Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pocket Review - Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit

The second Senran Kagura game released this season, Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit, is quite a bit different from Shinovi Versus. Where Shinovi was almost a lite version of a Dynasty Warriors game, Bon Appetit! is a rhythm game with a pinch of cooking and a heaping tablespoon of T&A. And when I say T&A, I really mean it. There will be a few NSFW screens at the bottom.

In case you couldn't tell from the screenshots, Bon Appetit truly is a rhythm game. Players get to select one of many characters and are treated to a brief visual novel-style intro in which the chosen character winds up entering a cooking contest. For one of the characters I selected, she was just hungry and heard that the winner got to eat the leftovers. Another just wanted to find her friend and make her dance, so she entered the contest to meet up with her. Needless to say, the story isn't what you're coming here for. The rhythm game might not even be what you want from this game, but it's still the meat of the experience.

When a match starts, you'll be paired against another young lady, and you'll both go through three rounds of cooking. There are two lines across the bottom of the screen and you have to press the correct button or direction at the proper time as indicators move across. The game rates you on how accurate you are, and if you aren't good enough, you'll lose the round. There are three levels of difficulty, and boy do they scale up fast. On easy, you'll usually never have much to worry about as notes move slowly and rarely is there more than one at a time. It's almost too easy, but when you move up to normal...good luck keeping up. There are now even more notes to hit and lots of overlap. Hard is, as you would expect, even more challenging.

My biggest problem wasn't just pressing the buttons at the right time, but simply seeing which you needed to hit. They move very fast, have lots of flashy movements going on around them, and don't vary much in terms of color, so it's hard to really tell what's coming up. The notes blur together in a visual explosion of color that just makes it way harder than it should be, even in normal mode.

While the rhythm game is the main component of the game, there is also a dressing room where you get to change your selected character's clothes, lingerie, hairstyle, and adorn her with accessories. This is key to the game because during each cooking round whoever loses also loses a bit of clothing, so you better have on some nice underwear. If you happen to win all three rounds and secure a perfect victory you'll knock every piece of clothing off your opponent, leaving only carefully placed censoring images over the character's breasts and odd lighting covering her lower half. You'll then be greeted with an interactive scene where you get to move the camera around and zoom in and out on a naked girl covered in dessert topping such as whipped cream.

Let's be honest here. If you like visual novels, there are games that actually focus on that instead of just offering you brief snippets of story here and there. Fans of rhythm games have better options which are much more varied than the ten or so songs available here and are much better designed. If you're wanting to dress up characters and see a lot of young girls in various stages of undress, then Bon Appetit will fulfill your appetite. Dig in and enjoy, I'm not going to judge you. I just wish the other areas had received the same level of attention to make the gameplay portions more enjoyable.

NSFW Images Below

Recommended? The gameplay is the biggest turnoff, as the rhythm game aspect is pretty one-note.
Enjoyed By? If you like young-looking, mostly-naked girls, this is the game for you.

This game was played on Vita via a PSN code provided by the publisher.

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