By Joe Sigadel / June 7th, 2016
|Title||SENRAN KAGURA SHINOVI VERSUS|
|Publisher||XSEED Games, Marvelous USA|
|Release Date||June 1, 2016|
|Genre||Hack n’ Slash, Action|
|Platform||PS Vita, Steam|
This review is based on the Steam version of the game. If you want to read about the PS Vita version, our review is here.
It’s been a good year for Senran Kagura fans. We finally got to have what we’d been awaiting so long, the localization of Senran Kagura Estival Versus on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. It was definitely worth the wait. Estival Versus is a blast to play in both single and multiplayer modes, and going through the sheer amount of content and unlockables was intimidating, but in a good way. So to keep the momentum going, and introduce Senran Kagura to a new platform, XSEED Games and Marvelous smartly chose to go with Shinovi Versus for the series’ first foray onto Steam. Shinovi Versus does have one advantage over Estival, and that is that the story does a better job of introducing you to who the girls are, how they became shinobi, and what their personal motivations are for competing in the Shinobi Battle Royale, the inter-school competition that causes conflict in the plot. It’s an ideal starting point for beginners to the series. So how does it perform on the glorious PC?
First, the good news. Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus performs quite well in the single player modes. It runs like a breeze at 1080p resolution at a smooth 60FPS, with no slowdown whatsoever. You could probably stop reading the review here, but hold your horses and humor me if you will. The character models look really nice for being upscaled from the Vita, although maybe a little less nice than they do in Estival Versus. There’s also some clipping issues with equipping certain accessories in the dressing room going through the girls’ hair, but I don’t tend to use it that much so it wasn’t that big a deal to me. The only other knock I’ll give it is that it keeps the loading times you saw on the PS Vita. You might think that’s nice because you get to stop and read tips on how to play with certain girls, but I kind of just wanted to get on with the gameplay. The graphical options in the menu are fairly basic, just resolution changes, windowed/fullscreen/borderless windowed, which is nice, but I would have liked to see more advanced options for those who run higher end cards like me. The music is pretty nice too, this game has a really rockin’ soundtrack.
Now, the not-so-good. While the game runs really well, there are problems with glitching enemies in the single player missions. The generic shinobi minions will sometimes spaz out erratically, disappear and reappear behind you, forcing you to turn your camera to keep your eye on them. And I’m not gonna lie — the camera is a bit cumbersome to use in this game. You have your lock-on, yes, but once someone gets behind you it doesn’t automatically about face like you’d want it to. I recall facing Homura in a Gessen mission and having to abort it twice because she was perpetually spinning in midair. Upon trying to attack her, Yumi was frozen too and was unable to move or break out in any way. Now thankfully this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s a little rage inducing. Hopefully XSEED/Marvelous USA takes notice and fixes it.
Multiplayer, as with Estival Versus, works with a peer-to-peer connection, which can be iffy. You can only play with up to 4 players, compared to EV’s 10 on PS4. Some matches with three other players were quite laggy, others weren’t. There isn’t as much variety in the multiplayer modes as there is with EV, but they are a fun break from doing all the story content. You’ll have to unlock some of the characters by playing a specific school’s story, but you’re most likely going to do that anyway since that is the main draw here.
Shinovi Versus on Steam has 49 achievements, trading card support, and best of all, includes all the DLC content from the Vita version at no extra charge. At its regular price of $29.99, you’re getting a very nice package indeed, even if it does have a few minor blemishes and bugs which will hopefully be addressed in a timely manner. I recommend it for those who like fanservice, hack and slash action games, and those who like a good plot. No, I mean it. I love reading all the story segments in both the school missions and the Girls’ Heart Missions! Here’s hoping that XSEED and Marvelous follow up one day with Estival Versus on Steam as well. I played this for around 30 hours to get through all the school stories, but it will take you much longer to get everything achieved and completed.
Review copy was provided by the publisher
Marvelous USAPCReviewSenran Kagura: Shinovi VersusSteamTamsoftXSEED Games