By: Uma Smith
It appears that the antics and mature material of Senran Kagura are not going to rest. As such, we have another PlayStation Vita title called Senran Kagura Bon Appétit!, offering the same degree of “uniqueness” and fan service. Rather than exchanging attacks with weapons, the female characters will be using the powers of spatulas and other implements of cooking all while dressed in somewhat inappropriate attire. How fitting for women to be subjected to this type of predicament…
Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! will have you pressing specific buttons in tandem with the game’s music in an effort to get your character to prepare various dishes. Specifically, two horizontal tracks near the bottom of the screen will appear with the buttons that need to pressed. Although there isn’t much depth or intuition, the controls are quite responsive, which is vital since timing is of the essence if you want to proceed further in this game.
On the PlayStation Vita screen, Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! appears splendid with its color arrangement and anime-style approach. On the other hand, the visuals don’t pack a whole lot of punch with the limited effects and animations. Furthermore, a significant number of players (particularly the females) could be turned off by all the suggestive “outfits” on these characters.
Although the music is diverse, the resulting audio loses its inspiration quickly. But then again, what would you expect from a Vita title where cooking is the main “dish”?
Here in Senran Kagura Bon Appétit!, the all-female shinobi students from opposing schools are in competition to gain a ninja scroll that grants the winner a wish. In particular, they will have to put their culinary skills to the test to see who will earn that right to receive that prize. As stated earlier, the game plays out like that of a rhythm-based genre where you press buttons in accordance to the beat of the music.
You’ll engage in a battle within each round, which consists of three stages. Between stages, Hanzo, who is the master, will give his evaluation and judge dishes you’ve prepared to determine the winner. As a result, the loser’s clothes will magically disappear with an explosion effect. And if you had a perfect round, your opponent will be completely “clothes-less” and instead have her body covered with chocolate and whipped cream (Editor’s Note: Why didn’t I review this?!?!).
Without being biased, I can see how this could possibly entice male gamers to persist further. At the same time, Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! does get very repetitive and laborious. Other than pressing buttons accordingly, there’s no real challenge or variety whatsoever. To rub salt to wound, the game can seem very confusing with all the figures that make appearances on screen even though they don’t seem to have any relevant purpose whatsoever.
This brings me to the conclusion that the sole purpose here is to offer eye candy rather than quality gameplay. But even so, this type of content can only go so far before it loses its novelty effect. The story behind the characters are kind of weak while the humor really steps beyond the cheesy factor.
Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! is certainly inappropriate for younger audiences, but it’s also unsuitable for almost everyone looking for some fun quality rhythm-based gameplay. However, those who are desperate for additional fan service to bring along with the Vita may have an appreciation for this.