The life of a shinobi in training is a difficult one and there is seldom any time for relaxation. So how to you keep your Ninja skills fresh but have a relaxing summer vacation with your friends. By having a LiveStreamed water-gun tournament!
This is essentially the plot behind the latest Senran Kagura title, Peach Beach Splash, an event hosted by a mysterious benefactor that sends the busty ninjas of the series to a water park for a Water Gun Tournament with the magical rule that the winners get to have whatever they desire.
Now if you haven’t played a Senran Kagura game, these titles usually involve a school of ninjas kicking plenty of ass and then having a one-on-one showdown with other ninjas from other schools, this usually ends in cloth ripping action that leaves one or more fighters too embarrassed to keep going. It’s ridiculous, but the gameplay is solid and can be a lot of fun if you can get around the perverseness of the titles.
Peach Beach Splash (henceforth called PBS because I’m too lazy to write it all out each time) doesn’t hide the perverted nature of the game, constantly reminding you that you’re playing a game with female characters having especially large chest area and wearing beach attire that might be a little too tight for some.
This is actually one of the features that makes PBS great, the game isn’t afraid of making fun of itself and still delivers a game that is a surprisingly deep shooter that is a blast to play.
Most matches involves 5 on 5 battles in which players can choose one of their favourite Senran Kagura girls and select a water gun of their choice, from fine-aimed weapons like the Water Pistol and a Water Sniper, to rapid fire blasters like the twin pistols, gatling gun and assault rifle, to powerful weapons like the hose and bazooka.
Then we’re thrown into a fast pace watergun war where your objective is to get your opponent as wet as possible. Matches are usually quick bouts between the two rival team, or a horde of cannon fodder enemies that can quickly surround you if you’re not careful enough.
Since this is a game with Ninjas, you can expect everything to be fast. While the characters themselves are quite quick, they are helped by a water pack that can help them slide, double jump or hover at the cost of some of the water in their tanks. This forces players to think about the use of their weapons and abilities as refilling water can leave them open for attacks.
To accommodate the fast pace action, the game gives you two different ways of aiming, an automatic targeting system which you point your girl in the direction of your opponent lock on and start blasting, or a manual “spray’n’pray” mode. Given the speed and the frequent dodging, I recommend using the Automatic targeting, which surprising doesn’t take away from the fun of the battles.
Aside from waterguns, players can also do a melee attack to stun opponents and open them up for attacks. Players can also use trading cards earned by completing matches or spending in-game cash, which can help bring in special abilities to the battle. Duplicated cards can be sold for XP towards weapons, abilities and to the characters themselves.
Matches end when all players are down, however players generally have the ability to pick their allies back up. There is a perverse way of stopping of course, by walking up to a downed opponent and using a ducky watergun, spray water on the downed opponents chest, butt or face until their swimware falls off. There is no nudity in this as it is censored in a bright light, but it does serve as an embarrassing end to an opponents battle and at the same time gives you extra points.
Most of PBS content contains a story mode for all the Shinobi Academies participating in the event, which gives them a good 10 missions of play each, plus several different challenge modes and a great online mode. For those who like to play dress up, players can purchase customizable items and swimsuits, then dress up their favourite Ninja. For those who like using the PS4 share feature, the Shower Room contains a diorama section allowing you to set up a scene with the characters and take fun screenshots.
If you can get past some of the more perverted features and jokes in the game, Senran Kagura is just a fun, light-hearted shooter that is just an absolute blast to play. I highly recommend to give it a try