Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is the seventh entry in one of my favorite series of what I call "titty anime games." As is IMMEDIATELY apparently from the box art alone, this is not going to be a game for everyone. A lot of folks will likely find this game offensive, and honestly, I can't blame them. There are different ways to look at this game, and I really enjoyed, but your perspective on it is really going to do a lot to determine how you end up feeling about it.
The Senran Kagura series is about different schools of female shinobi-in-training, and while most of the games are side scrolling beat-em-ups, there are a couple that try on different genres, and this is one of those that deviate from the normal genre instead trying a competitive third person shooter that's not unlike Splatoon in its feel and format. It also brings together the various characters and side groups that have been introduced throughout the series' games in an attempt to tie them together into a single canon universe to serve as a launching point for future games in the series, a point that is made pretty clear at the end of the story mode.
The biggest complaint I've seen with this game is the blatant objectification of women, and that's a valid complaint. There are really two ways of looking at this type of game that determines whether or not one is outraged at the sexism. The first way is the way that folks tend to look at porn - that it turns women into sexual objects rather than people and sets up unrealistic expectations for women. The other way to see the game (the way I see it) is as a caricature. Yes, it objectifies the women in the game but in the same way that dime-a-dozen romance novel covers objectify men - in a way that is OBVIOUSLY unrealistic. No one looks like the women in this game; it's unrealistic to the point of absurdity which makes it, in my view, more caricature than serious objectification. I'm absolutely not telling people that they shouldn't feel offended by this game, but I am saying that some folks see this series as stupidly absurd rather than an attempt at legitimately portraying women. As an added side note, too, the characters, while trope-y at times, are genuinely fairly well developed and legitimately strong female character. They just happen to be strong female characters with massive breasts who are shooting each other with water guns in tiny bikinis.
The visuals are about what one familiar with the company would expect from Marvelous - good but not extraordinary. There's not an enormous amount of detail in the water effects, but you're unlikely to pay any real attention to the standing water when the action starts to heat up. The sound is quite well done, though; the music is really enjoyable, and the voice acting (which is only in Japanese) is well done, although a few characters play up the cutesy high pitched voice cliche a bit too much. The story is pretty simple for the most part; the four squads of shinobi girls - Hanzo, Gessen, Hebijo, and Homura Crimson Squad - are transported to this island and forced to compete in a water gun tournament to build up shinobi energy to keep the seal on some ancient demon from breaking. Individual characters get some deeper motivations throughout the single player, but that's the basic plot.
The game plays a lot like Splatoon except either team deathmatch or survival instead of Splatoon's unique "Turf War" game mode. The single player has a story mode consisting of a prologue and five arcs as well as random side missions, a free tournament, and a survival mode. I had a hard time finding folks to play online with, but from what I can tell, that's either team deathmatch or survival as well. You can equip your girls with any of the water guns that you want, and instead of the shinobi arts they had in the previous games, you get ability cards that you can use to customize a small deck that makes up their skill arsenals. The concept is simple, but the wide array of characters, costumes, and skill cards give the game a lot more depth than is immediately apparent for those who feel like diving in.
Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is definitely a controversial piece of the PlayStation 4's library, but for those not bothered by the fairly sexist nature of the game, it's actually a pretty fun one. The characters have a lot more depth than one would expect from their models and the game's concept, but the gameplay itself is rock solid and addicting. It can get repetitive (as is par for the course for the Senran Kagura series), but that seems to be less of an issue in this game than in most of the entries in the series. I wouldn't say "RUN OUT AND BUY THIS GAME NOW," but if you're into third person arena style shooters and like pervy anime games, check this one out.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.