Reader Review: Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit (PS Vita)

SENRAN_BOXSenran Kagura is a beat ‘em up game series starring a group of busty female ninjas.  I think it may be an anime series, too, but I’m not sure.  And now the crazy characters are starring in their very own…cooking rhythm game?!?  Well, since I’m not an expert on this stuff, plus I don’t have a PS Vita, I had my friend Leroy review this.

Senran Kagura is comically over the top, and delightfully so. The series is about warring clans of female ninja with a rather extreme focus on cheesecake. The gals of Senran Kagura are curvy and bouncy and the games go to great lengths to emphasize this. While the previous games in the series have been beat ’em up style games, Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit is a rhythm game. About cooking. A rhythm cooking game starring sexy female ninjas.

The premise here is that the ninja girls are entering a cooking contest where the winner will have any wish granted. So you select a character, pick her outfits and hairstyles and set off to challenge a number of opponents. Each round is played with a song in the background while you tap buttons to the music. You have a special move you can use to increase you scores if you are doing well, but there’s not much else to it. Tap in rhythm and win, tap out of rhythm too much and lose.

Oh, and the character that is losing each battle will continually have clothes removed during the battle. As I was saying, this is a series that is loud and proud of what it’s doing.

Rhythm games with only controller button inputs are tricky. Without something more interesting to interact with, whether it be a dance mat or a taiko drum, you need a really clever game or extremely amazing music to keep attention. Bon Appétit tries to make things a little more interesting by involving both D-pad and button inputs simultaneously and by having two lines of visual inputs to follow, but at the end of it, you’re still simply tapping buttons. The music is mostly traditional Japanese music (because ninjas), with some genre variations, all of it composed for the game (no licensed music, to my knowledge).

As simply a rhythm game, Senran Kagura Bon Appétit doesn’t really stand out much. The music isn’t that great and the gameplay is pretty limited. If you are into the cheesecake factor however, the game ends up being a blast in small sessions simply to follow the extremely silly storylines and to collect tons and tons and tons of outfits and accessories to dress the girls up in.

There are a couple of different game modes (like Story and Arcade), but the gameplay is the same and the song selection is fairly limited, so there’s not a lot of variety outside of the different character stories.

The base game ($14.99) has ten characters and ten songs while a DLC package ($14.99) contains another ten characters and songs.


Kid Factor:

Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit is rated M for Mature with ESRB descriptors of Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, and Language.  There’s heightened sexuality bursting out everywhere, from visuals to dialogue. The entire premise of the series is playful, exaggerated sexuality. Bouncing breasts, camera zoom-ins on butts and all manner of skimpy clothing and lingerie. There’s no actual sex and “naughty bits” are always covered, even when the girls are down to nothing, but we’re talking technicalities here.  –Leroy Capasso

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