focused on which group you are playing with, it also makes following the story as a whole a little more difficult since you essentially start the story over with each group. Still, I enjoyed the story from beginning to end with its quirky anime style that is so over the top you can’t help but laugh and play on.

If you are easily offended by women placed in scantily clad outfits and acting in a suggestive manner, then I highly recommend you think twice about proceeding.  This game is not for you. For those that are still reading, I am starting off with one of my biggest visual grievances. That is, the design of the challenger’s attire. Everyone in the game starts off by wearing just a plain white bikini. The uniqueness of their attire from the previous game is gone unless you unlock and purchase in-game clothes. considering this is a third person shooter, this makes telling the characters apart mid battle torturous at best. It did help that you could at least change the color of their bikinis.

There are plenty of guns to choose from with varied styles of gameplay. I love the fact they included a sniper water gun (why isn’t this a real thing?)! Each gun is upgradable with the in-game trading cards you collect. Any doubles you acquire can be used to upgrade any of your stats ranging from the weapon power to the cards bonuses themselves. The cards are used to give you in-game bonuses which can come in handy in a pinch. Activating some cards can increase your water supply or reduce enemy damage for a short time. You only need one copy of each card for everyone to use as they are shared. Each character also has their own deck to use from in the game. This lets you tailor your experience between characters. One person can be set as a sniper with high defense, while another could be set to tank the round with extra weapon power.

The levels are well-designed and range from closed quarters for more chaotic and in-the-moment gunning to large arenas that allow you to hide and form strategies. Each area is unique and fun to look at (when you can). More often than not, that quick glance you get to see when the stage starts, will be the only moment you have to take in the level. I did notice that in a few levels (mostly the stage area) you’ll have issues with getting caught on corners of objects. This was at its worse when you go near the railing surrounding the stage itself. There is also some random slowdown that seems to happen for no reason. Luckily enough it happened so little it was easily ignored after it happened.

I feel I need to take a moment and talk about the card system in the game. The first of each card you get is kept in your library to be used to power up the characters. Every double after that is scrapped to use for adding experience and upgrading your characters, guns, and power up cards. Though a little awkward at first, I was able to pick up the system pretty fast. You get the packs of cards by beating levels and purchasing them in the shop (using in-game currency). You can also buy the packs using real money in the Playstation Store. Upgrading past a certain point (and to be honest multiple characters) can be a bit of a chore due to how many cards are needed with each level increase. I turned my focus solely on one gun I liked the most. This made it a lot easier than trying to upgrade multiple guns.

The cards vary in type ranging from common (usually the gun cards) to ultra rare. The rarity of the card dictates how much experience you get from them. The problem with this is I never got doubles of the few rare cards I did get. This left my upgrade ability very slim. This is made even more annoying when you realize you can only get rare cards by playing the higher difficulties. Difficulties which are quite steep in difference, meaning you will need the experience to even play the higher difficulties.

Let’s talk about the game’s difficulty rating. You can change it before each level. This is a really good feature considering I recommend starting the game on three stars (highest difficulty). The routine was often the same for me. I would spend the first five levels on highest difficulty then drop it to two stars then either stay there or drop to one star for the boss fight. This was a great way to build up experience and allows you to go back later stronger and better equipped. The game defaults at one star which I don’t recommend playing if you are an experienced third person shooter player. You will breeze through the game with no effort at all.

I think one of my disappointments about the game was that there is pretty much no one playing the online multiplayer. The few online rounds I was able to get into were so much fun. I really didn’t expect it to be but it was. The fluid controls are incredible responsive making any death in story or multiplayer the fault of the player themselves. it is really a shame that the adult nature of the game is going to keep many players away.

This is where I have to discuss the worst parts of the game. My experience with previous Senran Kagura games is limited to Estival Versus and the 3DS beat-em up. Fan service is nothing new to the series. There is nothing wrong with that if the core itself is strong. In the game, you get the chance to do a final attack on your opponents by spraying them with a rubber ducky squirt gun. You can aim at one of three spots on them; their face, their breasts, and their bottoms. If you chose their chest or bottom, then that bikini piece will fall off after you are done shooting them. In a way this feels like the only place they could have gone after Estival Versus, ripping apart their clothing the more you damage them. I just wish they would have kept this more comical than innocent (a term I use loosely here). It would have been much better to have the character laughing or something when this happens instead of looking like they are scared. For those looking for a cheap thrill I say calm down. They censor the actual nudity.

There is a mode in the game called intimacy. Considering the game prides itself on its perviness, this mode scared me a little knowing what it was. Sadly, I was disappointed in finding its nothing but groping and staring at the characters. When you grope them, they make uncomfortable noises and some even say they don’t like it. One even points out how it is sexual harassment, so I think that speaks for itself. I left the mode as quickly as I found it. This game would have survived just fine without this. As it is, it’s just a reminder that the fun exterior of the game hides something a little darker.

With such a dark ending of a review, one might only imagine what I will say regarding recommendation. I wondered the same thing myself; should I let such a nasty part of the game affect what was actually a really fun experience? Objectively, I have to say no.  It is not a core part of the game and is easily ignored. With that being said, I think Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is a well made fun experience that really deserves more attention than it’s gotten. Honestly, I think adult fans of Splatoon or third person shooters in general would love this. Just be warned it has some very questionable content hidden in it.

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