Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Gigantic breasted ninja running around trying to tear one another’s clothes off? Must be time for another installment of Senran Kagura. This time, they’re in their bathing suits most of the time. So how does one attack someone until they’re down to just their bra and panties? Oddly enough, probably a series first, when you transform into your ninja gear, you actually have MORE clothes on than before. Try not to focus on that too much; it may induce nose bleeds.

Where do I begin with this one? Obviously, this is going to be sensitive material to some people out there. This game is not for them. It’s for a much more niche group of people. For some, the scantily clad women with ridiculous proportions will draw them to the game, but for others, it’ll likely be it’s gameplay that brings them in. Estival Versus has a revamped combo system as well as much more fluid gameplay than Shinovi Versus. The shinobi arts are handled in a much better way than the last game. It seems that counters are easier to perform this time around. Perhaps there are more frames to react, but I think it may be that the grunts and noises indicating an attack are louder and the animations are more deliberate. Either way, I was landing counter attacks more consistently this time around.

For the uninitiated, the Senran Kagura Versus games take various factions or schools of ninja and pit them against one another in a hectic 3D beat’em up where you control one of them and must fight your way through dozens of minions before the boss from the rival school shows their face. To do so, you have a weak and strong attack as well as the ability to block and counter. When you feel the time is right, you can transform into your ninja self where your basic moves are powered up and you have two special shinobi arts at your disposal. Using these arts costs scrolls that you earn by beating the crap out of your enemies. They are usually extremely powerful and/or strike multiple enemies at once. Your goal? To beat the shit out of the other girls until their clothes fall off, thereby humiliating them when they’re stripped down to their panties (or less at times).

This game is completely not safe for work or most other social norms as one of the more memorable characters finds being called a stupid bitch or getting punched in the face not only a turn on, but the only way she can get off. She’s supposed to be one of the evil characters, and like the other evil girls, she has an obvious “evil” quirk about her. It’s paper-thin character development, but they make sure to hammer it home. Her sister is probably the most developed character, which is odd since she’s the only “undeveloped” girl in the game. That’s OK though, because when she transforms, her boobs grow to be some of the biggest in the game. I wish I wasn’t making this shit up.

So, I guess there’s a story in here somewhere. It’s about the various shinobi factions all not wanting to do this festival thing that Asuka’s grandmother has brought them to do. Instead, they go off on their own and have panty eating contests and scrub-a-dub bubble bashes. The story is light and picks up right where Shinovi Versus ends. My main gripe with it is that I had to keep switching characters, and I never quite got good with any of them until after it was over. Some of the characters just aren’t my bag, and getting past their story element was a bit frustrating. For fans of the series, there are some small character building moments, but the real draw to the game is the addictive hack and slash goodness.