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SciTech

Game Review: ‘Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus’ fails to bounce beyond fanservice




 
To be perfectly honest, "Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus" is a straightforward fighting game that features a whole lot of fanservice right off the bat.
 
However, fanservice aside, Senran Kagura's strongest point really is its excellently-rendered graphics and character designs.
 
Almost all the game's visuals, from character design to animation, is eye candy. The only thing that mars the game's visuals is probably the flawed-looking character shadows.
 
Storytelling
 
Senran Kagura's story basically revolves around three ninja schools and a renegade ninja squad with five elite members each making for a total of twenty characters.
 
Each group's story interacts with the plot of the other three parties. Playing all four stories was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me as I felt that there were both solid and weak stories.
 
Overall, the story was average with the exception of some chapters that shed light on interesting and dramatic flashbacks paired with great Japanese voice acting. 
 
Excellent voiceover work was also done on all twenty characters giving their already distinct personalities a more unique twist.
 
Saggy gameplay
 
Sadly, Senran Kagura's strengths failed to lift its lackluster beat-'em-up style gameplay which feels extremely confined.
 
To be fair, the first couple of hours of pounding and ripping through opponents was fun but the excitement didn't last as long as I expected it to.
 
This was due to the many problems plaguing the game's combat department, including bad camera angles and small stages.
 
The bad camera angles are mainly encountered when trying to reposition your character to a more favorable spot which hugely affects your gaming experience.
 
Pair this up with small stages and you will often find yourself battling with the boss, the mob and control over the camera angle—which shouldn't be a problem in the first place.

Mundane bosses
 
Another major flaw is that there is little to no variation with enemies. There are roughly less than ten enemy types and they usually have the same set of mechanical moves.
 
Beating bosses also quickly becomes a mundane routine, especially since you could always expect to face other shinobi girls from the main cast. 
 
It would have helped if a little variety was introduced like adding different bosses such as giant girls or mecha that would have made the fights much more interesting.
 
But the biggest letdown was Senran Kagura's combat system as a whole. The combos were fun to do at first but were a tad bit too repetitive and had less engaging impact every time you performed them.
 
One of the few saving graces within gameplay was probably the dress-'em-up mini game where you could buy new clothes and accessories for your characters. 
 
Another plus would be the multiplayer mode where up to four players can battle it out in a no-holds-barred fight in three game modes.
 
The verdict: 7.5/10 [average]
 
Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus is a fun fighting game focusing on beat-'em-up elements with tons of fanservice coupled with gorgeous graphics to boot.
 
The game however suffers from a swamp of issues in its gameplay, particularly the combat department where bad camera angles, little enemy variation and a disappointingly dry combo system leaves much to be desired.
 
 
Pros:
+ Gorgeous graphics
+ Cute characters
 
Cons: 
- Bad camera angles
- Little to no enemy variation
- Non-engaging combat system
 
 
— TJD, GMA News
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