By Apathylad 9 Comments
I've been staring at this computer for several minutes trying to articulate how I feel about Senran Kagura Burst. I downloaded it as soon it was up on the 3DS E-Shop last Thursday, but didn't play it much until after I finished Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies. I know it's bound to raise some eyebrows because of the huge amounts of fan service, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying something like, say, Dead or Alive 5. However, where Dead or Alive 5 is fluid and fun to play, I'm finding Senran Kagura's combat to be just....okay. What hurts it the most is the frame rate, which is a bit uneven, especially when multiple enemies are on screen in longer environments. It plays a bit like a Final Fight, although there's a larger emphasis on air combos. The girls I've used have been pretty similar, and the main differences seem to be in their over-the-top attacks and animations via their shinobi forms. I'm only about five hours in, and while I know I can unlock couple more special attacks per girl, I'm not sure if there's much more to the combat.
That being said, I was surprised by how much effort was put into this game's narrative. The story (at least, at this point) revolves around five main girls from the Hanzou school, and five from the ruthless Hebijo school fighting over a ninja scroll. In certain missions, you are presented a first-person narration of different characters, outlining their motivations, backgrounds, or relationships with other characters, not unlike what you'd see in a visual novel. These segments do give more context to the universe, and are actually one of the more interesting parts of the game. I know it sounds like I'm telling someone that I'm reading Playboy for the articles or going to Hooters for the food, but I want to know where it goes from here.
Oh, I might as well point out that there's 'dress room' where you can put on different clothes, bikinis, and accessories on each of the girls. Like Dead or Alive, you unlock more of these as you make progress, and...yes...if you shake the 3DS or move the camera around you'll see breast physics.
It's currently available on the E-Shop for $29.99, and while I don't know how long the game is, I haven't seen the Hebijo's perspective, or used any of those characters.