Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus review (PC)

Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus, a former Vita exclusive, comes to PC owners a few years after the original. Here’s our review of the PC ‘remaster’ of a cult Vita game.

Some of you might remember that we reviewed Senran Kagura Estival Versus a few months ago, which is actually a sequel of sorts to Shinovi Versus. PC owners now get to try the first game in the Vita series, and they get a few improvements as well. The majority of these are technical in nature, with support for 60 frames per second and HD resolution, but you also get access to all the post-release DLC for the Vita without having to buy it. At its core, however, this is exactly the same game that Vita owners played previously.

It’s worth noting that the Senran Kagura name is actually part of a larger franchise, and Shinovi Versus isn’t the first in the series. Its campaign story follows the events of Senran Kagura Burst and focuses on the rivalry between different schools (or ‘factions) – or rather, the girls who will fight to defend their honor. This translates to an arena brawler that’s not too different from the Dynasty Warriors or One Piece Pirate Warrior games, though the emphasis is more on brawling and less on strategy here.

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And then of course there’s the fact that this is a Senran Kagura game, which means that the female form is a central element to the game. Damage is portrayed by clothes that become ripped and eventually fall off, leaving these girls near-nude while fighting. Even while dressed, the game’s animations make sure that the female form is accentuated – through excessive use of jiggling and bouncing, if you catch my drift.

This makes Shinovi Versus an acquired taste for a very specific audience, since not everyone out there will be a fan of the game’s visual theme. We saw the same in Estival Versus, and it’s kind of a shame because it means that some brawler fans out there are missing out on a pretty decent game. Underneath its controversial exterior, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus is a competent fighting game that makes it fun to string combos together amidst free flowing combat.

There is also a ton of content to unlock, but you’d have to be a Senran Kagura fan to really enjoy it. If you’re not, then you have to be a die-hard brawling fan who’s able to look past this game’s exterior – you’ll find something fun when you do. If you’re a fan of the franchise and enjoy brawlers, then this is a treat. It’s too bad there’s not too many of you, which will keep the developer’s enjoyable fighting engine hidden from the masses.

Score: 6.7/10

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