The Senran Kagura series have been jumping genres since it started its run back in August of 2011. We've seen it go from a side-scrolling beat-em-up to a rhythm cooking game. There's even a card battle game for it on Android and iOS. Only one thing stayed the same throughout the entire series, and that's the fan-service. Naturally, the series has to have a beach-themed title, and in Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash, the game jumps in the shooting game scene with nothing but a two-piece bathing suit and some cloth-shredding water guns.
The game is available for PlayStation 4 via the PlayStation Store for $49.99.
The story focuses on the Peach Beach Splash water gun tournament, held by ninjas, for ninjas, since ancient times. Shinobi from various factions have been warped into tournament grounds and are forced to compete before any of them can leave. The winner, however, gets 'whatever they want' as a reward for winning the televised watergun tournament.
There are over 40 campaign missions, split between the different Shinobi factions. Each mission begins and ends with some dialog scenes occasionally blasting some fan-serving illustrations. Everyone knows Senran Kagura is played 'for the plot'. Peach Beach Splash story plays out like an OVA; an anime episode where the characters take a much-needed downtime from the main plot for some RNR, often lighthearted, wacky and filled with fan-service, to the brim in PBS' case.
These card buffs can be acquired by opening a booster pack awarded after completing a mission or by purchasing one at the shop. Like real life booster packs, the contents of the pack are randomized but can also contain water guns. Any water gun or abilities you acquire of the same type can be used to enhance the ones you already have.
Holding down the L2 button snaps you to the nearest enemy and locks onto it indefinitely, making the gunplay seem too easy. The matches are fast-paced and a lot can be going on all at once, making the snap lock-on an appropriate feature.
The AI for the game is pretty much non-existent. Both your allies and your opponents are dumb as nails. Brain dead enemies make the game less challenging, but brain dead allies also means you can't rely on them at all with completing any objective besides "defeat enemies". Thankfully, The game makes up for these shortcomings with some pretty interesting boss fights.
The game features co-operative and competitive multiplayer modes. Co-operative missions play out like solo missions with actual players as teammates as opposed to AI controlled ones. The competitive mode is a 5 v 5 battle of either domination, team deathmatch, or capture the flag. Your Shinobi's power level applies in this mode, so you'll have to grind a fair amount to stand your own against maxed out opponents.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Honestly, if you're not after the fan-service, you'll find a mediocre shooter in Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash. There are some surprisingly fun elements in the gameplay and some pretty entertaining moments in-between missions, but ultimately, this is a game for fans of the series. If you're into drenched bouncing anime chicks, Peach Beach Splash can definitely make a fan out of you, for all the right/wrong reasons,
|+ Eye candy *wink*||– Horrible AI|
|+ Enjoyable gunplay||– Repetitive|