Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus continues the ninja studies of four female ninja academies. They’re all rivals vying for power…and the story stops about there. That said a diverse set of characters and a string of witty dialogue keeps things light. It may be a girly type anime with clichés and tropes abound, but for a particular audience, this may be heaven. It’s just lacking in a well-defined, enjoyable narrative.
The story didn’t matter in the first game, Burst, and it doesn’t matter now. What does is the action and baby is it good. Shinovi Versus takes things to a new level. It resembles the Dynasty Warriors franchise more, replacing the previous 2D style of Burst with fully rendered 3D. Players will take on missions for each school, which ultimately boils down to slashing up enemies. Even in DW there are goals like capture points, but like the plot, action is light in terms of variety. That said each character is unique, offering different degrees of combat styles from an umbrella that summons an ice-powered octopus to a trench coat automated with a weapon-wielding robot. The short missions and repetitive design may be a flaw for some games, but it works well for Shinovi Versus.
While it may not be the best looking game, SV makes it up with style. The cel-shaded visuals are perfect, making the girls, action, and environments pop with finesse. The characters are gorgeous and the articulation in the costumes is outstanding. Shinovi Versus has a lot to offer between missions, leveling up the girls, multiplayer modes, and buying costumes. On the bad side load times are slow and while the environments offer some variety to the setting, there’s still not a lot of change. And to a lesser degree there are no English voices.
Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus can be best described as a guilty pleasure. Let’s first go through the minuses again: long loads, repetitive, bad story, and little variety. Plus it may come across as perverted. Okay so female ninjas ripping off each other’s may be a bit perverted, but it’s just plain silly and not malicious in any way. Just open up that mind and let the sexy ninjas in. Fans of the last game and harem anime will love it. Despite its flaws it’s just too fun and addictive to pass up. Believe it!
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review code for the game. This article was originally published on October 14, 2014 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.