Senran Kagura Burst was originally a game released for the Nintendo 3DS which has been remade for the PS4 and PC. It is a full remake that transforms the original side-scrolling Senran Kagura Burst into a full 3D action game. It launched almost one year ago in Japan and has taken more than a whole year to get localized and released for the Western market. If you are playing it on the PS4 though, the game suffers from the recent censorship policies of Sony.
Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is effective as a remake but not without some flaws. The game uses the new Estival Versus engine for the new graphics which means that part of its appeal has been lost in this transition. The new 3D action works great except it tends to get repetitive. The positive here is that the visuals look really good and almost match the animated show. The character models are all highly detailed and you can play through a large cast of busty Ninja girls divided between a good and evil faction.
The main story plays out with the two different factions. You can pick and play with any one of them. Each faction has around 41 missions with one reserved for the tutorial. The gameplay and combat are quite simple to play and getting into a combo frenzy feels rather easy. You gradually unlock new abilities with the experience gained from every fight that leads to new moves. Honestly, there is no major difficulty that you can face in most missions as long as you make sure to use your character’s abilities properly.
Senran Kagura is not the same without skimpy clothes and outfits. The game uses a unique ‘transformation’ mechanic that plays out with an animation showing the closeup of every female Ninja as they transform into a more powerful form. You can trigger this transformation after accumulating enough power to fill up the burst gauge. It ends with a powerful move that can knock out many enemies at once and feels quite useful. This animation can also be skipped if you are too embarrassed to watch it on repeat.
Senran Kagura uses a standard hack-and-slash combat system. You combine two different attacks to create combos to kill multiple enemies at once. It plays out like a Musou game except it is not one. Most of the missions play out in linear levels or areas where your goal is to simply kill the enemy. The level design is simple while enemies repeat so it feels like you are just killing clones after clones. The production values aside from the character models are just not that great but I still appreciated what I played.
Battles are fun but the game feels too easy. The defensive moves that you can perform include a block and parry attack which is far too generous and powerful. The timing of the parry attack feels easy so you can easily do it. It can knock out a lot of enemies easily and there is a hit reaction available letting you know the range and timing of attack which helps in reacting quickly to them. Overall, the combat system doesn’t feel that well-balanced but again I don’t think it is the main appeal of the game here.
The story itself plays out like a visual novel before and after the missions start. You will usually get an introduction to the cast and find out their backstory this way. Across the 40 missions that you play between the two different factions, there are a lot of story moments, some are fun and offer solid comedy while others suffer from the typical anime writing. Overall though, it is most the fanservice that should keep you busy since there is a lot to do in this regard.
The game offers other extras that include customizations for the characters. If you fancy seeing them in a costume that you prefer that also provides the choice of picking up a bikini suit, then perhaps this mode is a good fit for you. You use the in-game money to purchase extras like music tracks, movies or outfits for your favorite Ninja.
You can then dress them up and even view as a diorama to take any screenshot. From what I gather though, there is a specific mode that seems absent from the PS4 version due to Sony’s censorship while the PC version and the PS4 version in Japan remains uncensored.
This makes for a good starting point to dip your toes into if you want to see how the series holds up now. It is a better entry than Estival Versus but the combat itself is shallow and lacks challenge so you should keep your expectations in check. It is a decent action game that is better than many other similar ones in the genre which only rely on fanservice without offering any good gameplay.
Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Experience the original SENRAN KAGURA Burst, the beginning of the world's best-loved buxom battle series, like never before! Tackle the classic ninja brawler from a whole new perspective in gorgeous, fluid HD, with new features and mechanics throughout!
Final Score - 7/10
While offering nothing refreshing to the series, this is a solid remake that brings back the original Senran Kagura with all the bells and whistles to the current generation. There is a good amount of content available for fans but beneath it, the gameplay can get repetitive and the story suffers from an awkward pace.