Senran Kagura series has mostly received action focused hack and slash games so when it was announced that the developers are working on Peach Beach Splash, which was a third person shooter where the main cast had to fight among each other with water guns, it felt like an odd combination for a spin-off. There were obviously comments about the game being similar to Splatoon especially the water gun and the team based multiplayer, although this doesn’t appear to be the case here for the actual gameplay.
The story tries to take itself seriously by presenting the water gun tournament as an ancient tradition where shinobi teams participate from around the world. The winner of the tournament is able to pick any prize that they desire making it a team based battle between the various shinobi factions. Reading the story is worthless as the game is all about the fan service moments and even the writing itself attempts to poke fun at this situation. There are multiple modes offered here including a story mode, multiplayer mode and challenges allowing you to participate with your own custom team and weapon loadouts. You can also get up, close and personal with the Senran Kagura characters but I will get into detail for it later in the review.
The main story campaign is divided among the various shinobi factions. Each comes with a set of missions that are unique to them. If you are done with the story portion of the game, you can also try your hand at some of the ‘paradise episodes’ which are essentially side content to the story mission. They consist of atleast 5 missions compared to the 10 for the main story. It might take you around an hour each for clearing the story mode of every faction and then there is side content to tackle if you feel like it.
More content is available once you are done with the story mode in the form of the V-Road Challenge mode. This lets you pick your own characters for a 5 person team to participate in tournaments. You will have to pick your weapon loadout and card packs that can be used in battle for this mode. You get more card packs by winning a match in any of the gameplay modes. These offer you a chance to modify the skills and upgrade weapons for the characters. It adds a nice layer of strategy to the overall combat.
The game plays well as a third person shooter but ends up being too easy, thanks in part to the terrible AI which tends to make too many mistakes making each match easy to win. This can be rectified somewhat with a human partner if you play the online multiplayer but in the story mode, there is hardly any challenge to be found during matches. During the course of the main story, you will fight dummy enemies along with the Senran Kagura characters, but there are boss battles as well although they suffer from the same lack of challenge. Admittedly, this doesn’t mean the game is not fun to play, as there are plenty of enjoyable moments.
I wasn’t able to spend much time with the multiplayer mode because the game isn’t officially out yet, but there appear to be sufficient options available for the player with ranked and normal matches. You can also take part in a co-op horde mode that lets you team up with another player to fight against a swarm of enemies. The game supports AI bots for the multiplayer but again the AI is terrible and manages to spoil the fun by getting stuck or killed rather quickly forcing you to keep reviving them.
The writing features a fairly light tone that also doesn’t take a moment to throw in some sexual innuendos for those who like this type of humor. It is executed well though and I enjoyed it for what it was. The visuals presented in the game look nice but that applies to the main character models as the rest of the environment textures look terrible. This is to be expected considering it is a low budget game that relies on fan service, still it would have been nice if a little more attention was paid to it since the environments can start to feel repetitive and generic.
As I talked earlier in my review, you can gain access to the ‘dressing room’ for the characters allowing you to perform a variety of actions against them. There are a handful of options available here (pun intended) and the game even allows you to let the girls strike any pose you want. The dressing room feels like the ultimate fan service moment by letting you dress your favorite girls and do what you want with them, whether squirting a water gun in their face or performing other activities. It is meant to be pretty lewd and not intended for everyone.
In conclusion, it can be argued that this game is not for everybody. However if you are a Senran Kagura fan and looking for a game that offers ultimate fan service for it, this is the perfect game for it.
Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is a third-person shooting video game in the Senran Kagura series, published by Marvelous and developed by Tamsoft.
Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is obviously aimed at those who prefer the fan service moments that are prominently featured in the series, but presentation wise, it is pretty solid on its own although the gameplay suffers from terrible AI that spoils the overall experience.