Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Developers: Honey ∞ Parade Games
Publisher: Marvelous Europe (EU) / XSEED Games (NA)
Release: 13th September 2018
Sometimes there are those games, no one really knows why they exist but no one can really hate them. At least that´s the case with me and Senran Kagura Reflexions, the Switch exclusive Senran Kagura title where you can … get “close” with several of the girls. Making full use of both the franchise love for boobs and the Switch´s motion controls, there´s nothing quite like this one.
Basically, Senran Kagura Reflexions focuses on Shinobi Asuka who summoned us, the protagonist, into the classroom to tell you something. However, first, you have to help her relax, by massaging her hands and unlocking several different scenarios. Naturally, there are also other girls of the franchise available, with their own little background story and scenarios, though for the 10 dollar base price you only get Asuka, with additional ones as DLC.
Those “Reflexology” titled massages are obviously the very core of the game and every character brings seven scenarios where you can perform them. Every level is divided into two parts: First you control two hands and have to touch Asuka in certain places to get her in the mood. Depending on the spot, it´s possible to reach different ones, indicated through colour, which contributes to your overall progress. It´s pretty much just hammering the two shoulder buttons once you found the right spot for 1-2 minutes until she´s ready for the final phase.
There, the true magic happens, that was showcased so often during trailers and more: Prime Reflexology. Chose one of the different tools, like hands or a brush, and get massage the girl until she´s happy, by shaking, brushing or tilting your Joy-Cons in the perfect speed for a few seconds. Naturally, the whole thing happens in a close-up of your typical lewd poses, to fully showcase Asuka, while she´s constantly moaning due to the relaxation the Reflexology brings upon her. Yeah, Senran Kagura Reflexions doesn´t try to hide its main appeal: interacting with the Shinobis in a completely new way, complete with outfits ranging from your typical school uniform to more special stuff. It exists because, well, Senran Kagura was always about fan-service and this one offers just enough gameplay to support the fact it´s nothing else than fan-service.
Still, the gameplay gets pretty repetitive after you toyed with everything and completed your first playthrough, that is the case after around 30-60 minutes. Depending on which of the five moods you mainly reached in the scenarios, the game will reward you with one of five pieces needed to view the true ending, so every character can be completed 5 times before having truly seen everything. However, since there are only seven scenarios and four different techniques, it´s definitely not something you would want to actually finish in one go. Instead, it´s this one little game you start up when you´re stressed or simply bored and can have some fun with.
Though there´s a surprising amount of extra content for people into the diorama mode or dressing Asuka (or one of the DLC girls). Every time you complete a level for the first time, you´ll get the outfits and even a big, lewd CG art, if you reached the right mood for this scenario but that´s basically a guessing game and aims to reward multiple playthroughs. Those outfits can then be freely used in different scenarios or to dress up the characters for some diorama screenshots. Pretty much everything you can do in a normal Senran Kagura game and it´s pretty neat for people into this stuff.
Surprisingly, another one of Senran Kagura Reflexions´s biggest strength is its graphics. Coming in with a whopping 8gb of needed storage space, it surely delivers some pretty impressive anime visuals in exchange. Since the game basically consists of nothing else than the girl´s model and the 2D backgrounds, the Switch´s power can be fully used to render their costumes and curves as detailed as possible. You can clearly see how squishy Asuka´s fingers, thighs, arms and whole body are, simply due to the really great models, I´m not kidding. Honestly, I´m impressed by how well this game looks.
Senran Kagura Reflexions isn´t meant to be taken serious nor played for many hours. Instead, it´s this type of stress-reliever anyone needs from time to time, with enough stuff to keep you busy for some hours if you aim to unlock every ending and scene. For 10 dollars you get some of the squishiest fan-service on the Switch available, on top of a pretty cool Diorama mode!
[A Review Code was provided by Marvelous Europe]