Senran Kagura Burst

Once the nosebleeds stop, Senran Kagura Burst is actually a nicely shimmering masher.

By Daavpuke, Posted 02 Mar 2014

It’s weird how a gimmick can remain so central to a whole, such as the case is for Senran Kagura Burst, which uses blatant sexual imagery as an angle, but otherwise doesn’t need it. And yet; yet it bases its entire theme on this smut, shredding clothes off young girls and having them focus largely on their separate body parts. That said, the game past the superficial attention grabbing has within it a functional appeal and that in quite the pretty packaging. There’s no denying this uncomfortably lewd title is reserved to only a select few, but at least it tries to build a game, be it repetitive, around its ogling.

Senran Kagura Burst, 3DS, Review,Screenshot
This is the actual game.

In a further attempt to pad the side-scrolling slasher, the story of Senran Kagura Burst splits itself in two, offering the unique perspective of both “good” and “evil” sides. Two schools of ninja assassin girls with huge chests fight for their respective faction, but what prejudice they have about their opponents may actually have some ulterior reasons. Maybe they’ll even find out that they’re not unalike. It’s the standard surprise, repartee, determination trifecta plot from any anime ever made, but it does capture a more human side of the walking meat sacks. Many of the game’s chapters even hold visual novels in them with dozens of panels filled with formative experiences. There are definitely one or two evocative moments to be had.

Moreover, the game doesn’t skimp on the spit shine either. Character models are some of the cleanest designs on 3DS ever produced, with silky smooth animations, aided by their limited use, but impressive nonetheless. Unfortunately, the 3D effect has nothing else to offer than fuzziness and framerate hindrance.

Cutscenes and conversation panels are livelier with these bouncy girls aiding the plot, because the Japanese narration sure doesn’t help. A poppy soundtrack is more diversely fitting to differing situations than the range of shrill to shriller voices from characters, weirdly offset by one or two fully bass tones from girls who are exactly alike. Regardless, they’re best seen and not heard.

Senran Kagura Burst, 3DS, Review,Screenshot
This is what the game's about.

Any side of the story makes use of the same parts, which is mostly a set of missions in five chapters and a separate dressing room to try out new outfits and do things. Do things. Each objective is laid out for one shinobi, as they’re called, which usually involves beating droves of people or fighting a clock. Scarcely, another goal may pop up. Still, all battles are fought on a side-scrolling plain of alleyways, forest paths or in the chamber of an ancient school. Here, speed is the most important aspect, as combos need to be strung together without getting blasted.

Two attacks form the basis of all combat, but one is usually enough at all times. Later on, a few more moves are learned through a leveling system, but that one move is all that’s needed. It’s only timing that matters. Luckily, it does that latter part well by cutting some encounters close, when different enemy types start stacking up. Tougher opponents can waste health bars quickly and recovery is hard once the chips are down. Not only that, but getting attacked also destroys clothing in humiliatingly captured scenes, leaving girls to fight in their undies. Some of them absolutely get off on this degradation, because why wouldn’t they?

Senran Kagura Burst, 3DS, Review,Screenshot

Staying on top is vital. Special attacks can help with that. Once a gauge is filled, it’s possible to trigger a short scene that starts a large scale assault on the environment, likely with some more objectification sprinkled in there. It’s only to be sure that the boob and upskirt physics are put to the fullest of use. During successful combos, an aerial pursuit can also be achieved, by reacting well to the proper prompt. This is equally useful when enemies on the ground are overwhelming. Staying afloat allows for some repositioning, after which a downward strike can split the crowd. Should all else fails, an unstoppable attack can be used at the cost of health, but that’s a last resort.

Handier than that, a Frantic mode gambles on a mission by starting disrobed. While nearly naked, attacking will be much more efficient, trading off vulnerability for potency. It’s a nice trick to keep experienced hands busy, once the monotony of slashing sets in.

That’s really the entire game though; it’s the full breadth of possibility. Any achievement may still unlock some content in the form of new dresses, outfits and other fetish items, but those serve their best purpose in the dressing room. Here, girls can be viewed from most angles, the camera can zoom in on certain parts and it’s possible to see those physics at work. It sounds off-putting, which it can be, but once more Senran Kagura Burst at least tries to add something of value, with many ensemble choices, unique to characters and changeable in color.

Senran Kagura Burst, 3DS, Review,Screenshot

Beating the game will yield even less reputable options, whereupon the flipside of the tale can be done anew, with fresh meat and more visual novels to append the attack spamming. It’s not worth staying locked in for several more hours of pressing one button, but it’s there to those truly invested in the girls and their struggles with life and love.

There is more content than needed in Senran Kagura Burst, which fits its overtly lewd theme of jiggling body parts and masturbatory scenes, mashed into a pretty side-scrolling fighter. With a decent challenge curve and precise combat, it at least has an actual game to offer and it’s one with auxiliary elements like visual novels and costume parties. Those uncomfortable with objectification will not want to dig in, but anyone in tune with their juvenile spirit may get a giggle out of a simple yet functional romp, repetitive as it may be.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed (@Daavpuke)

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  • Didn’t realize that outsiders play Senran Kagura too. Nice review but it's a little vulgar in some areas.
    Posted Mar 03, 2014


General Information

Platform(s): 3DS
Publisher(s): Marvelous AQL Europe, Xseed Games
Developer(s): Tamsoft
Genres: Beat-'Em-Up
Themes: Platformer
Release Date: 2014-02-28

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