Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal may well be one of the last Senran games of the series current form. Thanks to Sony’s stricter set of guidelines going forwards concerning titillating titles such as Senran Kagura, the art of the impossibly-bouncing-busts of underage ninja may well have a new vision when Senran 7EVEN releases.
Which makes Burst Re:Newal – a remake of the very first Senran game – a fitting, circular close for the series we know (and love) today.
Like the newer games in the series, Re:Newal focuses on the girls of Hanzō Academy as they study the mysterious ways of the shinobi. Being their first outing, the rivalries between neighbouring schools hasn’t been set up yet, and Burst introduces Hebijo and its evil counterparts to the sweeter-than-sweet Hanzō girls.
As far as origin stories go, Senran doesn’t provide the most complex. These are, for the most part, dim-witted characters who stumble through their interactions and only show true savvy when then have a blade of some sort in their hands. As such, a lot of the storytelling in Re:Newal is comical in tone, skirting the darker undertones that a story such as this one could enjoy. Whilst I would love a no-holds-barred narrative set in the Senran universe filled with the importance of sisterhood and the overbearing threat lives such as theirs should carry, I don’t think that’s ever a direction the series is likely to take.
As it stands, if you like your high-school dramas tinted with pastel hues and bubblegum-pop music behind every overacted line of dialogue, you can’t go wrong with Re:Newal.
The core of Senran Kagura has always been a slightly surprising one. Whilst the series has often zeroed in on its base-appeal of school uniforms getting shredded to ribbons whilst the alarmed girl underneath moans and attempts to cover herself up, the gameplay behind it all is actually pretty good.
Set up as a somewhat mindless button-mashing hack-and-slash, Senran has always belied a decent combat system with fun combos and exciting finishers. Re:Newal feels overly familiar if you’ve played a game in the series before, but ultimately it’s a polished and rewarding experience. You level up and unlock new skills as you go, and you’re able to take control of a variety of characters who all play surprisingly differently.
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