The Senran Kagura franchise first started back in 2011 in Japan and made its way to the US a few years later, each one starring a large cast of busty ninjas from rival shinobi schools. We’ve seen a few different spin-offs in the series, including a rhythm based cooking game, but the latest may be the most over the top of them yet as they have assembled together for Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash.
Senran Kagura may have its roots on portable systems, but Senran Kagura: Estival Versus on PS4 proved how beautiful the anime-like series can look in full HD and Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash takes that to the next level. The beach and water-based settings allow the game to be really colorful and the detail really shows here both in cutscenes and in battle.
Similar to other past Senran Kagura games, Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash has a number of single player options to choose from in what the game calls its Single Splash mode. When you first fire up Single Splash, you will get a prologue that introduces the setup for the game, where the girls from the various shinobi schools have been brought together for what is called the Peach Beach Splash Tournament that has been going on since ancient times. This is where you are introduced to the commentators for the event known as Miss R and Mr. K, who are quite funny to watch.
During this segment, you will be put through a series of tutorials that teach you the ropes of the game, which are pretty simple. Essentially, the overall setup you are used to with modern Senran Kagura games like Senran Kagura: Estival Versus is present here in a third-person combat system, though with weapons like swords being removed in lieu of an array of different water guns. However, the classic weapons are still here in the form of melee attacks as well. The combat itself may not feel as tight and well designed as in previous entries overall due to the the ability to fly around with water powered jetpacks, but they do a really good job at handling what is a brand new style that still manages to feel like its fits right in with the series.
The weapon and other special skills avilable to your chosen character are done through what the game calls “Decks,” which are pre-match setups for each girl. With this, you get to choose between the types of water guns you want to use, ranging from the basic assault rifle to dual pistols, and even a Gatling gun. There is a lot of variety in the gun usage, which is very reminiscent of what you’d expect from Splatoon in how they are used. The guns have secondary modes as well, which can change an automatic firing to a three round burst and such, which adds even more to the options you have. The game also offers a training mode that can teach you even more the simple introductory tutorials, which may be a big help.
Each Deck also has the ability to equip Pets, which can be summoned in battle to help you out. Similarly, there are also Skill cards that are based off the various girls in the game that you can equip and allow you to use skills in battle, with different combinations providing different outcomes. These have cooldown periods though, so you cannot just spam them constantly, as the pets and skill cards are split across the D-Pad buttons for usage in battle.
In battle, your chosen girl has a life bar out of 100 that when depleted caused you to lose a heart, with you having three hearts in total. In previous games, you would gradually lose clothing the more you were hit in battle. That is still kind of present here, as you can actually lose your top, with the game censoring any uncovered parts of course, but that element is more of a non-factor here. When all three hearts are gone and you run out of life again, that is game over for you. However, getting hit by water is not always a bad thing either, as it raises a meter that can allow you to access a powerup that comes from getting soaked from either opponents or your teammates too much, which gives you infinite water supply for a limited about of time.
Within Single Splash, there are three options to choose from, Story, Paradise Episodes, and V-Road Challenge. Story is just as it sounds, where you can find the game’s ongoing plot as you fight through 10 episodes each for each of the four shinobi schools. What is cool though is that you can replay each of these with any girl from any school you wish after completing each one as well. Story mode features full animated cutscenes with the characters and are really enjoyable with the series’ signature humor and charm.
There are also boss fights in this mode as well that can be a lot of fun as well. Probably the most notable of these is where you find a giant sized woman that is taking a bath, where you must use your chosen water gun to remove soap from her body. While it is very risque, Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash still manages to avoid going beyond anything more than ecchi, going for the usual playful side of things that we’ve come to know in the now long running series.
Paradise Episodes on the other hand are more filler options that add some longevity to the game. Rather than cutscenes, here you will get long pages of text like in past Senran Kagura games, with you facing off again other girls throughout the different episodes that are not split up by schools. You started off with a certain number of these, with more able to be unlocked, where you are given one specific girl and have missions to fulfill. Like Story though, you can use other girls after completing the matches. These can definitely get difficult when you have to face off against multiple girls, but they are pretty fun, albeit pretty repetitive after awhile.
The final of the Single Splash options is V-Road Challenge, which takes the idea of a tournament truly to heart. In this mode, you can set up your own tournaments with the teams of characters you choose. This mode lacks the story structure of the others of course, but it’s still fun to just mess around in this mode here and you can get some nice rewards here as well.
For those that have gotten their mileage out of single player, you can also take the game online as well. Ranked Match and Free Match are pretty self explanatory, with the latter obviously being the just for fun option. Co-Op Survival though is the best of the bunch, as it feels like an extension of the single player modes, but with some help this time.
While Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash already has a ton of paid DLC available, which is pretty frustrating at launch for additional costumes and such, there is also an in-game store to unlock additional items. Like all previous Senran Kagura games, you will want to outfit your girls in the best outfits, some certainly skimpier than others. While the bikinis are the default, there are also t-shirts and school girl outfits that go more with the wet t-shirt side of the game. This comes into play with the aforementioned powerup for getting extra soaked in battle. There are also plenty of other accessories and hair styles for you to purchase as well in the store, which can be a grind.
The final mode in the game is something previous Senran Kagura games have had, but may be more lewd than in the past. In the Dressing Room/Showers, you get the opportunity to have five of the girls at a time model for you basically, though they are standing still. You can choose what they wear here, which will also change what they are wearing in the other game modes as well. You can take images of them as a group here in different poses, or you can do enter what the game calls Intimate mode.
Intimate mode just basically takes away the other four girls and leave you with one. In this area, you can shoot your water gun, yes, really a water gun, right at them in various areas of their body. You can also press in on the analog sticks to change to “grope” them, where the cursor turns into hands and you can grab their boobs or smack their backside. Doing this can raise the affection level of a girl, with different girls having different preferences. This is definitely very naughty, but it doesn’t go any further than described as they are still clothed with a bikini at minimum. And honestly, if you’ve played a Senran Kagura game before, you know what to expect with modes like this by now.
The Senran Kagura series have seemingly exploded over the last few years with a number of new games and much quicker localization time from Japan even. While Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash implemented an entirely new combat scheme, it still has that patented Senran Kagura feel that you’re used to with a brand new setting. There is no doubt that the game is very suggestive, but most anybody that has played the series before knows what they are going to get with Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash.
The implementation of water guns on the surface in Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash may make you think that this is a Splatoon style ripoff, but the combat is far from that. Instead of territory based missions, the gameplay actually feels like traditional Senran Kagura mixed with water guns, which fits right with the other the top nature of the series we’ve come to expect in Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash.
7.5 Busty Ninjas Out Of 10.
Release Date: September 26th, 2017 (US)
Available Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed)
Publisher: Xseed Games
Disclosure: Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash Was Provided By The Publisher For Coverage Purposes