Senran Kagura: Estival Versus (PC) Review

By André Eriksson 17.03.2017 4

Review for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus on PC

Senran Kagura has grabbed the attention of many with its openness and pride over its controversial content, with a marketing revolving around a slogan that has reached meme status, "Two good reasons to turn you 3D on." It paid off really well, as it has gained a good number of sequels on many different platforms, five manga series, and an anime. It is a true testament to that honesty in marketing is rewarding, and that any publicity is good publicity. So, join Cubed3, and take a look at its bouncy magnificence!

First of all, let's finish off with the obvious: yes, this is one of "those" games that very few want to be caught playing by their parents or partners, and, yes, it has a lot of focus on very guilty pleasures. If that is a problem, there is probably nothing that can be said about this title that can redeem it, as it is something that is really hard coded into it on a fundamental level in both its gameplay and story.

While this is true, Senran Kagura: Estival Versus offers more than this, as it has two good selling points even for people who care little about the fanservice - the characters and the gameplay. It is very easy to judge a product such as this right of the bat as nothing but one of those that aim towards selling huge and juicy numbers on fanservice alone. While it is certainly one of its biggest marketing tools, it does not show laziness on the other important aspects of a game.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus on PC

The thing that might come as a big shock to those who haven't experienced earlier entries of the franchise is that the characters are not just a couple of walking paper cut-outs, but are actually fully fledged tropes. Normally using the word trope to describe a character is a bad thing, but it works surprisingly well in here, thanks to the big number of characters in the game, and that they often interact with each other in groups during different circumstances. Having too complex and deep characters in a game like this where story segments are often very short, but widely spread out over the game, would have been both confusing and a waste, as there wouldn't really be enough screen-time to focus enough on each character to show more complex personalities.

With that said, not all characters are created equally, and some are better written than others. What is really important in a game about fanservice, though, is that the character's personality itself isn't solely made up of fan service material. Few want to have a handful of shells to project love and affection towards, but do rather enjoy more fulfilling personalities. The situations and interactions between the characters is what should provide the fanservice.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus on PC

Most of them are really made with this in mind, having some just deep enough conflicting desires and personality traits to make them feel alive, while not being heavy enough to slow down the story or darken the mood too much, then there are some characters that are just that obviously pure fanservice. When a character's greatest personality trait is her unending love for sexually harassing the other characters something has really gone wrong, especially in a fanservice focused game.

Its fighting gameplay, focusing on hitting the opponent so much that their clothes tears apart and exposing their bodies to their opponent as well as the player, also follows the same magical formula for a title like this. The gameplay is heavy enough to deviate enough from the fact that this is a fanservice game, and managed to make it an enjoyable experience even for people who are not there solely for the sexiness, or not just feeling frisky at the moment, but not deep enough to make it more than it is. It is not fully without problems, though.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus on PC

One of the biggest problems in Senran Kagura: Estival Versus is that the difficulty of the story mode sometimes feels all over the place. The fighting encounters do not always feel balanced towards the point they are relatively close to each other, and some stages are going to be "that one stage" as it has a really nasty combo of opponents, such as a freezer and a ranged character, which means that any hit has a huge shot at draining a lot of the player's health for just one silly mistake by stunlocking and freezing the player, while the next encounter after this only has three normal melee range characters, having the player do a midrange combo locker or 'nuker.'

Beside some duds of various scale, this is a very solid gameplay experience. The story is pleasant, especially if into fanservice involving yuri of various kinds, and the gameplay has a very solid, yet shallow, foundation. While some characters are more crude and over the top than they really need to be in a game with a story that already allows and highlights perverted interactions between the characters, the variety of character means that there are going to be enough other content to just ignore that and move on to whatever sort of display of affection the player enjoys more. While those who look for a really lewd experience get their fair share of the cake, even someone who isn't too much into in-your-face sexual content, can find something to enjoy in here, as long as they can stand the existence of such content.

…Oh, and boobs. There, the B word! Happy now?

Screenshot for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While Senran Kagura: Estival Versus has some content that will be repellent towards many potential consumers, the game is so honest about it that it would be unfair to hold it against them. Yes, this is a title that focuses mainly on yuri fanservice, but it does it in a sometimes elegant and really nuanced way, offering some really solid gameplay and entertaining enough characters to keep the game entertaining, instead of just offering pure naughtiness.

Developer

Tamsoft

Publisher

XSEED Games

Genre

Brawler

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

If the gameplay is as simplistic as in the previous game... I'll pass.

...even though mr. penis disagrees.

A lot of quotes in the Internet are attributed to the wrong person
                                -Georgios Karaiskakis

It depends on which previous game you are talking about (as there are some right now...). It is very similar to Shinovi Versus if that is the one you are talking about, but it is certainly deeper than the 3DS original. It definitely isn't the game to get for deep and complex gameplay, but what it has is pretty solid in my opinion.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

I don't mind playing sth that's simple... but I can't stand simplistic either. From trailers and reviews I got the same vibe with Shinovi Versus (the PC version) - repetitive and simplistic

Sure, I'm not really the brawler kind of guy, but I don't think this is a "very good" kind of solid brawler, just an "ok" one. Certainly not a bad (or badly made) game, but... meh.

 

A lot of quotes in the Internet are attributed to the wrong person
                                -Georgios Karaiskakis

I would lie if I said that the brawler gameplay alone is worthy of being called "very good", it is indeed solid, yet nothing special. The package as a whole, however, certainly is in my opinion thanks to the mix of the shorter simpler gameplay sections with the lighthearted fanservice filled story segments that really helps to make so that neither part overstays its welcome, but rather mixes up pretty well creating a, to me at least, enjoyable experience that I can easily recommend to people who are a fan of these types of games.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

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