As much as I find Senran Kagura to be my favorite guilty pleasure series, this one I found myself actively disliking it from the get-go. The gameplay design is certainly fun when you get the hang of it, but everything around it is just badly designed and just makes it not fun to play. As someone that’s for developers wanting to branch out and do other things, this is one of the few times where sticking to the status qua might have been a good idea.
In the end, as much I enjoy this game it feels too safe to a point where it almost feels manufactured and everything could almost be expected. It certainly plays to all of the original’s strengths which is cool, but at the same time it doesn’t do anything different outside of adding sub-areas and more interesting bosses.
Overall, if the game wasn’t so talkative when going from dungeon to dungeon and if the character designs were a bit better, I’d honestly have a better time. More so if the game didn’t make me feel like I was only going from story beat to story beat to story beat every time I beat a dungeon it would have made it a bit more enjoyable. This isn’t to say that the game is even remotely bad however as the dungeon crawling itself is a ton of fun here. While I do wish I could see the turn order in battles, it’s really no big deal. The fact that what moves my teammates will learn and when they’ll learn them is a pretty big plus in my eyes.
Considering SEGA meant for this entry to be a reboot for the franchise, this overall is a pretty mixed bag. The lore and overall storytelling they have in place is good. It’s just that they need more interesting characters.How the soundtrack is implemented into the gameplay is a really nice though. Hopefully by the time we get the next entry, some if not all of the kinks will be ironed out.
When all is said and done, this visual novel is absolutely incredible through and through. Again, having no VA on a console VN is a shame, but the game is just fine without it. The camera work is superb while admittingly the amount of motion blur in some shots are definitely a bit much in some situations. But other than that, I can’t give any praise higher to a work like this. The use of Live Action truly elevated what would be considered just another good visual novel. Everything here is just spectacular.
Ultimately speaking, my feelings for Coven can’t really be summed up by a simple like or love. It’s something more akin to respect. Despite everything being needlessly complex, it’s done in a way to make the game much more enjoyable rather than bogging it down.While I don’t necessarily like all of the decisions made in the game, if NIS decides to make another I’ll be one of the first to pick it up.
Senran Kagura without its iconic action just doesn’t work. Peach Beach Splash mechanics weren’t fun and in Reflexions, there’s just no content and the fun wears off after the first half-hour. Maybe PeachBall will be good since you can’t make a bad Pinball game, but otherwise, wait for Re:Burst.
Overall, I had a really good time coming back to the series after the last entry left such a bad taste in my mouth. One might even say, my faith has been Re:Newed. Outside of some technical issues that can easily be patched out, it felt good going back to the start of the franchise with a couple gameplay tweaks. If this is meant to be a preview for how 7Even goes, I can’t wait.
The game as a whole is still great. If you’re like me and have played the original release but missed out on the PC release and need a refresher for what’s to come this fall by all means, transfer your PS3/Vita save right over for some extra bonuses. If you’re new to the franchise, this is a great place to start.