Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! - Full Course (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 14.11.2016 1

Review for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! - Full Course on PC

The Super Dish is more than just a meal. It's the embodiment of hopes and dreams, the fire that lights the way to destiny, the air that breathes life into the planet, and… okay, maybe it is just a meal. Still, only meals of this calibre can satisfy ninja masters. One of these masters, a perverted old man by the name of Hanzo, has announced the Super Dish Gourmet Cook Off. In the hopes of attracting talent from all over Japan, he's offering a wish-granting ninja scroll as the prize. In Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit!, gamers everywhere will compete in busty hyper cooking battles.

For the unaware, the Senran Kagura franchise follows the exploits of four rival ninja schools. Almost all of the Kunoichis-in-training have two things in common: puberty was inordinately kind to them and their clothes rarely survive a fight. As unapologetic as it is crass, this franchise takes great enjoyment in seeing lovely young ladies bouncing to and fro. Needless to say, the games aren't for everyone, but they have a certain irresistible appeal. It also helps that the characters are well-de…written, and their storylines tend to be really interesting. One shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves reading just as much as they're ogling.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! - Full Course on PC

Anyway, the story in Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! is mostly a farce, an excuse to get everyone together to cook some Super Dishes. Nevertheless, it's still worth checking out story mode, as all of the ladies have their own reasons for entering the contest. In this mode, there are five stages, each of them a one-on-one cooking battle. Crafting a legendary meal is all a matter of rhythm. It's up to the player to time their button presses with the icons that pass along the bottom of the screen. It doesn't take long to grasp how the controls work, but the challenge is in keeping up, while not making any mistakes.

It's really very simple. After hitting a certain number of icons, the player can press one of the triggers to unleash the ninja art, which boosts the score dramatically, as long as icons aren't missed. Mistakes tend to be very costly, though, since it means losing the rhythm. On the harder settings, this can result in a string of misses, and failure is never far behind. After a long enough period of time, muscle memory will start to take shape, and things just start falling into place afterwards. Still, this requires patience and significantly dexterous fingers. It's overwhelming, but everyone is free to stick to the easy difficulty, so they can focus on the storyline, while enjoying the sights.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! - Full Course on PC

The arcade mode is divided into six stages, and the final score is uploaded to the online leaderboards. Unfortunately, the difficulty can be a little unbalanced. Rin and Daidouji are considered the bosses of this game, so their songs are especially difficult. It's arguable that the jump in challenge is just a little too high, and it can get frustrating being stuck on the same song for a long time. On the bright side, mastering the toughest songs makes everything else just that much easier. In the story mode, sometimes a boss will show up early on, which is pretty annoying. At least there's a free mode, which offers players a chance to practice the songs that are giving them the most trouble.

The one complaint that can be made is that there simply isn't enough music. For a rhythm game, twenty-two tracks is a little on the slim side. It's also not uncommon to face the same opponents repeatedly. Having two songs for every character would have been nice, especially if there was an option to switch between them. Perhaps one song could be more difficult than the other, which could hopefully address the "It's too hard!" issue that crops up from time to time.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! - Full Course on PC

There is an exuberance to this game and its happenings that's hard to ignore. Hanzo loves his food, and every Super Dish he eats results in awesomely absurd cut-scenes. The stories are sometimes cute, other times weird, but almost always funny. The lines these ladies utter tend to be equal parts silly and hilarious. This game embraces its shamelessness like no other. As with previous entries, there are tons of clothes, accessories, and lingerie to unlock. Playing dress-up (or dress-down) is an amusing time-waster. There's even a selection of commands for grabbing, poking, pinching, and… Maybe the developer went a little overboard here. Then again, considering that there are scenes of the kunoichi done up to look like the lewdest dessert, maybe the idea was to go as far overboard as humanly possible.

As for the PC port, it's fantastic. The frame rate is 60 fps, which is a significant improvement over the PlayStation Vita version. Depending on the type of controller that's plugged in, the PlayStation or Xbox 360 button prompts will appear. Keyboard-only users aren't left out, either, because the game can be controlled with WASD and the arrow keys. While the higher resolution causes the low-res textures to be more noticeable, it's a fair trade-off. Overall, the visuals are really sharp. The load times are fast, as well. Since every cake needs its icing, proverbial or otherwise, all of the customisation DLC is included.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! - Full Course on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! is what happens when scantily-clad ninjas face off to see who's the greatest chef. Whenever the lecherous judge yells, "Delicious!" clothes spontaneously combust. That's pretty much the extent of it. Not everyone is going to be thrilled by such a concept, and some might be entirely put off by it. On the other hand, this product has a je ne sais quoi that's oddly admirable. Even when faced with all of this flesh, players are liable to find themselves laughing more than anything else. Everything is just so blatant and extreme that it becomes commonplace, so one can't help but roll with the punches. Maybe it's just easier to defend a premise when it results in quite a good game.

Developer

Meteorise

Publisher

XSEED Games

Genre

Rhythm

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

Comments

I wasn't impressed with this on Vita. It was split up into two halves of a game, meaning you paid for 10 songs in the base game and had to buy the other 10 in the other half, which was ridiculous. But the 10 songs in the first half were really poor standard, not really catchy at all. Maybe the other songs are pretty good? Still, even in this PC release including all DLC, I think 20+ songs is very weak for a rhythm game.

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