Senran Kagura Peach Ball (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Gabriel Jones 09.07.2019

Review for Senran Kagura Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch

Haruka, renegade ninja and mad scientist, has taken on a part-time job at the local arcade. During her breaks, she practices chemistry in the restroom. Her latest breakthrough is 'Beastall,' which turns people into furry critters. At first, they change into a sort of human and beast hybrid, like Felicia from the Darkstalkers series. Before long, they become full-blown animals. Predictably, things go sideways when one of the patrons mistakes the concoction for hand soap. In order to prevent complete global saturation, Haruka has devised the 'Peach Ball.' With enough vibrational force, it produces a humanity-restoring mist. The only way to achieve the necessary force is with… a pinball machine.

Much like a number of other games in the franchise, Senran Kagura Peach Ball is a paper-thin excuse to get buxom ninjas into (and out of) tiny outfits. This time around, the theme is Pinball. Imagine racking up scores while staring at racks. If that doesn't sound in any way appealing, then it might be time to stop reading this review, because this is only going downhill from here. Undoubtedly, there's an audience who, in their pursuit of classic pinball action, can look past the blatant fanservice. Will they be satisfied with what they'll find in this product? Not likely. Tamsoft has devised its own spin on the genre, and created something that's both absurd and perverted. It's also mildly entertaining - for a little while.

Upon starting a new game, players are bound to notice the elephant in the room, or rather the demi-human on the pinball table. Their task is to help the young lady recover from her beastly transformation. How this is accomplished is through a mildly complex series of 'Peach Missions' and 'Sexy Challenges.' Peach Missions generally consist of simple tasks such as hitting targets and meeting score thresholds. Once completed, they award peach points, which go towards unlocking the Sexy Challenges. These special missions involve hitting objects repeatedly. Excelling here will result in S ranks, and tons of bonus points. In accordance with the rule of threes, the third and final challenge is 'Super Sexy.' While it's hard to find the "sexy" in paddling breasts with flippers, this seems to be enough to reverse the effects of Beastall, so hurray for that.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch

The Story Mode consists of 25 stages, which are divided between five shinobi. In accordance with other entries, a short dialogue scene introduces the current predicament. Afterwards, the player takes over, doing their best to help the currently afflicted girl, while completing a handful of optional objectives. While they aren't necessary to reach the finishing line, these minor tasks lend a little depth to it all, because knowledge and skill are required to complete them. The Free Mode allows one to choose the table, time of day, and gal. The main task here is to play until all of the pinballs have been exhausted. While this is fine for practice, the more appealing aspect is the possibility of entering a 'Super Secret Sexy Challenge,' which can lead to rare outfits and other goodies.

In order to clear Peach Missions and objectives in rapid succession, one must have a grasp of the scoring system. Naturally, the two selectable pinball tables have all sorts of targets and bumpers to hit. Minions will regularly spawn on the playfield, and will cough up a few points once defeated. Be sure to aim for the Luka-hole, as well. Inside is a friendly dolphin who likes to hand out gifts, including extra balls. Outside of Sexy Challenges, the bulk of the points are going to come from "bopping" the kunoichi. At first, the player can only hit her hands or knees. Through repeated bops or other conditions, she'll end up in a compromising position. This is the opportunity to aim for the chest and receive huge bonuses.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch

Senran Kagura Peach Ball isn't a hard game to figure out. Even with a minimal understanding of Pinball, anyone can jump in and achieve impressive scores. Most are likely to stumble into special events such as FEVER and HUSTLE mode. During HUSTLE, multi-ball is activated, and that's a great time to obtain tons of points. The table can also be nudged, for when you're trying to avoid losing the ball. Interestingly, there is some nuance, when it involves whose sitting on top of the table. For example, bunny-girl Asuka will occasionally kick her legs into the air. A well-timed shot can land the ball behind her, which all but guarantees a huge chain of bops. When Ryona is knocked down, one of her paws will block a ramp, prompting one to attempt a different shot. These little moments of variety keep repetitiveness from setting in too early.

However, there are only two tables to choose from, and the time of day doesn't affect anything. There aren't any online leaderboards either. Furthermore, assist-mode can be toggled on or off. When it's turned on, the player starts with nine balls, as well as bears that prevent side-drains. In other words, unless the ball falls in-between the flippers, it can't be lost. Ball-returns are very easy to come by, so don't expect to get hit with a Game Over screen very often. If all that wasn't enough, there's no penalty for using assist-mode. In short, pinball wizards will quickly discover that there's not enough value in playing for score. Nothing feels earned, so that ginormous number is just a number, and not the culmination of hours of practice.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch

Aside from the story mode, the bulk of the player's time will be spent earning cash to purchase all of the collectibles. As always, these items include clothing and accessories for the dressing room. The diorama mode found in previous Senran Kagura titles is also included, though there are only five characters to model.

Finally, there's the Intimacy mode. As some of you are aware, Sony has been cracking down on entertainment software that features touching mini-games. The previously released Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal was one of them. The developer was forced to delay the PlayStation 4 version, in order to remove the offending content. In all honesty, it was the right decision. Intimacy mode is completely intact here, and basically consists of grabbing and fondling the poor girls. This is just gross.

Screenshot for Senran Kagura Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

True to fashion, Senran Kagura Peach Ball takes a ridiculous concept, and revels in it. As a pinball game, it's not all that complex or rewarding. In order to get the most out of it, the player must also be a fan of the franchise and its penchant for perversion. There's some entertainment in learning the ins and outs of each table. However, with only two to choose from, boredom will set in long before the story is completed. It definitely doesn't help that there's not much of a point in chasing high scores. Online leaderboards and a reasonably challenging level of difficulty would have gone a long way towards improving this product.

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

XSEED Games

Genre

Table Games

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 09.07.2019   North America release date 09.07.2019   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date 09.07.2019   

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