2018 was a big year the Senran Kagura franchise. The series saw the PC release of Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash, an all-new anime subtitled Shinovi Masters and a remake of the very first game, Senran Kagura Burst Renewal. Of course, its popularity in the West allowed for plans of a English version that was to be simultaneously released for PS4 and PC . Due to policy changes at Sony, however, certain content has to be removed for the west and the game was delayed for a few months. But, in January 2019, it was released with the PS4 having some bits cut and the PC having the compete version. We will review both the PS4 and the PC version through Steam.
Like Shinovi Versus and Estival Versus, Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is a third person hack-and-slash game developed by Honey Parade Games and Tamsoft and published by XSEED Games. It is a remake of the first game in the series. Senran Kagura Burst which was released for the Nintendo 3DS as a 2.5D side scroller. The game is updated to the Estival Versus engine and contains some material not found in the first game , mostly through DLC.
The story follows the girls from Hanzo Academy and their first encounter Homura and her fellow Hejibo teammates. when Hejibo launches a plan to steal the Super Secret Ninja Art Scroll from Hanzo academy, it us up to Asuka and her friends to recover it. They have their hands full, however with Homura and her team and have to push their limit to over come them.
The gameplay is pretty much the same as Estival Versus and Shinovi Versus before it. You can play either the Hanzo girls’ story or the Crimson Squad one. The battlefield is open, with the environment determining how much room you have. You have light and strong attacks and can run and block. Using you ninja art scroll, you can change into your battle costume, regaining any lost health. In this form, you can use special attacks that can clear out enemies and deliver a large amount of damage. These attacks get more powerful as you level up. You can also go into frantic mode at the start of the level, in which your character defense goes down for more powerful attacks and access to your special attacks right away. You are also in your underwear.
The only thing different from the last entries is the inclusion of a burst meter. By building the meter up and pressing L2 (LT on Xbox controller on PC) your attack power increases and, either by pressing L2.LT again of letting the meter go down, you can do a powerful Burst Attack. It is very effecting against larger groups and can strip you enemy if you defeat one of the girls one on one.
Yes, the destructible outfit are back, a mainstay of the SK series in all forms. It works the same as in the Versus series, which you able to strip them down to their underwear, and even those can be removed, with lights covering up their naughty bits. It is to be noted that the original 3DS version, which having the stripping mechanics, did not have the underwear removable too. Also, which the clothing damage is shown in cut scenes, the underwear is restored if you got your opponent naked.
The levels are all mostly recycled from the Versus series. Hanzo academy, Hejibo rooftop, the hot springs and other are all the same as the last games. There are a few newer areas but there is a lot of reuse. Again, since the schools are the same having the same areas makes sense, story wise.
The ability to customize the girls is back. The main hub for each of the schools (each being their common room) allows you to look at unlocked scenes and pictures, switch schools adjust setting, replay levels and customize the girls in the dressing room. Outfits are unlock by purchasing at the sop with in game currency with more available as paid DLC. Note that any DLC you have for Estival Versus works with Burst Re:Newal, at least for the PS4 version. You can also go into diorama mode and take screen shots of the girls in various costumes.
Now, the part that was cut from the PS4 version in the West was the Intimacy more. Remember in Estival Versus and PBS how you could poke slap and grope the girls until they liked you and go for a kiss? Or furiously mas buttons/shake the controller until they clothes tear off? Not in the PS4 version. It is intact in the PC version on Steam, though. I doesn’t really change the game, though, with the typical Senran Kagura combination of compelling story with moments of lewdness and fan service is still present in the game.
In addition to the main story, there is DLC available for both Yumi (my personal favourite) from Gessen and Miyabi from New Hejibo. their stories are spread over ten levels and tell events that happened before they first appeared in Shinovi Versus A few character not yet playable in the game show up in these levels, like Yozakura, Imu, Ryobi, Ryona and Ryoki). Both Yumi and Miyabi have a hub like the Hanzo and the Crimson girls, with the other girls in their faction making an appearance in them. There is a little confusion with the Yumi story, with them saying Kurokage is dead when he was alive, but sick and dying, in Shinovi Versus.
Other DLC down the line will allow you to replay levels as the Gessen or New Hejibo factions, with Naraku, Kagura, and Ryoki arriving soon after. There will be additional clothing sets as well. There doesn’t see to be any guest characters this time.
Overall, it is a new Senran Kagura game and I like them. I have the original version of Burst on my 3DS and I’ve always like the 3d game play from the PS Vita/PS4 games better. The story is good and it has it’s moments in which you go WTF, but that is what makes thius series what it is. sure the scenery is familiar, but with a remake, familiarity, is good as long as it updates the game and adds something new.
Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal is out now for PS4 and PC. The “At the Seams” edition is available physically and digitally and includes extra costumes, diorama poses and the Yumi DLC pack (also available separately). The Miyabi DLC is available for download through the PlayStation Store or the Steam store.
This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Honey Parade Games, XSEED Games, Sony, Valve, or any other corporation or entity for this review. This game and any additional content was bought by me using my own funds. All opinions are mine and any screenshot used were taken by me and are for Review purposes only.