Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus Review – Jiggle This! (Vita)
Oh boy, the Japanese are at it again! If you were ever wondering what it was like to take busty female students into battle with jiggle technology that rivals anything you have seen from other games, then you are in for a treat with Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus for the PlayStation Vita. Based around the same characters from the manga and game series that began in 2011, this is a fan service fighting game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and fails to impress in most aspects of gameplay.
The game is based around a group of girl Shinobis who go to three seperate Shinobi schools and are in a battle to determine who the best is out of the group. That is really about the extent of what you might care about story-wise in the game. The rest of the dialogue can be broken down into jokes about breast sizes and fondling of said breasts. The concept of three different schools taking part in battle’s to determine who is number one sounds great at first, but the dialogue quickly becomes a bore and many of the jokes fall flat. The characters themselves do have some interesting things about themselves, specifically their style or attacks, but it is all lost in panty and cleavage shots.
Speaking of cleavage and panties, it is at the heart of every single aspect of this game. As you head into battle, you will be greeted to a free-roaming battlefield where you have to take down a few mindless minions until you find yourself in a boss battle versus someone from your school or one of the two other schools. In these battles you are tasked with bring their health down half way and then watching as they transform into their Shinovi form, thus restoring their health and starting the battle anew. It is this same formula for every single chapter of the game, with only minor changes in the setting and a color change of the minions you fight.
In each of these boss battles, your main goal is to do enough damage to tear off a piece of your enemies clothing. As you defeat them entirely, you will then be treated to a topless girl in panties talking to you about something irrelevant and then storming off. In battle you will have a weak and strong attack, and then when you transform into your Shinovi outfit, you will unlock access to two special attacks. These special attacks require scrolls to perform, which can be obtained through damaging your opponents. The combat is overly easy, even on the “hard” setting, which is still the same amount of enemies just a microscopic change in their difficulty.
Really, the hardest part about combat in Shinovi Versus is the camera angle, which is about the worst one I have ever seen in a video game. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself getting destroyed by an opponent simply because I couldn’t see what the hell I was doing. It is so bad that even when you have your camera locked on an opponent, it still caused issues and at times you were still unable to fully see the battlefield. These matters are made even worse when you are trying to air dash away from an opponent only to get screwed up by the camera work yet again.
If you grow tired of taking down the story missions for each school, you can also take part in the Shinovi Girl’s Heart missions where you can see side stories for each of the girls. These sound great at first, but simply boils down into five fights and some story that won’t really keep you interested or invest you any more into the characters. There is also a training field to allow you to master all the nuances of the fighting, should you have any trouble with the battles ahead. There is also an online mode where you can fight three other people or play ad-hoc against friends, but I was unfortunately never able to find anyone to battle, so I cannot comment on how good or bad it was.
Should you decide to explore more than just the combat side of things, you might be a little disappointed in how little there is to do. You can change the outfits and accessories of all the girls in the game with stuff you unlock or purchase at the store. Say you want to put one girl in a cheerleader outfit and another as a nurse, then you are all set. It’s not just the clothes though, as you can edit their underwear choice and accessories such as cat ears, nerdy glasses, or a dogs tail. There is also a lottery section where you can donate money and randomly unlock a piece of underwear. There are also options to talk to each girl in your hub, but they have very little to say and are best ignored for your safety.
I know by this point, some of you will probably be blasting me for not understanding Japanese games or some sort of nonsense and that’s fine. I love Japanese games and their ability to do this kind of light-hearted game that Western developers would never dare to. It’s not a bad thing to be a light-hearted, fan service game, but at least be a good one. The lackluster combat, combined with some terrible camera work and more loading screens than Lindsay Lohan mugshots, make for a game that just isn’t very good. I find it a hard game to recommend anyone spending 20+ hours in, unless you are a fan of the series or just like looking at boobs that move like they are being juggled by invincible hands.
Review copy was provided by the publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.