Marvelous’s Senran Kagura series has been on a number of platforms, but all of the western releases thus-far have been beat-em-ups. Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash takes the series to a new genre: third-person shooters. But as the name implies, this game replaces normal guns with water guns. So what happens when you combine the aspects of the main series with water guns?
Like other Senran Kagura games, Peach Beach Splash features a single-player story mode. As one would expect from a game with water guns and being known for having women’s clothing gradually remove itself when hit, this entry trades seriousness for something more zany. I do have to admit the developers did a surprising job in trying to justify a game that has women in bikinis shooting each other with squirt guns, as well as sections where characters have heart-to-heart moments, however, the actual gameplay is a tad bit uninspired and repetitive. There are some specific campaign matches that are memorable in one way or another depending on your views, but these aren’t the norm.
If you’ve played any third-person shooters in the past, you’ll feel right at home with this game’s controls. One useful addition for newcomers to the genre comes in the form of an auto-aim option, which lets them think more about their position in the map and how to best take advantage of what’s going on. I tried both options, and neither felt like one was the better option.
The online multiplayer features ranked matches, with either a 3v3 or 5v5 option available. The former tends to be more strategic due to the lesser number of players, while the latter in most circumstances is more chaotic. That said, both modes on PS4 and PC ran without any problems for me while reviewing.
Peach Beach Splash does something different when characters are downed, however. If you aim for their bikini bottom or top and damage it enough, a cutscene where the damaged piece falls off plays. It’s the same over-the-top nature of the main games, although taken up a notch in this entry. Basically, if you were a fan of the prior games doing this, you’ll very much enjoy this entry — but anyone who severely disliked it will still be turned off.
One issue I have with the game is its Intimacy mode. This is the dressing room from prior games, but before, the groping mechanics were never outright explained to the player and instead were more of a “wow, the developers actually programmed this in?”. Peach Beach Splash outright brings this to the player’s attention. Personally, I saw the series as being at its best when it playful toyed with its sexual nature instead of being explicitly forthcoming about it, so this is a disappointment for me that it went where it did. That said, you can completely ignore this “feature” and use it as a dressing room to swap out clothing like in prior games.
Additionally, while previous games had a fair bit of DLC content, this game outright is flagrant in fleecing its buyers. The “mega bundles” are right around the price of the game, and there’s cards which power up your characters in the DLC that can give players unfair advantages in multiplayer.
While more risqué than previous Senran Kagura titles, Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash has some good gameplay mechanics and is a fun romp if you can get past its sexual nature. However, the single-player mode is alright at best and some players will balk at the pricing of the DLC.Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash was reviewed using a PS4 & PC digital copies provided by XSEED Games. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|Has an auto-aim for newcomers that doesn’t feel patronizing.|
|3v3 and 5v5 multiplayer each have their own uses.|
|The single-player mode is alright at best.|
|The Intimacy mode outright calls out how to grope the women, a stark change from prior games with a similar mode.|
|DLC is overly expensive, with some of the perks from it giving players an unfair advantage in online multiplayer.|