By Steve Baltimore / September 13th, 2018
|Title||Senran Kagura: Reflexions|
|Release Date||September 13th, 2018|
I remember when I first saw Senran Kagura: Reflexions on a Japanese Nintendo Direct. I thought, “wow, Takaki Kenichiro is a genius!” I mean, who’d thought about using HD Rumble to massage some of our favorite shinobis? I had some doubts if this one would make it West, but it most certainly did. I’ve had a chance to check this out very thoroughly, so let’s see if I could rub Asuka the right way!
As you might have already guessed, there isn’t a lot of story here to speak of. Asuka has suddenly called you into the classroom to help her recover the missing pieces of her heart. This is done by helping her relax of course! You will give her some gentle hand rubbing and massage her all over as you explore her daydreams to find all these missing pieces.
While the story here isn’t very deep, Asuka’s daydreams and her reactions to your massages are amazing. Some of these fantasies include her being a warrior, an idol, classmate, little sister and even a super sexy Valentine’s present! Depending on her mood, which is based on what kind of message you’ve given her, she will say a lot of different things. If you’re really perverted, she will compare you to her grandpa. I have no idea why she would do such a thing, I mean Hanzo is a perfect gentleman! If you grope….err massage her in just the right way, she may fall head over heels in love with you as well. The best part about this is like with all things Senran Kagura, there is an underlying point to all this madness in the end. I think if you aren’t an Asuka fan going in, you will be when you complete this game.
Though there isn’t much in the way of graphics to speak of here, Asuka looks as great as ever. There are plenty of outfits, lingerie patterns, hair styles and accessories to unlock. This means as usual there is a ton of ways you can customize her looks. These customizations can be used in the main section of the game once the secret options menu unlocks. This happens after you complete Reflexology Mode one time. Diorama Mode makes a return as well, and it works just like it did in previous games. Pick a background and pose to take some pictures of the beauty that is Asuka!
Though you will notice some of the music has just been brought over from other titles in the Senran Kagura franchise, there are some new tracks as well. Most of these are very light but emotional pieces that really add to the overall mood of the game. I’m fairly convinced after playing this game that Hitomi Harada may have the sweetest voice on this planet. I’ve always really loved her as Asuka’s voice actor, but somehow playing this has really made me think even more about how great she is. You can really feel emotions in the lines she reads and it will be very hard for you not to fall in love with Asuka instantly. This great voice acting also applies to the sounds she makes while you are giving her these massages. Let’s just say if you’re easily embarrassed, you should probably play this one with headphones in public.
The gameplay here starts with you massaging Asuka’s fingers. You will move a pointer around her hands and rub them by pressing down on either the thumb sticks or using ZL and ZR. Some spots on her hand will do nothing, and Asuka will tell you to rub other places. When you find a sweet spot that makes her very relaxed, she will begin to daydream. As I mentioned before, there are several different scenarios for these daydreams and a thought bubble will appear in the top right to show you which one you’re about to activate.
Once a dream is activated, it will be time to get down to business and if you’re familiar with the dressing room in other Senran Kagura games, you kinda know how some of this works. You have your standard grabbing hands that you will move around Asuka, squeezing and touching her in various places. There are several different reactions while doing this and a color will appear as you touch her. These colors represent a different mood and these moods will increase the more you touch her in the same way. When it reaches a certain level, it will trigger the special Glorious Reflexology mode.
In this the mode, you will get really up close and personal with Asuka. You will play a mini game where you rub her with your hands or some interesting items once you unlock them. This mini game can be played with the standard controls or motions controls depending on how you want to play them. This is a really simple game where you move your hand or object in rhythm to give her the perfect massage. Just keep the the half circle meter in the bottom left close to middle and it will fill the gauge to the left. Once this is filled to heart line, press the A button and you’ve given her a happy ending. Just be sure you fill this before time runs out. When you complete this, it will fill a vial with the mood color of the massage you just completed. It will take five rounds to fill a vial completely and it will unlock a piece of Asuka’s Heart. Which piece that unlocks depends on what color was in the vial.
It took me a few minutes to figure how to get each of the five colors, this mostly because I wasn’t paying attention. Once you’ve completed a daydream, you can pull up a list during the hand rubbing and it will show which colors you can earn from each one. This way if you need a certain one to finish filling Asuka’s Heart, you will know to avoid that scenario.
Since I am a big fan of the franchise, I had a ton of fun with Senran Kagura: Reflexions and I honestly cannot wait until they add the other girls. These include Yomi, Yumi, Murasaki and Ryona, and I will certainly need to spend quality time with my beansprout for sure! Anyways, I think your enjoyment of this title will depend on if you are a fan or not. If you are a fan, then you will definitely want to check this one out ,and if Asuka is your favorite gal, then it goes without saying you should own this. The game is really short, you can beat it in about 3 or 4 hours. You will get some extra mileage out of it by seeing all of Asuka’s different reactions and unlocking all the different accessories and such. I still feel it is well worth the $9.99 price point and if the upcoming gals are your cup of tea, you will certainly want to add those as well. While this one may not be for series newcomers, fans will find a lot here to love, Asuka included!
Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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