I might not be a fan of the scantily clad girls prominently featured in each Senran Kagura games or the fanservice moments typically thrown in them, but I do appreciate the combat and how they can be a fun experience even if the premise remains a relatively trivial one. The recently released Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash was a unique take in the series that received inspiration from Nintendo’s own shooter Splatoon, but with Reflexions, I am left wondering why it was made in the first place.
For the majority of the game, you are primarily talking with Asuka from Senran Kagura in a classroom-like setting. You are requested to grasp her hands and touch on specific spots to establish a dream-like state for her where she dresses up in various attires. This gameplay loop is repeated once more and again until you fill out a blue magic crystal that unlocks the key to her heart or something, and leads to the end of the current session. You are next shown a set of unlockables and collect a piece of artwork or two depending on your performance.
In Senran Kagura Reflexions, the selling point is the HD Rumble and the way it is used in the game is, a bit controversial, to say the least. You employ it to feel around things *cough* like focusing on a specific body part and caressing it for pleasure. The motion controls are used here to provide a sense of authenticity but honestly, I looked rather silly trying to operate them for titillation and feeling around things like slapping or touching body parts of Asuka. I know this is not necessarily a recent feature since such fanservice moments constitute a substantial portion of the previous games. However, the game basically revolves around these mini-games now thus not leaving room to do much else.
You start each ‘Reflexology’ round with a mini-game where you have to touch on specific spots on Asuka’s hand to feel her heartbeat. I admit this is the only segment where I feel like the HD rumble works well. You can genuinely detect her heartbeat slowly ramping up as you keep touching a specific spot on her hand. Depending on where you touch, the following segment begins in which she starts to roleplay various characters and wears different attires in a dream-like state.
This is where you have to massage her body in an attempt to provide pleasure leading to her ecstatic moment which is another mini-game. There are no skills involved here, and you can randomly select a spot on the body and work on it just to get to the subsequent round. Asuka will occasionally get shy and offer some comments, but most of it is merely repeated dialogue. Afterward, you can pick from a set of mini-games each of which involves a rather perverted view of her and deal with simple motion controls. This requires you to do a little more work and focus on filling out a heart meter by keeping her mood in the euphoric state where she gets the most pleasure. You are basically repeating the same motions again to achieve this task.
It all culminates in a climax that can lead to a piece of pervy artwork unlocking, or back to the beginning where you have to grip her hands again. Each time you finish this loop, a little blue crystal gets filled and once it is loaded, that’s it. The game doesn’t virtually end, but you can keep attempting this mode again if you enjoy doing it. The rest of the content is simple with the ability to unlock outfits or accessories for Asuka. You can cause her to pick a specific pose for all your pervy needs, and can even tweak her size or select a location for a diorama. This all feels like an optional side-content for a mainline Senran Kagura game, however, the $9.99 price tag doesn’t make it look that terrible even with the limited amount of content present in it.
The visuals are the only part of the game that I feel like deserve some praise. The character model seems great with a cell-shaded look. I hope the developers can utilize this engine to develop a proper Senran Kagura game for the Nintendo Switch, but as far as this entry is concerned, it is a hard pass unless you want a tech demo to showcase what the HD rumble can accomplish on the Nintendo Switch. Even in that case, there are better games out there that can offer a more interactive experience.
Senran Kagura Reflexions Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: SENRAN KAGURA combines with HD Rumble on the Nintendo Switch!
Final Score - 4/104/10
This feels more like a tech demo that was expanded into a miniature game. The gameplay gets incredibly repetitive, so it hard to enjoy it. The only worthwhile thing to say for it is the visuals look great.