First Impressions: Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

So, the day has finally come! The follow up to Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (which I LOVED) is here, and I’ve been spending some time with the girls.

Man, it’s good to be back!

The combat so far is as tight as ever! It’s a really nice combination of button-mashing and at-the-right-moment combo building that works, and it’s really, really fun.

The music is fantastic, and the intro animation is particularly awesome (a mixture of anime cutscenes and in-engine renderings).

So far, what’s impressed me the most are the locales. I have only been to a couple, but already they feel much bigger than the stages in Shinovi Versus (which is absolutely a good thing).

The physics are really funny. I’m not sure how gravity works where these girls live, but this amount of bounce isn’t something you’ll see on the street, on your way to work, or at work (wink).

I haven’t really had the chance to get into the story so much, but already there’s some good mystery regarding events from “the past” within the series. One thing that I was really surprised by when reviewing Shinovi Versus was the fact that, for a game focused on bouncy physics and rapid combat, the story arcs were really deep and touching.

I’m really hoping Estival Versus lives up to its predecessor in terms of storytelling.

Another thing that I’m really liking is that, straight from the get-go, we get into a couple of different Shinovi Schools’ shenanigans, which is nice, as it provides opportunity to engage with the girls early on and not be too… biased toward the first School we get into.

All in all, Estival Versus is shaping up to be a hell of a lot of fun. I can’t wait to spend a few hours battling it out untils clothes are ripped off, and bring you a full review.


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About Marcos Codas 384 Articles
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project", and "Sonic 3D Blast". Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers. Like what I do? Donate a coffee:


  1. I have to be honest and say that this is my first “experience” with the series and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it at first. I bought it mainly to support Marvelous and their fantastic work with their limited edition physical releases of Vita games (the Miliennium Edition of this is absolutely stunning) and after playing it for quite some time, I’m still not too sure what to make of it!

    It’s certainly a fun game, but I’m not sure about the characters and the overt sexuality and whether it’s a bit over-the-top for my tastes, although I guess that’s one of the game’s strongest selling points in Japan. Yes, we’re getting a slightly censored version in the West, but I still get the feeling that it detracts from the game and if all of that were stripped away (sorry!), would the game be strong enough to stand on its own two feet?

    As a fan of the series, is it the gameplay or the quirkiness that’s the strongest thing that appeals to you?

    • I can totally see how that might put some people off! I think it’s just a matter of taste, and remembering that the girls are, in the end, just animated characters. I’m a huge fan of WWII FPS games, but I doubt I could actually kill all those people in real life, given the chance or necessity (and this from an Army vet!).

      As to your question, though: It’s definitely both. I do think the gameplay stands on its own two feet. It’s really smooth, the variety of combos is fantastic, as is the character roster. The graphics (the stages, to forego the characters for a minute) are gorgeous for a Vita game (definitely PS3 quality or better).

      As to what attracts me to the game? I think it’s the mixture of the quirkiness AND good gameplay.

      There was plenty of (very similar, and highly controversial) quirkiness in Criminal Girls: Invite Only, but I found that game to be endlessly dreary.

      I think the Senran Kagura series brings some pick-up-and-play fun to the table that could have worked on its own though (as it does on games like Destiny Warriors).

      That said, I’m glad it didn’t have to. I do enjoy the humor in the game! And knowing that everyone who is involved in making it (and releasing it) had a ton of fun working on it (as per their various streams and interviews published on Twitter), I have no real qualms over the content.

      • This is the thing… I do enjoy quite a few of the quirkier games that have come out of Japan for the PS Vita. I couldn’t put Tales Of Hearts R down and I must have put about 80 hours into that one, spending hours going back and revisiting different locations just to see if I missed any side quests, and I loved Hyperdimension Neptunia Producing Perfection as well and that’s something I didn’t expect to like. Danganronpa was another classic but this is one that I’m still on the fence over. Just don’t get me started on visual novels as the jury is still out for many of those for me! Stein’s; Gate was wildly over-hyped and overrated if you ask me!

        • I couldn’t say, as I haven’t playd Steins;Gate yet, but I actually want to (mostly because of the hype). Just give Senran Kagura a chance though. Even me, as a fan of the overt… “personality traits” in the game, there comes a point where you don’t really “see it” anymore. And it becomes about the story and the gameplay.

Got any thoughts on this? Let us know!