Top Critic Average
Developer: Marvelous Games
I had fun with Senran Kagura Estival Versus. The beat-em-up combo system is just as enjoyable today as it was in the first game, and there is something quite rewarding about studying the move sets of the new characters and also throwing them into a sexy diorama to "study" something else about them. I wouldn't say its the best entry in the series with the excessive use of the break mechanic and the story does the game no favors, but the combination of flashy action and fan-service kept me satisfied throughout.
Senran Kagura as a series is something of a guilty pleasure for me, faults and confusion and all. At first glance… like the cover... it's a bunch of overly-exaggerated anime girls on a beach in skimpy outfits. A mission or two in, and it's overly-exaggerated anime ninjas on a beach in a contest to strip each other's clothes off. But eventually it reaches a story that's deeper than one expects from this kind of experience… then throws the mind back into the gutter for a bit. Because boobs, amirite?
As a 3D action game, Estival Versus manages to tick most boxes, but it fails to deliver anything which could be labelled as ground-breaking. While in no way poor or unenjoyable, it does little to put this franchise on the map. Still, for fans of previous entries, there's plenty of meat on the bone, bundled together in a respectably polished brawler.
While the gameplay in Senran Kagura: Estival Versus can grow repetitive after awhile, the series' signature humor is present while new features like the bombshells and creative finishers help to shake it up just enough to make the game feel like a natural progression and what the series should strive to be moving forward.
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