After a long and hard wait, finally Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash has made it’s way to our damp European shores. Thanks again to the mighty fine ladies and gentlemen working overtime at Marvellous UK! Before I tell you about the game, let’s all be thankful that they have the nerves to release titles like this outside Japan.
Now the elephant in the room… yes, this is another Senran Kagura game, which means, if you know the series, you know the drill. It is extremely divisive. I know plenty of people that love it, and plenty that don’t. It is however, quintessentially Japanese and kno-wobbing-ly OTT! The narrative, as always, focuses on different shinobi clans, battling for supremacy whilst learning life lessons and listening to extended proverbs along the way. Peach Beach Splash however, mixes up the tried and tested SK formula and replaces the hand to hand combat Shinobi skills with seemingly extremely powerful and dangerous water guns.
At it’s core, Peach Beach Splash is a team based, third person shooter, where your Shinobi clan of five girls take on either hordes of genero-enemies, five opposing clan members, or giant robot bosses. It’s always a fight to the death, and extremely fun whilst you do so. It’s one of those smile inducing video games that you can’t help but have a blast with.
Like its predecessors, the single player gameplay is set into Clan Specific Story missions, where you follow a single narrative arc for one clan at a time, this narrative then intertwines together towards the end. As well as this there are Paradise Episodes, smaller more focused standalone stories based around a handful of characters. Peach Beach Splash also adds V-Road Challenge. A mode where you take on gradually harder sets of foes in a five-tier tournament, in which you must win to progress. Losing sends you back to the first round.
The main story is typically crazy, and basically just an excuse for a massive water fight between the large, well rounded, group of Shinobi… As you progress through the modes you will receive packs of cards that grant you new abilities, weapons and side-kicks. These give you an edge during battle and are summoned by pressing the d-pad. They range from protective force fields, to allies (or pets) that constantly shoot rockets at enemies. If you have already collected a card once, the doubles acquired are added to your collection and then used to upgrade your character, weapons and abilities. Rarer cards are worth a lot more XP, therefore awarded a lot less. There are three difficulty levels which award higher levels of cards on completion. I started on Easy, ranked up a few weapons and characters and then started playing on normal. It is quite a nice way to temper the difficulty curve, as jumping straight on the hardest will leave you sore.
Along with single player modes to keep you busily shooting away into the early hours, you can always get your mates involved with the online multiplayer. The game offers the kind of modes you’d expect from a third person shooter, the action is free flowing and works well, especially when plenty of players are online. However, as those of you that know me well, I much prefer to drive solo. So, diving back into the single player I should also mention that there is your standard Senran Kagura store, where Zeni you have earned throughout the game can be spent on new card packs, costumes and stranger extra’s such as the ability to change the colour of the water. Sadly, there is a lack of an in game photo mode – which seems to be standard in a lot of PS4 games these days.
Overall, I would say if you are a fan of any of the Senran Kagura games, you will feel extremely at home here. Yes, it isn’t the same, but good on Marvelous for shaking up the formula and releasing something a bit risky. I am not sure it will cater for all, but if you want a laugh and a single player blast – Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash is worth a night of your time! You can still pick up the collector’s edition here!