By Steve Baltimore / November 20th, 2014
NOTE: The pictures in this review maybe considered NSFW by some. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
|Title||Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit|
|Release Date||November 11, 2014|
|Age Rating||ESBR – Mature|
I have to say I was shocked when I saws XSEED Games announce they were localizing the Senran Kagura cooking game under the name Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit at E3. This spin-off title is a rhythm game that centers around a cooking contest, and, you guessed it, there is clothing damage which is the trademark of the series. The real question with all this fan service is – does it hide a good game?
The graphics look very similar to the ones found in Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus. This is a good thing since both games look great on the Vita. All of the character models and cooking arena look fantastic. You will see a lot of the girls, so it is a good thing all of the character models are well made, if you get what I mean. The frame rate stays pretty consistent even with all kinds of crazy things going on in the background while the notes flow across the bottom of the screen.
The music mostly consists of remixed themes from the previous Senran Kagura games. Each girl has a specific song that plays when you battle them, and some are much harder than others. While most of the tracks are remixes, they have added a few vocal tracks in there for Asuka, Homura, and Daidoji. The vocal tracks sound really great, and I wish there had been more of them. Overall, I would have to say I enjoyed most of the music since I have always loved the soundtracks in this series.
There are a few different modes you can choose from. Arcade Mode consists of six battles that are chosen based on the difficulty you select. Free Mode lets you can play girl on any difficulty you choose, while Story Mode is also five battles, but will give you the story for each girl. While the basic storyline is that the girls are entering the cooking contest to win a scroll that grants any wish, none of these stories are serious. Most are quite humorous. Asuka is out to prove long and plump is the best. No, she means sushi rolls, but I like the way you think. Meanwhile, Hikage is on the run from Haruka who wants to test a drug on her, and so on. I laughed very hard at some of these stories. The localization team at XSEED Games really outdid themselves in not losing any of the humor or innuendo during the process. I really enjoyed them, as a fan, but just don’t take them too seriously. This is a fan service game, after all.
The rhythm game itself is very basic, but it is still very fun to play. Notes flow across the bottom of the screen and move from right to left, and you will want to press the direction button or face button shown when the icon reaches the ninja star on the left side of the screen. There are three different types of notes, some you will just simply press the direction or button while with some you will have to hold that direction or button. They flow across in two rows. The notes in each row will not be the same type, meaning all of the bottom row will not be direction buttons while the top row is face buttons. Rather, it is mix of each in both rows. It took me a while to get used to this. On Easy you will only have to deal with notes in one row at a time, but, on Normal and Hard, all bets are off. While the notes are streaming across the bottom, the girls are cooking up the dishes in the background. Sometimes it hard to pay attention to the notes and not watch the girls. Getting distracted takes on a whole new meaning here.
If you look at the top of the screen, the meter shown is the battle meter that displays how well you are doing during battle. Each battle is three rounds, and at the end of each, if you scored better than your opponent, you will win the round and your opponent will lose some clothing. If only cooking battle shows on TV were like that, I’d be an avid fan. As they hit the notes, your ninja arts meter — located at the bottom of the screen on the left — will start to fill. When it is completely filled, you can press R1 or L1 to activate it and this will increase your score, helping you win the battle a bit easier. The meter will continue to fill as long as you keep hitting notes without missing, but one miss and your meter will be gone and you have to start it over. Overall, the rhythm gameplay is decent. There isn’t really anything special about it, but I did have fun with it.
If you achieve a perfect victory in the cooking battle, you will be treated to a sweet treat at the end. The losing girl will be covered in ice cream and chocolate syrup and served. Most of these would be considered NSFW by most people. Personally I thought it was quite funny and something unique. You can move the camera to see the dessert from different angles by using the analog sticks or tilting the Vita. Just be prepared to want some ice cream when you’re done.
All in all this game does exactly what it set out to – be full of fan service for the the fans of the series. So long as you go into the game taking it as the joke that it is, you can get a lot of enjoyment out of this title. It has some zany stories you can enjoy, a decent rhythm segment and plenty of over-the-top fan service. I would definitely recommend this title to fans of the series. If you’re not a fan of the series, do not like fan service or are easily offended, this is not the game for you. For everyone else, you get about three to four hours of story content and a ton of replay value unlocking the various items in the game. This first pack includes all of the Crimson Squad and Hanzo girls with a total of 10 characters for $14.99. The Gessen and Hebijo pack is coming soon. Additionally, if you have already purchased Daidoji or Rin for Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus, they will be unlocked in this game, as well. Now that the review is out the way, I think I will go eat some ice cream.
Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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