Once you’re familiar with the juggle-heavy (I’m still talking about the combos) heart of Senran, there’s an interesting risk-reward system at play to get better ranks as you progress through the story. You can start a level in your undies, giving your character a big bonus to your attack stat but sacrificing a whole lot of defence and defensive options in general. It’s a crass gimmick, but it works to keep things fresh – and to keep you on your toes.
The huge reason for returning Senran fans to check out Re:Newal is the all new visuals on display in this remake. As the original came out on the 3DS and played as more of a 2D brawler, the look and feel of the game is remarkably changed from that debut. It’s all in line with more recent titles such as Estival Versus, and whilst there isn’t the ridiculous amount of content that title boasted, there’s still plenty here to keep you mashing the gamepad for hours and hours – including the opportunity to play through a campaign as the Hebijo girls.
The graphics look very nice, with a vibrant palette and cute, smooth visuals that accentuate everything you might expect. It’s not going to blow anyone away – especially if you’ve played a game in the series before – but it’s certainly a lively and fun looking aesthetic.
Senran Kagura knows what it is. Its unabashed direction is always something I’ve admired, especially as it continues to weather the social storms of our current gaming industry. In this case, ‘shameless’ isn’t really a put-down – it’s impossible to think the company even considers shame when it releases things like the ‘Happy Boobs Edition’, or a pinball game where stage hazards are a catgirls cleavage. You’ll know by now if Senran is for you, and if it is, then Re:Newal is more of the same great content these guys have been developing for years. There’s certainly room for these games to evolve – both narratively and mechanically – but I hope Senran Kagura never loses that confidence in what it is. And please, for the love of all that is holy, localize that pinball game.
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