By: Uma Smith
The Japanese surely have an appreciation for the female body. In some cases, that appreciation can turn into a form of obsession. This is evident in the types of games that showcase certain “parts” of the female anatomy, including the recently released Vita title, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus. So, if you’re looking to gain portable access to the bouncy breasts of an all-female cast dressed in suggestive outfits, then this game will probably hold some serious appeal.
Using the square and triangle buttons, you’ll execute combos with ease and finesse. Meanwhile, the circle performs a dash, your left shoulder transforms you into a powerful fighter and the right shoulder gets you to block. For a fighting game like this, the control scheme is pretty decent since there is some depth associated with timing your offensive and defensive commands as well as determining when to unleash your special attacks.
That being said, problems arise because of the frustrating and uncooperative camera angles. Although using the right stick will let you change your views accordingly, it’s really difficult to do this while performing combos using the face buttons at the same time. Luckily, this is remedied simply by tapping the right shoulder to center the camera.
Graphically, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus offers nicely-detailed character models and fluid animations against a flashy and attractive backdrop. Even though the eye candy is specifically geared to provide fan service, the artwork and color scheme do make the overall presentation pleasing and uplifting on the Vita’s OLED screen.
With the soundtrack consisting of rock music, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus creates an insane and dynamic atmosphere. The guitar sounds can be a bit over-the-top, but it works hand in hand with the action displayed.
Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus plays out as a one-on-one fighter where you’re able to travel in all directions within a 3D plane. The action is fast paced, especially with the crazy combos you can execute. You start off by choosing from three ninja schools, which will allow you to select your fighter.
Looking at the character roster, the all-female cast is diverse, with each character having their own fighting style, which can include heavy artillery attacks and traditional swordplay.
Afterwards, you are brought into a hub-like area that gives you the opportunity to perform various activities, including developing your skills, purchasing costumes and accessing missions. Each time you complete your primary objectives, you’ll go further within your school’s plotline. Additionally, there are optional tasks you can take on. In this case, you’ll engage in a brawl against a number of opponents in an arcade-style affair.
The learning curve behind this game isn’t that steep, so it’s easy to pick up and enjoy from the get go. But where the real fun comes about is when you are leveling up your characters’ abilities, which allow you to perform additional combos. When you progress, there are more advanced attack schemes that will keep you addicted and wanting to push further during the gameplay.
While Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus has quite the content to keep players glued to their PlayStation Vitas, the drawback is that the game is focused on male players. To elaborate, there is the lottery mode, in which case the money earned can be spent in the chance to win lingerie. Along with that, there are some imbalances amongst the characters that can really put a damper in the experience.
Consequently, there can be unfair advantages granted to certain fighters, which can be an absolute repellent. And considering that you can play this game online, you’ll find that certain players will have an immediate edge, not on account of their skills, but on the choice of character.
Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus’ portrayal of women will be welcoming to certain demographics of gamers. While it can offer a lot of fun and action-packed madness, the somewhat “mature” subject matter may not be suitable for those that aren’t accepting of such fan service.