[PS Vita Review] SENRAN KAGURA SHINOVI VERSUS
From the Warring States period to the present day, the mysterious shinobi have fought covertly across Japan. Some fight for the authorities, others for the highest bidder, but all of them have one thing in common: They kick ass and know how to look good doing it.
SENRAN KAGURA SHINOVI VERSUS immediately follows the events of SENRAN KAGURA Burst, revisiting the fierce rivalry between the girls of HanzÅ National Academy and their sworn enemies from Hebijo Clandestine Girlsâ€™ Academy, the latter of which have now gone underground and formed a mercenary strike team known as the Homura Crimson Squad. In addition to their old adversaries, the HanzÅ girls must also face a whole new set of foes: the students of Gessen Girlsâ€™ Academy, who seek to punish them for their imperfections as shinobi warriors. Meanwhile, a new class is in session at Hebijo, and these students mean business: they oppose all three of the competing factions and will stop at nothing to be the last shinobi squad standing â€“ even if it means leaving broken bodies and shattered dreams in their wake.
The stage is set for a shinobi battle royale. Heroines and renegades battle saints and sinners in a flurry of fists, feet, clothes, tattered remnants of those clothes, and sometimes underclothes. Each school has a story to tell, full of tragedy, heroism, pathos and partial nudity. Choose a school, prepare for battle, and follow the Path of the Shinobi.
Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus is the sequel to Senran Kagura, and it continues the story of the shinobi clans from the Hanzo, Gessen and Hebijo Academies, as well as telling the role of the Crimson Squad this time around. For every school there is a story mode, and each one will start in a similar way by first presenting and introducing the characters you’ll be using for each separate story segment, also giving you a chance to get used to their nuances and skills.
It is advised that you start with the tutorials to learn about the flow for combos, how to activate special attacks, launch enemies in the air and follow up with an onslaught in the sky, as well as several other skills and tactics that will help you for this adventure. As you defeat your enemies, or as you collect power-ups in the containers available in each area, your energy level will increase, allowing you to unleash extremely powerful attacks that can change the tide of battle in one go, and which will heavily damage your opponent.
Fan service and physics are as present as ever in this series, so if that is not your thing or if you’re easily offended this one won’t win you over. Shinibo can transform and use a second uniform that increase their strength and might while also recovering their hit points, or they can go all out and rip their clothes off to enter a special mode, which is a gamble since defense is lowered but attract and skills are more powerful (allowing expert players to make the most of this mode). Oh, and you can only trigger one or the other, so do keep that in mind as you plan your strategy for a particular level.
And speaking of clothes going MIA, if you sustain a lot of damage, your character’s clothes will slowly be torn to pieces, leaving her only in lingerie at the end (and the same can apply to bosses). This seems to be why there is a lingerie store in game where you can either use in-game money to increase your odds of getting a new piece of lingerie, or you can purchase lottery tickets at the PSN store for $0.99 each to guarantee you’ll get a new one. The more you collect, the lower your odds of getting a new one and the more in-game money you need to spend to improve your odds, making the lottery tickets more “valuable” to players after they’ve obtained half of the collection.
With brawlers like Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus, you run the risk of all characters feeling the same or having similar skills, and even though this one is not the exception, there is enough variety in the “type” of characters to use that will require players to adapt to the different speed, combo and attack stats of each fighter as they level them up during their journey.
SENRAN KAGURA SHINOVI VERSUS is a fun brawler that will keep you busy for hours as you complete the story mode for each of the schools, not to mention the character-specific challenges and the extra content available on the side. The gameplay is tight and expands on the SENRAN KAGURA formula, but it won’t win over those that didn’t like the previous game in the series or the way that characters are portrayed.
[review pros=”Fun brawler
Lots of characters to use” cons=”All the bouncing might offend some” score=80]