Ahhhh, the wonderful world of Senran Kagura games. When it seems the planet's gone mad and every day brings more dark news, it’s comforting to know one can lose oneself in the welcoming bosoms of video game anime girls. And not just one or two, but a bevy of buxom beauties. The Senran Kagura series makes no bones about what it is, nor any apologies. It is fan service of the most honest kind. No tricks, but lots of treats.
Usually, the girls are beating each other up in button-mashy fighting games, but this time there’s a twist...they’re squirting each other with water guns in bright beach-like locales. Yes, a squirt gun game! A Senran Kagura squirt gun game! Exactly what the world needs!
All kidding aside, I have to give the Senran Kagura game creators credit for trying out new genres from time to time. It keeps the series from growing stale. I also admire the consistent level of quality in their games. While the games won’t win any awards, they’re not quick cash grabs either. There is some love and hard work put into each title and it shows.
In this game, you can play a variety of girls in bikinis and compete in a series of water gun matches against other girls in bikinis. It’s a squad-based third-person shooter with various weapons, upgrades and a lot of wet, squirty action. The emphasis is on fun, so don’t go in expecting a deep, complex shooter.
And fun it is! There are a variety of upgradable weapons, all water guns, that you can use to soak the other girls. They run the gamut of what you’d expect in a basic modern-day shooter. There are automatics, pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers and more, but they all shoot water, there’s not a drop of blood in the game.
Matches go pretty quick and are fairly easy. The only difficult part is dealing with the dopey AI that controls your teammates. But since the difficulty is already so low, this wasn’t too much of an issue. Also, if they get too soaked and are stunned, you can rescue them and they can do the same for you to put you back in the game.
The maps are brightly colored beachy fun with lots of places to hide or lead enemies into bottlenecks for major squirt downs. You can also fly into the sky, or boost along the ground super-fast with a water-powered jet pack. However, as soon as the water in your pack is gone, the ride's over and you have to refill. In fact, refilling is a constant in the game and you’ll have to choose your weapons wise because some run out of water much faster than others.
After winning matches, you’ll earn card packs which allow you to get new skills and upgrades. The girls on the cards are lovingly drawn and it’s always fun to open a new pack, even if it’s just to see all the art. There’s a crazy amount of art in this game!
You can also earn money, which can be used to buy new outfits and various things to customize your girls’ looks. You can even head into the Dressing Room and dress your girls up and move the camera around as you like. And you can “grab” the girls’ body parts by manipulating the analog sticks. Plus, you can create your own dioramas by putting a bunch of girls in a room setting them up how you like. You can even increase or decrease their size. There is no shortage of pervy extras!
You can play the game alone, or go online and compete in a variety of multiplayer madness. It’s not exactly a robust online experience, but for a basic shooter, it should provide an adequate amount of entertainment.
And of course, the game comes with classic Senran Kagura banter as the girls talk about all manner of things between matches. There are plenty of different kinds of gals, so there’s little doubt you’ll find your “best girl.” For the record, I like Murakumo, because she wears a cool, scary mask and I like cool, scary masks.
My main complaint about the game is it’s hard to see if you’re actually hitting an enemy or not because you’re shooting them with water and water is transparent. Luckily, the word “HIT” appears in giant letters above your foes to show you you’re actually shooting them. Even so, it’s a little tough to see if you’re soaking them or not.
Speaking of soaking them down, if you stun an enemy, the screen changes to first person perspective and you get to squirt them up close. If you soak them enough in certain places, their clothes fly off and glowing light beams shoot out of their naughty bits! It’s ridiculously funny every time it happens.
Senran Kagura fans, you know exactly what you’re getting into with this game. Everybody else, I’d say give it a try, if you’re not put off by the subject matter. You may just find your “best girl” and get a chance to soak her down!
Hint: Keep an eye on your water gauge! Nothing more embarrassing than finally pinning down your enemy and your gun’s totally dry!
by Urian Brown
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