What Peach Beach Splash (Might) Mean For Senran Kagura’s Future

Senran Kagura has always been a series at odds with itself. It showed even in the first game, but it became strikingly clear in Shinovi Versus. Each story ran down a rollercoaster starting off mostly serious, veering quite silly, then back dead serious for everyone’s backstories, then usually back to silly again (and in a few cases a few more twists).

A Pair of Worlds

There are two sides to Senran Kagura: The Fun, and what I will (only somewhat derisively) refer to as the Edge. The main story has always had a sharp edge hidden into it; the very start of Estival Versus ponders on how a Shinobi’s life is a brutal, short thing. Then most of the game returns to Fun as the girls enjoy what is more or less a huge beach party with the opportunity to visit many beloved dead relatives. Fun and Edge battle left and right through the game and indeed, the series as a whole. The other games follow similar whiplash-inducing arcs between drama and silliness.

While I definitely enjoy Senran Kagura for far more than the simple boob fan service, I’d be lying if I didn’t find the Edge side a bit less satisfying than the Fun. When it was just backstories it was very touching and intriguing; a sequence in Estival where circumstances force Miyabi to explore her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to her mother’s death, I felt very connected to her, and the writing felt so real it was a bit uncomfortable as someone with invasive memories of my own.

Mixed Feelings

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How to import Japanese Estival Versus saves to the Localization

If you’re like me and imported the Japanese release of Senran Kagura Estival Versus AND bought the localized release, you might have been disappointed your old save file didn’t work in the English release. Well, it turns out you CAN import that save data, we just need to use the cross save feature! Here’s a quick step by step guide, this should only take a minute.

Note that you still need to have the Japanese copy of the game to do this with, your save file alone can’t be imported, we need to use the Cross Save functionality ingame to export and import.

Also since this is cross save, you can import a Japanese Vita version’s save data into the US PS4 release or whatever you like.

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Senran Kagura Estival Versus Review in Progress

Senran Kagura Estival Versus releases today on PS4 and PS Vita, and while I didn’t quite (nearly) get enough time to finish it in time for release, I have beaten the Japanese release and have some strong opinions on the game.

So I thought I would present an interim “what I think/what to know” review in progress before I finish up the real ordeal, for anyone looking to decide day one. Instead of worrying about a nice format I decided to just lay out all the relevant its and bits for anyone on the edge of making a buying decision.

You can also check out my my Import Review for Estival Versus for my impressions of the Japanese release.

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Senran Kagura Estival Versus Import Review

I wouldn’t normally import a game almost certain to get localized, but I went and made an exception here as I had to have the chibi figures the game comes with. So I thought I’d make a review, note I’m reviewing this as someone who can’t read, write or understand a lick of Japanese.

If you’re unfamiliar with Senran Kagura, there may be evil sinful M rated boobies in the following digital pages, so kindly flee in horror if that is a problem.

All of this review is written from the perspective of the PS4 version of Senran Kagura Estival Versus and assumes you’ve played Shinovi Versus (it’s basically required playing first). I can’t say much about the vita version–it’s still in it’s wrapping and will probably remain that way. I have heard the Vita version has assorted minor problems, framerate dips, 30 FPS to start with, some bugs not present in the PS4 version (at least, I never saw them), and I assume the load times are far higher–they range from instant to ~5 seconds to load a cutscene/level on PS4.

Update

The game has received a lot of patches adding a lot of extra missions, 10 DLC characters (3 are free) and a new cooperative multiplayer mode of some sort. The game has even more content than when I wrote this post, but nothing below is particularly invalided by the updates. I’ll make a separate post when I review the US version, which should ship with all the new content I believe.

Also, the game’s now availible for preorder in the US (affiliate link). Note that there’s only one physical version, and the digital copies will be $10 cheaper and come without the physical art book/OST of course.

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