Hoo boy. Apparently, this one was my turn to review, as a rite of passage or something. Well…here goes.
The inherent problem with reviewing this kind of “niche” game boils down, as Sean said, to two things: If you love it, you’re a pervert. If you complain, you’re a prude.
So, I’m going to try my neutral-est to review it from a gameboob perspective, and try not to alienate the fans that actually like this kind of thing. It’s just going to be hard (no pun intended).
Look at what I have to deal with, though.
Fine. Here we go…
The Senran Kagura series has been around now since 2011 in Japan, and a few years later worldwide. Featuring rival schools of all-female ninja clans, there’s a story in there somewhere. It’s just really hard to pay attention to when there’s non sequitur moments like above that break up the flow with nonsense.
For those of you that are fans of the series (and c’mon, there’s got to be some of you out there), you may be familiar with the characters and settings of Burst Re:Newal. This is, in essence, a remake of the original on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2011 (or ’14 for the Western world).
Whereas the first time around was a side scrolling beat ’em up, this new remake is a full 3D hack and slash. Much like Dynasty Warriors or any of its iterations, battles take place in arenas locked off by invisible walls depending on the story scenario.
For the uninitiated, there are two rivaling schools: the “good” Hanzō Academy, and the “not so good” Habijo Clandestine Girls Academy.
At the start of the game, you get the choice as to which school you want to follow, and the story plays out the path of those respective characters. Each story mission has a preset shinobi for you to play as, each with different weapons and special moves.
Gameplay, or more accurately the combat, plays much like Dynasty Warriors or the ilk; fully 3D brawlers, with varying degrees of light and heavy attack, as well as the Aerial Rave maneuver. Launch an enemy into the air, then follow them to continue your combo before slamming them or yourself back into the ground.
It’s all standard fair for, with the added bonus(?) of enemies losing clothing as you strike them. Oh, all of whom are women, I might add. You realise what kind of game this is now?
If that weren’t *ahem* adult enough for you, there’s Frantic Mode…
Akin to Sailor Moon’s transformations, activating Frantic Mode sees your current character’s rip off as they transform into their new, fully customisable costume. With only JJ Abrams-style lens flares hiding their modesty, this would probably be the closest you’ll get to any nudity.
Thus we come to the crux of the gameplay: the scantily clad-ness of pretty much everyone involved. Again, it’s hard to sound offended and not drive away fans of this sort of thing, because they know what they’re buying. Tamsoft know this, it’s an integral part of the series.
Everything jiggles. Running around? Jiggle. Jump in the air? Jiggle. Pull of some fantastic and visually impressive combat? That’s a jigglin’.
Whilst it’s not an obscene game, in that there’s no pornography or depictions of sex involved, it skirts of that edge of voyeurism. It deliberately invokes that sense of perversion in the brain that has been inherent in anime culture since well, forever.
Other than that, there isn’t really much to say about Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal.
As an action/arena combat game, it’s nothing special. Flashy moves and aerial combat add a fun element to keeping a combo string going. As far as story goes, it’s your standard hyper-anime affair of wacky female ninjas and opposing schools. As far as rudeness and explicit content, you either know what you’re paying for or you’re going to chance it on some mild titillation.
You’re either a series fan and you’ve already bought the love pillow, or you’re going to have to explain to your significant other why these girls need to take their clothes off to do special moves.
Senran Kagura Burst RE:Not is out now.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional code from the publishers. For our full review policy please go here.