Senran Kagura Burst Review (3DS)

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Publisher: Marvelous Entertainment
Developer: Tamsoft

Main Review

Review Context: I’m a huge fan of the beat ’em up genre that is not fading away, but is becoming rare to find. What I mean by that is most beat ’em up games are download games instead of physical copies.
Date of Playthrough: October 13, 2014

Xseed Games has been known for bringing a lot of high quality Japanese games stateside without the need for importing. The Last Story, Fragile Dreams, and the Little King’s Story to name a few. So when it was announced that Senran Kagura Burst would be available stateside, people were surprised given the content of the game. To play it safe, the game released as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop, while Europe has a choice to buy the game digital or physical. Will this be another big hit for Xseed Games, or will it be a bust? Sorry for the double pun.

SenranKaguraBurstScreen01

Graphics

The game has a nice colorful feel. The visuals get the job done, though you’ll hardly notice since you’ll be to busy beating up baddies. The themes for the levels are nicely done. You are treated to an animated opening, though after that get ready for some long reading to explain the story. The game moves in 2D side scrolling fashion while character movement is 3D. Slow down does occur when too much action is going on. The game proudly shows off the “movement” of the fighters as the game uses Dead Or Alive physics on their breasts.

I should note the 3D in this game. While No More Heroes was made famous for you shaking the Wiimote in a certain matter to recharge your katana beam, this game uses the 3D effect to new levels. By default the 3D is turned off, but when your character goes through the transformation sequence the 3D is turned on since you get a lot of fan service shots. For those who don’t watch anime, a fan service shot is when the camera focuses on female’s assets. When a fan service scene happens the 3D is turned on and afterwards it shuts back off.

Controls

Gameplay takes some getting used to, but the tutorial lesson at the beginning helps you ease in. Before you know it you’ll be pulling off 1,000 hit combos. There’s strong attack, weak attack, slide, and jump. Linking the combos takes timing and even though you can button mash, you gain experience for trying out different combos. What makes this great is that each fighter has a different style. One can be slow and powerful, while the other could be fast but weak. The drawback to the combat is that the game lacks a block button. Sure older beat ’em ups had no block button, but that was okay since you only had a few enemies on screen, while this game has multiple enemies on screen to the point the frame rate takes a nosedive. When you earn the ability to transform and use special attacks you move faster and so does your combo. You have the option of using either the d-pad or circle pad for moving your character. The touch screen is used in the hub menu to quickly go to levels, options etc… if you don’t feel like moving your character to a different part of the room. During battle it can be used to show your stats and move list.

Senran Kagura Burst Screenshot02

Design

This single-player download is made for handheld gaming. The game is short, but offers a lot of replayablity. You can choose from five fighters and work your way through four chapters, however there are certain levels where you have to use a certain character to play that level. There is also leveling up your character to get stronger and the levels get harder as you’ll be overrun with enemies. Not only that, but you have a rival school to deal with and you can play through their story as well. That’s ten fighters along with lots of content to unlock while the grinding for leveling up is hardly noticed, which is a good thing. In order to let you know you are taking damage your fighter’s clothing tears off (less is bad), while you still have a health meter to remind you. Yes, the scenes of the clothes ripping off are in 3D. If speed running is your thing then you can use Frantic Mode. With this your character strips down to her swimsuit attire and battles, while her attacks are quick and powerful she will also have weak defense.

When you earn new attire for your fighter you can go the dressing room and see how it looks on her, but if you get any funny ideas with the camera the game will call you out on it (most of the time). 3D mode is turned on.

Sound

The music gives off a nice high school vibe since this is the setting for the game, and the sound effects are fine but grow tiresome. There are no options for dubbed voices, so you only hear Japanese with English subtitles which is fine, but hearing the same yelling as you beat down on enemies will have you turn the volume down. I’m not surprised that the ripping of clothes sounds great.

Similar Games Liked:
River City Ransom (NES)
Viewtiful Joe (GameCube)

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