What do you get from mixing ninja ladies and very easy-to-tear clothes? Senran Kagura. There’s no need to pretend, this is a series that always revolved around showing off bouncing breasts and panty shots. The main difference between the SK series and other fanservice heavy games is that, in this case, the gameplay itself can actually can hold up the game on its own. SK Bon appetit though dared to change the usual hack n’slash formula for something way different so, did they make a mistake?
Senran Kagura Bon appetit for the playstation vita is a rythm game dressed as a cooking one. The recipes themselves don’t hold any weight for the game really, they’re just an excuse for the rythm-based gameplay. It may seem a weird decision but it sure is more original than just having your characters dancing to music like in other spin offs.
The reason for all the cooking? Master Hanzo holds a cook off and its first prize is a Secret Ninja Art Scroll which can grant any wish. It may sound like a silly premise but the individual reasons why every girl joins the contest are even sillier. The game doesn’t take its plot seriously at all and it’s actually for the better, it’s actually quite funny how absurd the writters went with some of the stories.
Gameplay-wise the game doesn’t break any molds for the rythm genre, they kinda went for something “classic”. Button prompts rolling from right to left through two parallel tracks and you have to hit them when they reach the precise spots. It’s nothing too fancy like superbeat xonic or IA/VT, instead they decided for something simpler that could occupy just half of the screen so you could still watch the voluptuous shinobi girls as they cook.
At the start of the game you’re given three difficulties to choose from. Easy is quite easy, I found myself not missing one single note. Normal was a challenge for me though and I usually struggled to win when playing in this difficulty. I’ve only played hard once and the AI pretty much raped me.
The music should be one of the most important aspects of a game of this kind and, even though it’s far from bad, the tracks in Bon appetit aren’t very memorable. Also, every girl has their dish which is the track you’ll be playing when facing them. There’s 10 girls, that means 10 tracks. That’s pretty lacking in my opinion.
Things I liked
- Hilariously absurd: The game doesn’t take itself serious and it shows everywhere. The girls’s stories are so stupid you can’t help but to laugh and the over-the-top reactions of master Hanzo when trying the dishes are so bizarre they’re a delight to watch.
- Detailed presentation: Graphics are nice, the menus are colorful, the cooking portion is well presented overall… Even if the game is as niche as it can get, the game looks really slick.
- Fanservicy: This would be a polarizing topic on any other game but if you’re playing this game is because you want to see some fanservice so that’s why this goes into the positives. The sexual innuendos are everywhere, clothes are getting ripped off and, if you manage to do a perfect victory you’ll be rewarded with a display of your rival as some sort of obscene desert. The game is pretty hardcore.
Things I didn’t
- DLC Rip-off: I mentioned how there’s only 10 girls in the game, that’s way less than what you can find in other SK games. You can actually get more girls into the game and thus, more songs. But for that you have to pay an extra fee to dowload them from the store. If you don’t buy those characters, the character selection screen will have those cells shadowed, constantly reminding you of what you didn’t pay for, and since the game’s original content is sparse, it doesn’t feel like the DLC is for getting extra stuff but for acquiring the complete game.
- Okay gameplay: There’s nothing wrong with the gameplay but in a rythm game that’s the one department that should stand out and in here it doesn’t. It is perfectly serviceable so it’s not like you’ll be playing the game despite it’s gameplay. What I’m saying is that you won’t be playing the game because of it either.
Who’d like this?
If you like the Senran Kagura games but also Rythm games you’ll enjoy this game, it’s not the best rythm game ever but it’s still fun. I wish they didn’t try to rip you off with the dlc though.
If you’re a rythm game enthusiast maybe you’ll find this one a little lacking but you wouldn’t find as many breasts on superbeat xonic, am I right?
If you get easily offended over the sexualization of videogame characters my advice is to stay as far as possible from this game or other Senran Kagura title for that matter.