Pretty Big Soakers
Game: Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash
Reviewed on: PS4 (Review code provided)
Review by: Jessica Thomas (@jakkujessica)
Do you enjoy competitive water fights involving twenty four playable anime babes? Then this is totally the game for you. Let me start by immediately saying; this game is nuts, okay? It’s also one of those games which gets you thinking “man, I hope my mum doesn’t walk in on this”! But putting this aside, it’s a very fun game.
When the game begins you are thrown straight in at the deep end (no pun intended) as you’re told about the Shinobi world which holds a ‘mysterious, sacred water gun competition’ dating back to ancient times. I guess even back in the day people enjoyed jiggle physics. You then meet the two competition commentators, Miss R and Mr K broadcasting on “NewTube’ (clever, huh?). They throw the odd lewd joke in here and there, but that’s totally to be expected when you really think about what you’re playing.
There’s plenty of options from the Peach Menu, one of them being ‘Dressing Room/Showers’, and it obviously goes without saying what that is… You also have Multi Splash for if you wish to play with others, or Single Splash for those who wish to play solo. The music is your typical anime-style music but at the same time it’s hyping you up for some competitive play. Basically it’s a good tune and you should give it a proper listen; hopefully the OST will be up on Spotify. Also, if you leave the menu on long enough the various anime babes will talk to you and give you tips. Sweet, eh?
The gameplay is simple enough. You play in 3rd person; the left analog stick moves your character and the right analog stick pans the camera. It pans really fluidly too, which is awesome when it comes to a shooter game. X is to jump, and if you hold down X you then jet off into the sky for as long as you hold down the button or until your water supply runs out. Square is your reload button; trust me, this button will become your best friend in this game as your ammunition runs out super fast. What makes it even better is that you don’t even need to be near a body of water to reload; just hold down Square and the reload begins. The hud of the game is simple too; you’re made aware when your water supply is running low so you’ll never be caught off guard in the heat of an intense water fight. You can shoot from the hip but if you want precision, hold down L2 to zoom in on your character and get the accuracy you need. Circle allows you to jet dash across the floor which is perfect for getting you across the average sized maps quickly, and each character also has a unique melee attack; one character I picked , for example, suddenly had a giant pair of fists…? I’m not sure if this is yet another lewd joke but either way, the animations are fluid enough and make for quick enemy takedowns.
There are plenty of character customisations you can partake in as well. Each of the characters has a deck of cards which can be swapped and customised as you’re picking your desired character for battle. Personally I found the hud here a little complicated to navigate, but it offers a wide range of cards to pick from which you can take into battle. For example, you can pick a barrier card which, you guessed it, gives you a barrier for a limited amount of time to protect you from enemy fire, or you can increase the user’s soak gauge for once again a limited amount of time. You also have a pet, which you can summon while in battle to fight alongside you. All these perks have cool-down times too, so use them wisely. They can be used by pressing the directional buttons on the D pad, and the options can be seen on the lower left hand side of the screen.
The game itself is very colourful and fun to explore. Subtitles are automatically provided as the game has Japanese audio, and the music is fun enough to listen too while playing. Unfortunately it does get a little repetitive every now and then; ‘Head to the marker’, ‘Shoot this’, ‘Head to the other marker’ etc, but it’s a flaw which is easily overlooked.
Ultimately this is a game which doesn’t require a great amount of skill, so if you’re looking for a video game which doesn’t make you think too much then Peach Beach Splash is the game for you. Its fun, colourful and has a unique sense of humour too which won’t appeal to all, but I had fun playing it. Even so, I’d recommend playing this game when you’re home alone because it’ll take some serious explaining as to why you’re in the Dressing Room menu zooming in on the girls and their outfits (seriously, I wrote this review while my partner was out, seemed the best time to do it). All in all, it’s an enjoyable game and the music is catchy as hell. Plus the customisation is plentiful, you’ll never get bored. On a slight negative note, the objectives are repetitive at times and the HUD display can be complicated, though.
Review by guest writer Jessica Thomas (@jakkujessica)