Senran Kagura: Estival Versus Hands-On Preview – Soft, Gentle Upgrades (PS4)

April 8, 2015 Written by Heath Hindman

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Now with a few more hours of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus under my belt, I’ve got some more detailed thoughts on the game in general. Forgive me if these seem a little scattered; I’m just writing as I think and firing from the hip here. And if you’re reading about Senran Kagura, well, then you’re probably a fan of hips, right? 😉

Familiar Territory

You’ll be seeing some re-used asses. I mean assets. Re-used assets. Those who played Shinovi Versus will recognize many of the same stages. Their PS4 versions do come with the expected visual upgrade, but they’re the same battlefields at the end of the day.

That said, the PS4 visual quality might make it hard for some to stick to Vita with this. Though I played Shinovi Versus on Vita (as it was an exclusive), I’m finding this game to be a little more enjoyable on the big screen. It might have something to do with being able to more clearly see the hoards of enemies? I like that in my Warriors games — not that SK is a Warriors game in the strictest sense, but they share the one-vs-a-huge-crowd fight style.

Gameplay is in some ways slower than before (especially in comparison to Senran Kagura 2), but by no means is it less intense. While some might be turned off by the more methodical approach to combat, new additions make it just as good, if not better than before. For example, when a partner is present, players can pull off some devastating combos with two simple button touches. Classic ninja shit like running up walls or bouncing off of them for attacks have been added, and both are quite fun.

Word to Your Moms, I Came to Drop Bombs

There are also new types of bombs lying around, with effects such as standard explosions or encasing foes in ice.

Controversy surrounds this game because of how scantily clad the ladies can become. Of particular note is that some of the character look too young. Whether they look young to you or not, the point is, controversy exists, which makes me wonder about the origin of Asuka’s grandma. This game features an old lady character who is — rather hilariously — huge-chested and bouncy as anyone else. It’s kind of funny on its own, and I can’t help but wonder if its a subtle response to criticism. If it is, that makes it all the more humorous.

Look for a full review when I’ve finished the game.

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Side note about online play:

Online play on PS4 will of course require PlayStation Plus, while the Vita version has an online pass. The former works fine on foreign PS4s, and the community told me that Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus worked on Vitas despite having US PSN accounts.