Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! (PS Vita) Review

By Az Elias 11.11.2014

Review for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! on PS Vita

The voluptuous ninja girls of the Senran Kagura series are keen to make their mark on PS Vita of late, and after their beat 'em up antics in Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus, they are back once more to titillate and appease in an unexpected way. Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit puts the girls' cooking skills to the test in a rhythm game that has a lot to do if it wants to match other top titles in the genre. Does it pass the taste test?

Games don't really need a reason to go the rhythmic route. Whether it is a completely original entry in the genre from a developer who has never dabbled in timely tapping and button pressing mechanics before, or a spin-off of an established franchise (such as Theatrhythm Final Fantasy), as long as there are addictive music tracks, it doesn't matter what the subject matter is or what the themes are or who is making it - a rhythm game with good music is a good rhythm game.

Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit falls flat (chested) in this regard. The absolute key ingredient for rhythm titles is to have addictive musical content, but the very small selection of just ten tracks here is of extremely poor standards. Each of the ten characters on offer have their own theme, so playing against a particular character in whichever mode of the game will always play the opponent's tune. There are only a couple of vocal arrangements, and whilst there are the odd one or two reasonably good tracks whose beats might ring in the head after playing, it is very small consolation for what is an overall poor display.

Huh? The story? Come on, nobody's here for that. Butts and boobs, or something. The main Story mode has each girl going through an oddball scenario and taking part in a cooking contest against other shinobi girls, in the hopes of beating each girl to achieve the special Ninja Art scroll that will grant any wish. Katsuragi wants to live in a paradise where she can fondle as many ninja breasts as she likes, Haruka wants to see Hikage dancing naked in front of people, Homura simply wants to eat as much meat as possible… Yeah. Butts and boobs is really all this is about, and that becomes clear during the rhythm battle contests, in which each girl tries to create a dish to appease Master Hanzo, stripping the opponent down to her underwear - and bare skin if performing extremely well.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! on PS Vita

The dressing room returns as in the previous title to allow the dressing up of each girl with unlockable outfits and accessories, and also lets all of the cooking actions be viewed under no pressure, since it is hard to even get a glimpse at what the girls are doing during gameplay. Hanzo's cut-scenes after the end of a battle when he tests the validity of the winning dish are often very amusing, but once all ten have been seen, well, there's not a lot else to see again.

Bon Appétit has basically been split up into two halves of a game. The base game contains ten characters from the Hanzo and Crimson academies, and therefore includes ten songs. For another $15, the girls and songs of the Gessen and Habijo schools are available as a DLC add-on, essentially making the full game $30 if wanting the full package. Even taking the default pack of Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit as it is, though, $15 is still a fair bit of money for what is on offer here. The lacklustre ten songs do not leave a positive impression due to how plain they are, so it really doesn't offer any immediate incentive to go and buy the other half of the game.

Original rhythm games must always start somewhere, but without solid compositions at the forefront, a title like Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit isn't going to cut it. The core of the game is clearly on the wrong aspects. For as much fan service there is, it will only mostly end up being looked at in the dressing room, so that leaves a let-down of a rhythm experience with essentially a separate mode for looking at girls covered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce. If that sounds like it's worth $15, then by all means buy Bon Appétit. For everyone else, there are lots better rhythm games out there, and with Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd around the corner, a safer purchase in the genre is guaranteed on PS Vita very soon.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


Only the diehard Senran Kagura fans with a bit of spare cash to splash in the PlayStation Store need apply to Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit because as far as rhythm games go, just ten bland tunes is not anywhere near enough to satisfy those who can't get enough of the genre, and anyone after a bit more must buy the other half of the game in a separate add-on. Unfortunately, Bon Appétit does very little to provide any lasting appeal and has certainly missed an opportunity to reel in rhythmic enthusiasts.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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