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LTTP: Senran Kagura Estival Versus - It's kinda...asinine

So Estival Versus was on a pretty hefty discount on PS+, and I bought it on impulse.

Before I start, I want to contextualise both my experience with the franchise and my general feelings towards otaku games. I'm not fubdamentally against fanservice; I've been critical of certain aspects of Japanese fetishisation (lolis, innocent and subservient girls, etc) and some of the culture of the fandom surrounding these games, but I don't have any fundemantel issue with these games existing.

Regarding Senran Kagura, my first exposure to the series was Shinovi Versus. I played the Japanese version and liked it a bunch, despite not knowing what the hell was going on. I then played the first game and bounced off that pretty fast, but adored the second game, which was the first I played in English. The gameplay wasn't anything amazing, but I loved the ridiculous tonal inconsistency of a serious storyline and boobs all over the place. In particular, my favourite part of the games were the weird Cthulhu-esque monsters who all still had to have boobs.

Which brings me to Estival Versus. This game...kinda sucks? The gameplay doesn't seem to have evolved in any meaningful way from Shonovi Versus and the story has gone from ridiculous fanservice bullshit that tried to be serious to an anime beach episode stretched across an entire game. The move sets are stale and limited, and I find myself comparing the fucking Warriors games favourably to this. And the giant boss monsters are completely absent.

Finally, I've long seen fans insist that Senran Kagura's real appeal is its characters. I can't help but feel that they have been playing a different game from me. The characters are simple anime tropes who seem to feel a constant need to remind you what their gimmick is. Also, no one acts like a fucking human being! The intro seems to encapsulate all my problems with the writing; every second line is there to remind you which girl is the sadist and which is the masochist, and neither of them seem to be slightly perplexed when their fucking dead sister came back to life! The whole thing just feels fucking asinine.
 

Eolz

Member
Yeah EV went too far down the "special OVA" route for me as well. In a way, it feels like it's SV without the Vita constraints, but it was a disappointment.
And I'm a SK fan. But then again, the fanbase seems pretty divided between the Versus games and the 3DS ones.
 
It's..Senran Kagura. The fans convince themselves that they're in it for "the characters" and "surprisingly deep gameplay" so they don't feel like baka hentais or whatever. Of course that doesn't mean one can't be worse than another in the series, but from what I've seen/played, if you're going to enjoy one of these over another for the gameplay, it's really just going to come down to which platform you like playing on.
 

AllEchse

Member
I feel you

Deep Crimson is still the best game.
Hope they build on that for the next main game.

Estival Versus just evolved a bit form Shinovi Versus and only took minimal things like the partner attacks from SK2.
 
It's enjoyably mindless. It's extremely easy to exploit certain moves and some characters are extremely overpowered.

I liked both Shinovi and Estival, though. Got the Platinum for each.

I like them too, even though they have a lot of problems. But even on the hard difficulty, the whole game breaks with the super attacks.
 
Are there really people saying that the game has deep gameplay?

I've seen a few people insist the games play surprisingly well. While I will agree that they play a lot better than you would expect from a fanservice game, that's still not enough for me to consider the combat actually good.

I feel you

Deep Crimson is still the best game.
Hope they build on that for the next main game.

Estival Versus just evolved a bit form Shinovi Versus and only took minimal things like the partner attacks from SK2.

Honestly, I get the feeling we're never going to see another one like that. As far as I'm aware, Deep Crimson was the last of the 'dark and serious' SK games, and since then we've gotten the Versus games, that cooking game spinoff and the upcoming Splatoon with boobs. It feels like a fairly clear tonal shift.

In my opinion, the more lighthearted tone works better with the source material, but what I liked about the franchise was how poorly the serious narrative and the fanservice intersected.
 
More like "ass a 9."

I like the SK games but I wouldn't disagree with that assessment. They're dumb fun, much like the Musou games. But with more boobs.
 
I just bought it a couple of hours ago.

How does it compare to Onechanbara Z2 ? It's the only game in the genre I've played, and I liked it enough to get the platinum.
 
I just bought it a couple of hours ago.

How does it compare to Onechanbara Z2 ? It's the only game in the genre I've played, and I liked it enough to get the platinum.

If you liked OZ2 then you'll enjoy this. It's just simple hack and slash fun. And it's pretty easy to Platinum as well.
 

Seraphis Cain

bad gameplay lol
I've played every SK game minus SK2, and they just have never clicked with me. Something about them just feels...hollow. Like I'm not having any fun doing what I'm doing. Onechanbara is so much better, especially Z2.
 

Chesskid1

Banned
i complete shinovi versus last week on the vita and started estival versus on ps4 a few days ago. first thing i noticed was how much slower the characters are, it's annoying.
 
Not deep, but I can certainly say the gameplay can be really good (SK2) to alright (some chapters in SV).

Honestly, I'm not sure if I'd agree with that. SK2 is far and away my favourite game of the series, but I felt its combat was boring and repetitive, and liked the game inspite of it.
 

Sir TapTap

Member
lol at people in here just to hate

Finally, I've long seen fans insist that Senran Kagura's real appeal is its characters. I can't help but feel that they have been playing a different game from me.

Yeah by not playing SK1 or Shinovi Versus in English you've missed the two games with the strongest intend to flesh out the characters so that's pretty easy to see.

And I don't know how you could possibly play Estival after Shinovi and not feel the massive upgrade. Did you play it on Vita? That might do it, being on PS4 helped a massive amount and what Iv'e heard of the Vita version sounds eh (it was very very clear in Shinovi how much the Vita held it back, even if was pretty good for Vita in many ways).

I feel like you're playing exactly all the wrong games to be able to say something like "the characters aren't well written". I have significant gripes with Shinovi, but it did a great job of introducing the characters. My only major complaint of Estival is they let Haruka ruin an entire chapter with her stupid garbage. It's also underrated how different all the characters are, totally different weapons for everyone (even the sword wielders are different enough), if you play attention a lot of love is given to the characters, that more than anything is what makes it feel great to me.

No one said it had deep gameplay, lol, just that it was fun. Personally I find it very fun and it's one of the only musou-ish games I like. Valkyrie Drive has slightly more in-depth combat, but not quite deep enough to make up for the lack of character options, and I don't know if it's the game's fault or PQube's localization, but it's about as dry as cardboard and I basically skip all text after only a couple chapters which is a real drag. Almost none of the charm of Senran Kagura. The humor really ties everything together for me and keeps anything from seeming too gross or whatever.

I just bought it a couple of hours ago.

How does it compare to Onechanbara Z2 ? It's the only game in the genre I've played, and I liked it enough to get the platinum.

It's not really in the same genre exact, OZ2 is a Character Action game much more like Devil May Cry, this is a 3D brawler based more on flair and occasional swarms of enemies than score like a character action game would be.

You'd probably still like it, but the best order is Shinovi -> Estival. Shinovi is really hard to play going back from Estival (even on PC), and Estival doesn't bother to explain characters like Shinovi does (it's the point of the whole game) so you'll be a bit lost.

i complete shinovi versus last week on the vita and started estival versus on ps4 a few days ago. first thing i noticed was how much slower the characters are, it's annoying.

It's more like they added weight classes. Yomi is nice and weighty now which makes a lot of sense for her weapon, Asuka is pretty much the same IIRC. I like how things felt more different in Estival.

Edit:
Honestly, I get the feeling we're never going to see another one like that. As far as I'm aware, Deep Crimson was the last of the 'dark and serious' SK games, and since then we've gotten the Versus games, that cooking game spinoff and the upcoming Splatoon with boobs. It feels like a fairly clear tonal shift.

In my opinion, the more lighthearted tone works better with the source material, but what I liked about the franchise was how poorly the serious narrative and the fanservice intersected.

Yeah I doubt we'll get another like SK2 and I really don't want it either. A follower on Twitter thinks it's one of like, the best stories ever written, no lie, but like. It did not work for me at all. It got too serious to be able to properly mix in the humor and it just ended up with disasters like the horrible snake monster the size of a town...also it has huge titties and yeah I don't think it has the intimidation factor intended.
 
Are there really people saying that the game has deep gameplay?

Not deep at all. You have guard cancels, dash cancels, and jump cancels. Easily exploitable that more or less allow you to run around or do dumb shit. One example is Kagura, She has a move that allows her teleport straight into air. She can dash cancel it multiple times to keep doing it and then jump cancel which refreshes her air dashes. By the time she is finished, she will be at the ceiling of map or so high that the other characters look like grains of rice.

Outside of the fanservice, the game is a piece of shit.
 
I've played every SK game minus SK2, and they just have never clicked with me. Something about them just feels...hollow. Like I'm not having any fun doing what I'm doing. Onechanbara is so much better, especially Z2.

I've played SK, and SK:SV as many said it was a better game and I didn't think much of either. Couldn't even finish SV.
 
You absolutely nailed all the issues the series has as whole now. SV wasn't a great game but you could tell there were the seeds of a competent one buried under all the pointless fanservice and "wacky" characters.

SK2 on the other hand was a legitimate attempt to move the series into something more, with a better thought gameplay, an actual plot to drive the combat and what I found an acceptable middle point between seriousness and fanservice. Unfortunately the game failed to live up the expectations of the players who found the series with Versus and thus, was badly received.

EV tried to win back the crowd by doubling down on what made SV successful but it ended being shallow and even more mindless. It honestly feels like a bad expansion pack rather than a full fledged game and the writing went completly down on flames. The writers don't know what they want the game to be, leading to some ridiculous tone shifting. Characters get flanderized horribly, taking away what it made them endearing on the first place.

However, the game ended being a huge success and now there is little hope for the series to recover what made it interesting.

That said, Valkyrie Drive is a great spiritual successor to SK2. Combat is a lot more polished than any SK game (thanks to the smaller cast) and the writing is fantastic. Giving every character a significative development while adding some great twists that take advantage of the outrageous premise.
 
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