Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

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Thanks to XSEED Games for providing Dashing Nerds with a playable copy of the game!

The lovely lady ninjas of the Hanzō National Academy and the rival Hebijo Clandestine Girls’ Academy are back for some fun in the sun in the latest release in the Senran Kagura series. I have been excited for this game to come out for quite some time now. I picked up the first game, Senran Kagura Burst, back in 2013; the combination of beautiful characters, easy to pick up action, and surprisingly mature story made me a fan and I’ve been anticipating each release since. Estival Versus boasts the hottest action and the largest roster of characters yet, and I am very curious to see how it stacks up compared to the others.

Fun In The Sun

Estival Versus is a continuation from the previous entry, Shinovi Versus, and begins with all four of the rival ninja schools being transported to an alternate dimension that resembles a beautiful tropical island. There, they are challenged by the island’s mysterious ruler to a contest of battles and wits, where winning means having the right to put their loved ones to rest. Another rival group of ninjas also joins the competition and the beautiful ladies of each school must struggle to win at any cost, while trying to enjoy the island and not lose all their clothes Ikki-Tousen style in the process.

Unlike Shinovi Versus, Estival has one unified story mode where each chapter focuses on one of the different ninja schools. Said story mode makes sure to give each school plenty of time to shine. Shinobi Girl’s Heart Mode, which features side stories for each of the characters, makes a return as well, but this time as unlockable missions for destroying festival platforms in the story mode.

Look At That Plot!

Estival Versus is among the best-looking games on the Vita today. The lovely girls are rendered in beautiful detail, from their outfits to the way their assets bounce. Make no mistake: Estival Versus is a game that prides itself on providing the best fanservice possible. Each lady shinobi has a very extensive transformation sequence and clothes fly off with the gentlest of ease. While you don’t see anything explicit, Marvelous does make sure to push the M rating as far it can go. There is an option to turn off shredding clothes in the game, but those who do not love fanservice in their games would be wise to look elsewhere.

The Tools Of A Shinobi

Fans of the Dynasty Warriors games will find themselves at home with Estival Versus’s gameplay. The game features a 3D open world environment where you control a character and face off against swarms of ninjas, and then have a boss battle with one of the girls from the rival schools. The swarms do tend to get repetitious at times, but the game offers some new ways to freshen up the action. Grenades with different abilities have been introduced as well as being able to team up with a support character to provide aerial rave attacks. The difficulty level can be adjusted if you want more of a challenge.

It’s a Senran Kagura standard that as more damage is dealt, clothes are shredded, until the characters are fighting in their lingerie. In the previous game you could completely disrobe the characters by unleashing a special attack; this time around, each arena has one or two different areas where you can further humiliate the enemy bosses. You can stand in these areas and finish off the boss with a Shinobi Art attack. Whatever’s left of their clothes will go flying and the boss is then knocked into various objects like a volleyball net or the waiting tentacles of a friendly octopus.

The fun never stops in Estival Versus. In addition to the story mode and side missions, the shop makes a return as well where players can buy different outfits and accessories for each of the characters, as well as music tracks and artwork. Players can also gamble some of their in-game money for a chance to win new lingerie.

Online Mode makes a return as well. Players have their choice of participating in team battles or free for all. I didn’t encounter too many people online while playing Estival Versus, so I would recommend getting some friends together if you want to fight online.

Life and Hometown

Estival Versus is another fun entry in the Senran Kagura series. The action can get a bit repetitious at times but the story mode and variety of playable characters more than make up for it. If you love fanservice games like I do, then I highly recommend Estival Versus. If you don’t, then I recommend trying one of the Dynasty Warrior games instead. Fanservice is a core part of the Senran Kagura experience and I am grateful that XSEED and Marvelous still release these kinds of games here.

The Good

  • Amazing Fanservice
  • Excellent Story
  • Easy To Pick Up Gameplay

The Bad

  • Action Can Get Repetitious
  • Sparse Online Mode
  • Long Load Times

Written by: Mike Panetta

Watcher of Anime

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