Senran Kagura’s back, folks! You know what that means! I hope you do, anyway, because if you don’t I’m not planning on getting into it in any explicit detail; this is a family site, after all, and if there’s one thing you can say about this series it’s that it’s not especially family-friendly. If the kids want ninjas, you probably want them to stick to Naruto. This is a long-running series that’s all about lady ninjas doing…stuff…while wearing…clothes. Temporarily. Yeah. It does one thing and it does it well, except when it does other things, like the cooking game Bon Appetit and today’s shooter Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash.
The Senran Kagura cast are getting together for…a water gun fight? Yes, the Peach Beach Splash water gun tournament is taking place, meaning everyone’s going to be blasting away with Super Soakers until someone’s crowned champion. The winner earns whatever they want, while the losers will need to bundle up with towels to keep from catching cold. Also, it’s Senran Kagura, so…er, you’ve probably got an idea of what these games are all about. Look at the box art or at any of the above screenshots, then guess how things go when everyone’s running around in swimsuits spraying each other with water guns.
This is not the family-friendly shooter alternative that you were looking for; perhaps you should consider Splatoon instead if family-friendly watergun fun is what you’re after. If you WERE looking for this, however, then it’s exactly what you want and you should run off to buy it post haste. Perhaps wear a mask if you’re buying it physically, or consider purchasing from Amazon or PSN.
The most hilarious thing about all this is the fact that Peach Beach Splash actually works fairly well as a shooter. The controls are responsive, movement is quick and snappy including speedy dash abilities to help with re-positioning and shooting is as easy as it can be given you’re using analog sticks to aim. Given that the action’s all about using water guns you’ll periodically have to stop and “reload” with more water, which in many cases means paying attention to which areas have H2O available so you know where to restock. You’ve got a selection of cards available via booster packs that do various things; these range from equipping your ninja with a one-shot special attack to generating a defensive barrier. Setting up your deck before a battle is key to victory and provides an extra level of strategy. There are online and single-player modes alike to check out, so look forward to the inevitable Peach Beach Splash competitive scene, and the selection of playable ninjas is almost overwhelming.
Of course, the fact that this is a competent shooter is not what anyone’s going to be paying attention to. No, all eyes are going to be exactly where they’re intended to be throughout, for better or for worse. If you’ve played a Senran Kagura game before then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Fanservice doesn’t adequately describe what’s going on here. I’m not sure we have a word for that, actually, because this extends to the dialogue, the gameplay…everything. Just…suffice to say, the game is going to be exactly what you think it is throughout, perhaps to a greater extent than any other game in the series. Prepare yourself before you step through this particular gate – anime is a controlled substance and one can overdose. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
Series fans should buy Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash, series newcomers should realize exactly what they’re getting into and parents should avoid at all costs – that’s the bottom line for pretty much any Senran Kagura game and it applies here too. it’s still almost comical how good the shooting actually is here, given that one assumes the intention was to make a fanservice distribution system that mainlined softcore porn directly into one’s eyeballs, but there you have it. Peach Beach Splash is a pretty solid shooter. It’s also a very, very solid…Senran Kagura game. Your views on that are really going to come down to you.