Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus is one of those games that would be on Fox News if it came out in America. I can hear it now, “This game lets you beat up school girls and rip their clothes off! It’s more liberal than Obama’s socialist agenda!” It’s shameless, perverted, voyeuristic, and my new guilty pleasure.
Title: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus
Genre: Hack & Slash/Fighting
Platforms: PS Vita
Rating: CERO: D
Release Date: February 28, 2013
- Girls Gone Wild – There are 20 girls, 5 from each school, and each one feels unique (thanks to their weapons. moves, and specials). Some are fast, while others deal huge amounts of damage. They’re nicely balanced, though. I never felt like any of them were over/under powered.
- Hack and Slash – You’re dropped in to a small arena and you must defeat waves of enemies. Once you’re done with the minions the stage boss (one of the other girls) will show up. The combat is enjoyable, but most of your time will be spent pressing square, transforming, launching flashy special attacks, shopping, and watching your foe’s clothes disappear.
- Missions For Days – Each girl has a set of story and academy missions. There are around two hundred in total. If you get stuck you can go back and play old missions to level up. Each is around five minutes long so they’re perfect for quick pick up and play sessions.
- (Un)Dress For Success – You earn money from missions and you can use it to buy clothes, underwear, school uniforms, ninja outfits, and a few multimedia goodies like music and pictures of the girls. The character customization is deep. There are hundreds of items and they carry over to the cutscenes. Sadly, that new outfit won’t be new for long. Once the other girls see it they’ll get jealous, and tear it to streds.
- Like Power Stone, But Perverted – The multiplayer is like Power Stone with flying panties and strip battles. It’s fun, fast, silly, and you can play against bots or strange Japanese men. You may have to play against the former, though. While you can play the game on any PS Vita the multiplayer requires a Japanese PSN account (thanks to the online pass). This will only be a problem if you import a hard copy and don’t want to switch over to a Japanese account.
- Visually Pleasing – Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m talking about the graphics. The cel-shading is sharp, colorful, and the game appears to be running at the PS Vita’s native resolution. This is always a plus because most of its games are below 960×544.
- (Not) Turning Japanese – You’ll need a guide to navigate the menus. Everything is in Japanese. But even after learning your way around the menus you still won’t understand the girls’ stories. It’s a shame because there’s tons of spoken dialogue and some of their stories look interesting.
- Public Indecency– Warning – don’t play this in public!
- All Right, All Right, Slow Down – The game slows down when the action gets too intense. This happens often, but the frame rate usually bounces back.
- Lock On – You tap the PS Vita’s touchscreen to lock on to a nearby enemy. It’s awkward and breaks the flow of combat.
- I’m Ashamed – Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus will make you feel like a pervert. Seriously – there’s a panty lottery! And it’s actually addicting. You’ll spend hours gambling for the perfect pair of panties. See, that sounded really creepy.
- Been There, Done That – Sure, there are hundreds of missions and each girl feels unique, but you’re essentially doing the same thing ad nauseam. Spam square a thousand times, transform, kill waves of enemies, fight boss, and repeat. There are some timed missions, but they barely break up the repetition.
Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus is a good hack and slash game once you get past the fanservice. Now, I would say, “wait for the English version”, but let’s be honest — this is never coming stateside. It’s import or nothing, and while I enjoyed it — I can’t tell you if it’s worth $72. You’ll have to make that call for yourself. It’s good, but you’re paying almost double for something that you won’t be able to fully experience thanks to the language barrier.
Now, where are my pants?
Replay Value: 7.5
Very Good – This game flirts with greatness, but ultimately falls short. Still it’s highly entertaining and worth a look.