It seems like it was yesterday when I published my Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus review. I loved that game, and I’ve been looking forward to playing its successor for a long, long time. And now, I can finally tell you what I think of Estival Versus.
In short, it’s a lot like a Shinovi Versus version where everything is a little bit better, and a little bit tighter.
But of course, we can’t leave it at that! So, let’s go a bit deeper and explore this new entry into the kinkiest action RPG this side of Asia.
First, the gameplay: the super-fun-frantic action-rpg-brawler combo is still there. Only, now it has more moves, including new Secret Ninja Arts! There are also “special finishes” that show a really fun “animations” (kind of like a Fatality, but kinky). Of course, we had something like this before, but it’s been taken to the next level.
Another thing that you can notice straight away is that they wanted to make the game more challenging than its predecessor. I can see why: I rarely died in Shinovi Versus. A lot of it had to do with the fact that you could just grind doing the Shinovi Girl’s Hearts missions and then be really OP during the main storyline. Not so now: the Shinovi Girl’s Heart missions are locked, and the only way to unlock them is to play the main storyline.
There are also online game modes and a new single-player mode that’s much harder than the regular storyline. The good thing about all of this is that there is even more to the lore of the game this time around. I absolutely loved the story arcs in the previous game, and it’s a joy to see that they’ve taken it a step further.
The gameplay itself remains largely the same, however, making it difficult to play for long stretches of time without feeling a bit jaded.
Moving on to the graphics: the girls look fantastic in this new edition. I didn’t play the game before it got the day-one patch (at a whopping 1.5Gb or so), but the game also runs really, really smoothly. The physics are crazier than ever, with jiggling that goes all the way to 11. For some reason, I had some issues with wonky camera angles, though. nothing that couldn’t be solved with the right analog stick, but sometimes it made for confusing battles.
I’m also happy that they didn’t do away with the built-in “lottery” for… “special items”. I love spending some time customizing each of the girls. By the way, there’s even more to do now with girls, including poses, pictures and more.
Another highlight is the voice-acting: as it was the case with the previous entry in the series, it’s absolutely top notch. And following the pattern set by the rest of the game, there’s a lot more of it.
All in all, Estival Versus is a much meatier game than SV. It’s also a lot more challenging.
There are some niggles: I do wish the Shinovi Girl’s Heart mode was open like before, but between spoilers and the grinding issue, I can see why it’s not. I also got a bit annoyed at the camera sometimes.
However, the game never felt cheap. It never felt like I was given a half-baked idea.
Estival Versus is every bit as fun, amusing and kinky as I remember the series to be. There’s more game here, and more of a challenge to see it through. And I’m a happy camper because of that.
- Title: Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
- Publisher: XSEED / Marvelous Inc.
- Developer: Tamsoft
- Format: Retail / PSN Download
- Memory Card Space Needed: 5GB+ after day-one patch.