Game Review: Senran Kagura 2 – Deep Crimson (3DS)
14/09/2015 Leave a comment
The sequel you never asked before, but secretly wished for, has arrived and despite its interesting way of being released into the UK the game actually has a few surprises in store; of course we are talking about Marvelous Europe’s recent release of Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson for the Nintendo 3DS.
|Title:||Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson|
|Resolution:||400 x 240|
|Install:||YES (17,306 Blocks)|
A side-scrolling beat-em-up mixed with questionable content, such as clothes stripping and bouncing boobs, are what’s on offer here but if you can look past the obvious, but lovable, filth then there is a pretty solid fighting game to be had.
It all begins with the games Mission Mode; a mode which starts off as a Story taking place (I assume) shortly after the first game whereby the girls of Hanzo Academy attempt to infiltrate the grounds of Hebijo academy in order to retrieve their super-secret ninja scrolls. This whole predicament acts as the intro to our story and – in a rather confusing manner – as the games tutorial. Over the next five missions, each of which see one of the characters of Hanzo Academy take center stage, the numerous commands of how to play the game are told.
It’s a great way of gradually easing the player into the game; however it does have one potentially major issue; it’s difficutly. Either the enemies are stupidly easy to beat or they are insanely overpowered. It’s not like there aren’t any difficulty options either, as there is, but in order to access it you will need to die and restart the level and even then the location of the ‘difficulty’ isn’t easy to spot (hint: it’s on the top right hand side of the top 3DS screen). In essence it feels like there’s no difficulty balance; on easy everything is a cake-walk, on normal the grunts are easily disposed of but the boss fights are time-consuming and on hard anything and everything defeats you within seconds.
This is what I found most disappointing with Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson as having a game too easy, or too difficult, doesn’t make it fun. This also leads me onto the games next issue; game-length. Each of the missions in Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson only last a handful of minutes, some even less, and as such you’ll find yourself engaged more in visual novel styled dialogue – or even worse loading screens – before getting to an actual fight. This, however, is in direct contrast to the difficulty – as on easy you can just breeze past everything (and as a result theres no worthwhile play-time) where as on a harder difficulty you will be playing for slightly longer as enemies take more hits to defeat; but at this point the levels become long-winded and potentially dreary.
Despite these diappoinments Mission mode is where most of your time will be spent; as this is where the story of the game is told. The story itself is separated into five chapters with each chapter placing its attention on a different topic. The first chapter, which acts as the games introduction and tutorial, focuses on the girls of Hanzo Accademy whereas the Second Chapter, which sees the aftermath of the first chapter and the girls of Hebijo forced to hide as rogue shinobi, offers a different set of characters to play with. Its not until the third chapter whereby the new cast of Shinobi characters enter the fray and the ‘real story’ of Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson begins to unfold. Basically it takes a good 2 hours to get to the content that the game should have begun with; but at least by now we know how to effectively play the game – that’s if you’ve still kept with it.
Of course Mission mode is more than just the games story, as alongside it are special bonus missions and challenges that test your skills as a shinobi, such as defeating opponents within a time limit, as well as the training field to get a better flow of combat and move set for your chosen character. Speaking of character move sets combat is pretty straight forward; with low, mid and high attack damage buttons alongside the usual block button. If your ninja scroll guage is charged you can even preform special attacks that wield destruction powers; but of course the super-secret ninja transformation is easily the best way to the deal the most damage. A new addition to the playstyle is ‘tag-team’ styled gameplay whereby during selective missions, or challenges, two characters can be used at once and if one is to perish you can switch to the alernate character. There is also a ‘shop option’ available in the mission mode menu but amusingly enough this connects to the Nintendo eShop to access additional paid content so this is best avoided for now.
Despite a heavy focus on stories and missions Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson offers so much more, as players can enter the dressing room and re-design their favourite characters to their hearts content. The further you progress the more items of clothing and accessories you will be able to unlock; all of which can be used on your favourite character. Interestingly unlike past games character poses and emotions can also be changed but be warned some are more ‘questionable’ than others – especially when it involves Mirai. As always the Dressing Room is pretty extensive and offers a fair amount of content; including a new ‘photo shoot’ option in which augmented reality can be used; but once again be warned on how (and where) you use it.
The final gameplay option on offer, other than the ability to play missions online with other players via 2-player online co-op, is the library option; a mode which allows any piece of viewed content – such as cutscenes, dialogue sequences, music, character voices and artwork – to be viewed at a later date. It’s the same as any unlockable library collection – play the game, unlock content and watch it back at your leisure; but unlock other ‘said libraries’ there is quite a lot on offer to unlock and view here.
Despite some of my negative comments Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is a great game. The gameplay during combat is fluid, easy-to-pick-up and potentially engaging (if you know what I mean); and flaws found in the previous game, such as questionable frame-rate, have been fixed. Complaints with the first game, such as cut-scenes depicting the girls clothes being stripped off and the after-effects of it during cut-scenes, have also been resolved by adding an option to turn these features off – which is a nice addition if you consider playing on public transport. The biggest surprise addition however is support for the C-Stick (or Circle Pad Pro) as by turning this on the C-Stick can be used to control the camera angle during fights; its not a big adjustment but it’s a nice addition to something that can be easily overlooked.
In hindsight Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is the game that Senran Kagura: Burst should have been; it looks great, it players great and there’s a lot of fun to be had – you just have to be careful where you play it.
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is now available to download from the Nintendo eShop for only £24.99