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Senran Kagura: Reflexions
Game Reviews

Senran Kagura: Reflexions

A visual novel that uses the Switch’s motion controls in unique ways we’re sure Nintendo never intended.

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Hey, look, another Senran Kagura game! They’re going to keep coming out with these and I’m going to keep writing about them all, one way or the other. Such is my lot in life, since, as I wrote in one of these reviews awhile back, I was once cursed by a mummy. It’s mostly true, especially if you want it to be. Stay out of tombs, kids, unless your name is Lara Croft.

Anyway, today we’ve got a real treat for Switch users: Senran Kagura: Reflexions, a somewhat different – but don’t worry, not too different – take on the franchise that certainly ‘feels’ unique. That’s actually an understatement as I’m sure Nintendo is regretting naming their console’s controllers Joy-Cons right about now.

How is Reflexions different? Well, it’s a visual novel! It’s not exactly going to blow you away with a deep and involving story. You’ll hang out with series mainstay Asuka, experiencing various scenarios ranging from whoa to hoo boy. That special Senran Kagura feel is present in the form of a massage mechanic where you use the Joy-Cons to, um…do the thing. Yeah. There are buttons for various types of “massage,” so choose whatever suits your fancy and have at it, I guess. Turns out that this is based on the concept of “reflexology,” or massage applied to specific areas of the extremities, so I can’t say I didn’t learn something while playing.

In other words, Reflexions is a visual novel in the tried and true anime style with a motion-based massage minigame attached to it; you can use the control sticks instead if you’d prefer, but really now. There’s the usual cutesy imagery associated with all this, and the writing, such as it is, uh…is a thing that exists and you can read it. You’ll probably even enjoy it if you are the sort who enjoys this sort of thing. I’d strongly recommend not playing this one with other people around, but you do you.

Look, we all know that if you’re into these games you’re probably playing this one already. The only other reason you’d be checking this one out is if you’re part of a game review website vocally fretting about its existence, he said with hardly a hint of irony as he wiped his brow. With that in mind, Senran Kagura: Reflexions is exactly what series fans are after: importing more of the same into yet another genre. That such a game is even available on a Nintendo platform is a kind of miracle by itself, but that’s the state of gaming in 2018. From that perspective, it’s about as much of a success as one could ask for, so it gets a yay. That’s an awkward approval from the back of the room as I slip away to play more Monster Hunter or something like that, but an approval nonetheless.