SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash Review – Flatter than Before
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Tamsoft, Honey ∞ Parade Games
Publisher: Marvelous Europe / XSEED Games (NA)
Release: 22nd September 2017
Senran Kagura may be one of the most misleading series I´ve ever played. Solely because no one would expect an actual good game behind those massive boobs, cheap fanservice and absolute stupidity, yet, especially Estival Versus had a great combat system and was fun to play. However, instead of copying the formula once again, SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash isn´t another hack´n slasher. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of this crazy series, the girls of Senran Kagura were stripped into tight bikinis, equipped with waterguns and placed in a third person shooter.
As in every other game so far, the shinobi girls of the different schools need to participate in yet another comeptition. This time, the so caled Peach Beach Splash-festival. A water shooting paradise, which grants the winner 1 wish. Naturally, the various girls don´t hesitate long, get into their bikinis and begin wetting their opponents with various water guns or even shoot the others naked.
In contrast, SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash doesn´t tell one big storyline in its campaign anymore. Basically, every school has their own little campaign. Since there are 4 schools, there are 4 campaigns with 10 missions each, lasting around 2-3 hours per campaign. Between every match the game throws some little dialogue/cutscene story segments into the mix. Unfortunately, none of them tell anything new, captivating or good, they´re just everyday dialogues between cliché-y girls.
Some of them ma ytackle things like graduation fear but nothing stays long enough to have any impact or is thematised way too shortly to have an effect. Where Estival Versus at least had a somewhat unique story and some good ideas, Peach Beach Splash forgot nearly everything except the clichés. I certainly didn´t enjoy the story not even near as much as in the previous games but due to the fact, that these segments are so short, that´s more of a personal flaw. Still, I don´t get why the story was so downgraded, it never was that bad.
This simplification can also be observed in the gameplay, which I always saw as Senran Kagura´s biggest strength. While it never was quite challenging, there was a certain layer of deepness to be found behind the boobs. A Third Person Shooter on the other hand doesn´t quite offer such surprises. The detour of the franchise may be refreshing but ends up as a shortcoming in a lot of ways.
SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash is a simple, easy to learn Shooter, in many ways. Offering auto- or manual-aim, auto is much better though, the only thing asked of the player is to shoot. Bullets are replaced with water, that needs to be refilled, rather than reloaded, removing magazines completely. Yet because of the dash and jetpack the whole gameplay feels very fast, depending on the selected weapon the movements may even be faster. Abilities are also removed, replaced by upgradable and exchangeable cards, inherting different buffs or attacks. Additionally, once we shot an opponent boss girl on the ground, we can shoot one of her bikini parts off, showing some censored booby action.
All in all, nothing too spectacular or hard, quite fitting for the easy to pick up character of Peach Beach Splash. Unfortunately, personally I got bored after some hours with it … or too used to it. To offer some sort of change, SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash added a whole bunch of different weapons, each with their own speed and downsides. The heavy gatling gun is strong but the girl will be slow and easy to target. In combination with the option to collect and equip new cards or even enhance them, the various weapons or girls. On this way, SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash can offer a huge array of customization and upgrade options without reinventing the Shooter.
To spice the battles against other shinobis or trash mobs up, SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash features a giant end boss at the end of each campaign. Most of them are really fitting for the overall silly style and got a laugh out of me when they first appeared. Sadly, none of them is a real challenge, going down in almost a minute per fight, lacking any kind of significant damage. There´s simply nothing thrilling about them.
On the other hand, the rest everyone loves about the franchise stayed nearly the same. I´m talking about the clothes of course. Naturally it´s still possible to dress the different characters in dozens of outfits. From the regular uniforms of other games to new bikinis, there´s everything here. The only downside would be, that as soon as a character goes on the ground, their attire changes to a regular bikini again, so it can be shot off them.
Nonetheless, it´s still an extensive and great feature, especially since the graphics got a little upgrade once again. SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash looks pretty good, at least better than Estival Versus. I found the textures and girls a bit more detailed and the water shooting looks pretty damn cool actually. There are some frame drops though if too many abilities are used at the same time or too many girls on-screen. I also couldn´t determine on which fps its running but 30 seem the most likely. Otherwise, the look, artstyle and music pretty much stayed at the same level.
For the 5th anniversary, SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash’s little detour into the third person shooter genre is certainly interesting. While it never offers the deepness known from the other games, it´s still a very fun game. Easy to learn and execute, the fast shooter gameplay is surprisingly solid. The extensive customization options are amazing too. Unfortunately, the pretty short and lackluster campaign, even for a Senran Kagura game, is kind of a big letdown, as well as the bosses. Still, for mutliplayer or silly shooter fans in general, SENRAN KAGURA Peach Beach Splash is a great game and the way to go.
[A Review Code was provided by Marvelous Europe]