Senran Kaugra 2: Deep Crimson is a side-scrolling hack-and-slash game developed by Tamsoft and published in North America by XSEED Games (now Marvelous USA). It is the third Senran Kagura game on the 3DS, with the first game being Japan-Only and the second. Senran Kagura Burst, being a re-release with an additional storyline. It was released physically and as a download on 15 Sept 2015.
The game starts with a reprise of the end of the first game, with the Hanzon Academy girls (Asuka, Ikaruga, Katsuragi, Yagyu, and Hibari) facing off against, and eventually teaming up with the Hebjio Acaemdy students (Homura, Yomi, Hikage, Mirai and Harkura) to take down their sensei, Dougen. They prevail in the end, but while the Hanzo students returned to their school, Homura and her friends find themselves as renegades from Hebijo,
Now calling themselves the Crimson Squad, Homura and the rest continue to train while working the odd job to survive. They find themselves face to face with Asuka and her friends once again as a vacation turns into a mission. Demons called Yoma have started to appear which put the Good Ninja Leadership on alert. Somehow tied to the Yoma is a mysterious woman named Naraku and a little girl who when she absorbs enough “red orbs” from the Yoma, she ages up and becomes the legendary demon hunter, Kagura!. Now, with the Hanzo girls ordered to slay Kagura and the Crimson Squad sensing a kindred spriit, are they two sides able to come to terms and find a way to both stop the Yoma and save Kagura from her fate?
Like there previous games for the 3DS, Senran Kagura 2 is mostly a side scrolling game. Most of the time you move forward until you a blocked by enemies, and are only able to proceed once you defeat all of them. Boss battles are in a large open area where you can move freely around the area. Stages vary from city streets to crater and to a hot spring resort, just to name a few. You can fight in both normal modes (school uniforms and street clothes) or transform into Shinobi mode where you can access you secret ninja arts for more damage. Anyone who has played a Senran Kagura game would have no issue playing this one.
New to the series is the abilities to play as two girls at a time. Some levels have you play as two of the girls, whom you can switch between by pressing A. In these battles you lose if both girls are defeated. If one is knocked out, if your remaining character survives long enough your other character will revive with a small bit of health. You can also play local and online co-op play through WiFi.
Of course it would not be a Senran Kagura game without the stripping! All the ladies of Senran Kagura games have destructible outfits and can be stripped to their underwear in battle. Some of the generic troops feature clothing damage but only when you fight one of the 10 main girls,, or Daidoji, Rin, Naraku or Kagura (in her adult form, of course!) do you get a close up of the action. You character can be stripped too and any damaged is reset between rounds, except in the Yoma’s Nest mode, which I’ll get into next.
Besiudes the main game, there are other modes like a challenge mode, whenre you win under certain conditions, for which you get a Shinboi Stone to power up you character in the game. The Yoma’s Nest mode is an endurance mode in which you fight match after match, facing increasingly stronger opponents, which regaining little to no health between matches. There are also training missions and additional content can be bought from the Nintendo eShop.
You can also customize the girls, too. Entering the dressing room you can change the characters look in her normal or shinobi modes. Hair styles and colors can be adjusted and accessories added. Even their bathing suits (what the game calls underwear) can be adjusted. New costumes and accessories are unlocked as you play the game or when you download certain DLC packs. You can also take phots or the girls, alone in in pairs, in various poses and save it to your SD card.
I like the Senran Kagura games and this one does improve on the last one for the 3DS. However I do prefer the PS Vita version of this series ( Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus) and I can’t wait to play the new one in that series (Estival Versus, which I’ll review soon!). As I said in my review for Shinovi Versus, this is the sort of game that we used to rarely see out here due to cultural differences and attitudes towards showing a little skin. Though this game series is toned down compared to the anime and, to an extent, the PS Vita versions, I am still surprised that this is on a Nintendo platform. A game like this wouldn’t have bee allowed twenty years ago or ten years ago, or, at least not released in the West five years ago. Still, this is a game that the M rating was made for. It is definitely not for kids. Still, it is strange when you think that society would rather show violence than show a nipple.
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is available as a digital download or as a physical release. The physical release, tactfully called the Double D Edition, comes with a two disc soundtrack featuring the music from the game. It is available through online retailers such as Amazon and may be available in shop at EB Games. Check online for details.