Review: Senran Kagura – Peach Beach Splash

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If you’ve read my pre­vious Sen­ran Kagu­ra reviews, my frus­tra­ti­on with the series should be obvious by this point. Any poten­ti­al the series had is gone, repla­ced with low effort spin­offs desi­gned to make as much money as pos­si­ble. Peach Beach Splash does litt­le to chan­ge this trend, offe­ring poor game­play and a sor­ry excu­se for a plot.

Sen­ran Kagu­ra: Peach Beach Splash takes place after the events of Esti­val Ver­sus, whe­re the various shi­no­bi are invi­ted to a new event taking place: the titu­lar Peach Beach Splash. This tour­na­ment is fought wit­hout shi­no­bi abi­li­ties, ins­tead for­cing par­ti­ci­pants to use water guns for… rea­sons.

One of my big­gest com­p­laints with Esti­val Ver­sus, along rhythm game spin-off Bon Appé­tit!, was that the plot was com­ple­te­ly point­less, and PBS is even wor­se in that regard. The ent­i­re­ty of the sto­ry is com­ple­te­ly worth­less, fea­turing litt­le cha­rac­ter deve­lop­ment or inte­res­ting events. It honest­ly just feels like a was­te of time going though the sto­ry mode, sin­ce you know that next to not­hing will actual­ly hap­pen by the end. At the very least, PBS is far shorter than Esti­val Ver­sus mea­ning that you don’t have to suf­fer through qui­te as much ina­ne dia­lo­gue.

If the game was at least fun to play I could igno­re pro­blems with the sto­ry but PBS is, qui­te frank­ly, ter­ri­ble. Repla­cing the braw­ler game­play of the main­li­ne games, PBS is clo­ser to a third per­son shoo­ter. In a team of up to 5 cha­rac­ters, you fight against other teams of shi­no­bi or waves of regu­lar enemies depen­ding on the level. Aiming is typi­cal of a TPS, though you have access to a lock-on that tri­via­li­ses any of the sin­gle play­er con­tent sin­ce enemies are extre­me­ly stu­pid and usual­ly run direc­t­ly at you.

Move­ment is what I’d con­si­der the best part about game­play. You have a water pack that can be used to jet around on the ground or up into the air. This makes get­ting around each map easy, but dashing can feel a litt­le clun­ky with how slow­ly you turn and the gene­ral­ly awful came­ra.

Wea­pons in PBS are not very fun to use, main­ly due to all of them sharing the same water effec­ts. Once a few peop­le start firing, it’s hard to tell what’s going on or even if you’re being hit. Adding to this is the game’s poor frame­ra­te, which tanks the moments more that a few peop­le start shoo­ting. The­se pro­blems lead to each match being a chop­py and con­fu­sing mess. The worst part about the over­all poor per­for­mance is that PBS doesn’t even look that gre­at. Envi­ron­ments are fair­ly bland and cha­rac­ter models lack detail, making FPS issu­es even more inex­cus­able.

Along side your main wea­pons like machi­ne guns and rocket laun­chers, you also have access to cards that have various abi­li­ties. Card packs are gai­ned from finis­hing matches or can be bought from the game’s store. Each card has a rari­ty that defi­nes how strong that card is, so the hig­her the rari­ty the bet­ter. The card sys­tem is one of the big­gest flaws in PBS, offe­ring litt­le actu­al depth sin­ce the majo­ri­ty of cards aren’t actual­ly worth using.

The cards are also tied to ano­t­her fla­wed mecha­nic: the level­ling sys­tem. You see, cha­rac­ters, wea­pons and cards can all be level­led up to maxi­mum of level 10. A cha­rac­ter at max level has three times as much health than they start with. Wea­pons and cards are also far more power­ful as you level them. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue, if it wasn’t for the fact that the­se level bonu­ses car­ry over into mul­ti­play­er.

The fact that you must grind to stand a chan­ce online, com­bi­ned with the Sen­ran Kagu­ra series being pret­ty niche, has lead to the mul­ti­play­er por­ti­on of the game beco­m­ing a ghost town wit­hin a few days of release. Try­ing to find a com­pe­ti­ti­ve match is near impos­si­ble and even the coope­ra­ti­ve modes only have a few play­ers online at any given time. In our attempts to play with others, we only ran into three other play­ers.

Multiplayer Footage (Francesco’s Point of View)

Multiplayer Footage (Patrick’s Point of View)


PBS’s dead mul­ti­play­er, com­bi­ned with an over­all lack of sin­gle play­er con­tent, means that the­re real­ly is litt­le rea­son to purcha­se it. The Sen­ran Kagu­ra series has been on a the decli­ne for a long time now, and it seems like this latest ent­ry is just fur­ther pro­of of that.

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