Senran Kagura is a very interesting property due to its range of mediums. The series started as a game known as Senran Kagura: Skirting Shadows in September 2011, but already had a companion manga adaptation that started the month prior. The series has since had a few other manga series come and go through different magazines, as well as a short lived anime series. That now brings us to Senran Kagura Burst, the follow-up game that was released in Japan in 2012, but just reached our shores recently.
When you first turn on Senran Kagura Burst, you can very quickly see who the game is meant to be catered to, as it does not hold back on the fanservice, needless to say. Game designer Kenichiro Takaki knew exactly the market he wanted to go after with some parts of this game, due to the implementation of 3D. “I started to think about what I wanted to see in a game on the Nintendo 3DS and within thirty seconds, I came up with it. It was boobs.” While you may assume that building a game for the 3DS around this may lead to little care about the rest of the game, you may be surprised to find out that Senran Kagura Burst is quite a fun little experience for your handheld.
One of the best elements of the game is the fact that Senran Kagura Burst is actually two games in one. The five chapters that make up the Hanzo Academy story mode are actually from the original Senran Kagura: Skirting Shadows game while the five chapters from the Hebijo Academy story mode, known as Crimson Girls, are completely new content that when combined make up the full Senran Kagura Burst game. This allows for a wide array of content throughout the game, whether you are playing the Hanzo or Hebijo storyline. For a game in this genre, Senran Kagura Burst is quite lengthy due to this pretty much full game addition. Each side of the game has its own unlockables and characters to where they are two separate experiences, even with the interweaving of the two schools.
This game has a very big focus on the story, especially considering there have been a number of manga and an anime series based on the property. However, there are two methods of relaying the story, one that works well and one that does not. The one that works well is simple discussions between characters before, during, and after each mission. These are fully voiced and feature some hilarious and quite pervy dialogue between the characters. An exact excerpt from the dialogue in one of these scenes is as follows “”I’m always up for copping a good feel, but I can’t stand seeing sexual harassment. I think you need an ass-kicking, self defense style!”
The disappointing story sections occur quite often before main story missions. These are long walls of text with only an occasional voiceover to read the quotes. There are some very important points of the story in these segments, so it makes it hard to completely skip over them by just pressing Start, but they drag on way too long. There is obviously no problem with reading of course, but to come up as often as these do, they really should have found another way to go about this without so many long walls of text. There are some funny moments, as you would expect from this game, in these sections as well, including a lot of sexual innuendo. One awkward moment included the girls talking about how they couldn’t believe that one of the other girls could fit the entire giant sushi roll in his mouth, obviously making a subtle comparison to a certain part of the male anatomy.
The animation style in the game is fantastic most of the time. As you take control of the girls of either academy, you really do feel like you are playing through an anime series, which is perfectly fitting for a setting like this. The game runs very smoothly for the most part, but there are occasional hiccups along the way due to a high number of enemies on the screen at once. The game runs at its best when fighting less opponents, such as a boss fight. The background settings look very nice, but sadly are reused a lot throughout the game.Senran Kagura Burst Review,