Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus (PC) Review

Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus (PC) Review

The first time I heard of the Senran Kagura series and its jiggle physics I said ok, this review will be a hit or miss. For those that are unfamiliar, the Senran Kagura series has games available on the PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, and PC, ranging from fighting games to cooking games - think cooking mama but with an ecchi spin. From those titles we now get Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus from XSEED for PC originally for the PS Vita it now is available for the PC and is the third game in the series.

The story of this particular game revolves around three secret ninja factions: The Hanzo National Academy, the Hebijo Clandestine Girls Academy, and the Gessen Girls Academy. Each has their own background for continuing the tradition of being a ninja academy. Each character in each academy has their own reason for being ninjas. In this world, ninjas can be classified as either good or bad, the good ninjas work to help the established government and the bad ninjas work as mercenaries for any company. The ninja academies compete in what they call the Shinobi Battle Royale in which each academy calls out to another in a duel and battle each other until the other group is defeated and they win the right to burn the loser’s academy to the ground. This is the main premise of Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus.

On the PC version, there is the option of using a keyboard or a gamepad. I decided to use the keyboard and see how it would handle. After a few matches, I found myself reaching for my gamepad because I could not stand the keyboard any longer. The keys were spread out and while the keys can be customized, I found it to be too much work. Once I switched to a gamepad, I had a much easier time playing. The game modes available are arcade, story mode or online matches (2v2, 4v4). There is also a store where you can buy, you guessed it, costumes ranging from skimpy outfits to sexy lingerie for the characters along with music tracks and various eye-candy accessories. In the arcade mode, you discover the reason the academy you picked has for being a ninja academy. The story mode however, goes through each individual character’s story and their reasons for becoming a ninja. Even the cut scenes in story mode play more like a visual novel that revolves around the characters.

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Now let’s get to the jiggle physics of the game which is why everyone is here for. Compared to other Senran Kagura titles, the sexiness available in this game is rather tame. Yes, the characters lose some clothing as they take damage and there is dialogue about groping various body parts. However, most dialogue with mature content remain relatively tame and sometimes even comical. For example, as a character’s clothes and undergarments begin to disintegrate she is left with band aids, yep you read that right, you get bandages covering the vital parts. So you never see anymore than that you would in an episode of any fan service anime. Once you get over that aspect of the game it plays like a normal beat em’ ups fighting game. As you progress, you unlock more of the story; a good story. Each character has their own story to tell and you do get invested in the characters not due to their lack of clothes but because of their strong and captivating back-story. That, and having five characters per academy to play as, and having them crossover to other characters from other academies will make you want to jump from academy to academy to find out more of their story. Also just so you know that there are more than fifteen characters, but don't tell anyone or the shinobi girls will come after me.

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In terms of game play, I found it a bit confusing with the character only having one normal attack and one strong attack. The game stated that you need to chain the attacks to make combos. This lead me to look at the movement chart, and after implementing it, I felt as if I was just button smashing until I won. Since the game revolves around being able to recover after an attack, I tried to play it like any other fighting game by blocking, but it was just easier to dodge incoming attacks. With this, I found a problem with the camera tracking as it doesn't really like to cooperate when evading, and as a result, it leads you into corners or worse, more enemies as you are moving. As with most beat em’ ups, combos are crucial to successful leveling and gameplay. In this game, I found linking combos was almost impossible because most combo actions were level locked, but also, the frequent interruption of a cut scene with your girls’ clothing disintegrating prevented you from doing so. When your opponent changes into their shinobi form you get a cut scene and when she does a shinobi attack (super attack) you get another cut scene. Even if you have the controls down and don't mind the cut scene interruptions, you will notice that the moves get repetitive which becomes boring to say the least. After a while, I felt as if I was just repeating my moves in order to continue the story and unlock the end story of each character. I have mixed feelings about the online multiplayer mode. Since the matches are randomized, you may be paired up with higher level players and that may leave you less than prepared. It would be nice to have different levels of difficulty for the multiplayer mode.

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Overall, I found Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus an enjoyable game, not necessarily for the sexiness of the game, but the captivating story and the motivation from learning about each character. The actual combat of the game was lacking because of the repetitiveness, but if action beat em’ ups are your thing, then this game might be right up your alley. The interruption of combos from the cut scenes of the opponents changing between ninja mode, ninja super, or taking damage was distracting along with the camera tracking working against you. The story mode of each character was the best since it had that element of a visual novel which I really enjoyed. Along with the solid story and over 15 characters to choose from, I am sure that once you play it you will look pass the label this series has as a stereotypical fan service game.

The O rating C


Pros: 

-Opening movie plays as an anime opening

-Story mode play as a visual novel

-Each character has their own background story to unlock

-Cute characters with their clothes being taken off due to damage (not fully exposed)

-Up to 20 playable characters 

-Online Multiplayer matches

Cons: 

-Not Keyboard friendly so use a gamepad

-Cut scenes interrupt combo flow

-After a while you feel that you are just button smashing 

-Cute characters with their clothes being taken off due to damage (not fully exposed) 

-Camera tracking needs work

Last modified on Monday, 10 April 2017 09:39