PARENTAL ADVISORY: This game deals with graphic nature and isn’t suitable for younger audiences. It deals with sensitive topics, the female body, and it’ll make some feel uncomfortable. Please keep that in mind as you continue because I will not hold back. Thank you and enjoy the review.
Senran Kagura is an infamously known franchise for its gratuitous fan-service and spans across all sorts of genres. Typically, you’ll find that game wears a mosou skin as you guide these petite Shinobi ass kickers through hordes of enemies. Sometimes though, they’ll just want to relax, set aside their differences, and have an old-fashioned water gun fight. Look, this game knows exactly what it is, and it doesn’t shy away from the subject matter either. Stripped female undergarments, unsettling moans, and a mountain of perversion is what you should expect in this game and nothing more. I’m a believer that fan-service or niche doesn’t inherently mean a bad game though. The gameplay, physics, and overall mechanics dictate that and it’ll be exactly what I focus on. So, switch those watches and hats around because Senran Kagura: Reflexions isn’t a title for the prudish.
Initially released as a Japanese exclusive, Senran Kagura: Reflexions sheds the skin of its predecessors and delves into the dating sim genre. The target of your affections is Asuka; she calls you into a classroom to have a chat. You later find out that she has something she’d like to confess to you and judging by the blush on her face, I think we know what it is. Unless she put on make-up in the dark again; silly girl, I told her not to do that. Your first sign of gameplay is what I can only refer to as a hand-holding simulator and I have to say, it’s unrealistic. See, the game revolves around massages and that’s innocent fun, I quite enjoy them myself. However, as you hold her hand, you can individually caress each finger. Either I’ve been doing it wrong, explaining why I’m single, or the game is over-exaggerating it. When she finally has enough of your touch, it’ll fade into an imaginative scenario.
Complete disclosure, I’m that weird kid that sincerely enjoyed Gal Gun: Double Peace and the actual sequel, Gal Gun 2. They were crude, rude, but had engaging gameplay and was overall, just a fun rail shooter. The first biggest issue with Senran Kagura: Reflexions, however, is that the mechanics are shallow and uninteresting. After caressing her hand enough, Asuka will fall asleep and you’ll be thrown into her mind or as I saw it, her sexual fantasies. That explains the groping that becomes available and this is where another issue was raised – no pun intended. Aside from the obvious misogyny, the boob physics were all over the place. I applaud Marvelous for nailing down the realistic free movement of a breast though. I, however, think the game also created an unrealistic expectation because boobs don’t have that much elasticity. As a male, I’m not an authority on them, granted, so instead, I’ll point out the graphical clipping. It was evident, it was bad, and if you’re making such a sexually charged game, I say, own it.
To Senran Kagura: Reflexion’s credit, there are plenty of items that you can unlock, giving the player many reasons to continue. Keep in mind, these are restricted to cosmetics, so you’ll see clothing, a new hair style, or even lingerie, but that’s all. Listen, growing up, I wanted to be an interior designer and even gave input for my ex’s parents house. So, I was kind of having fun, not going to lie and I’ll include some of my style creations in this review. You can also unlock ways to massage Asuka and these include a brush or a massager. C’mon Marvelous, we know what it is, her gesture after using it sort of hammers it home as well. Crudeness isn’t the issue though, it’s, again, the shallow gameplay; it was never enough to entice me and eventually, I was skipping ahead. Oh, forgot to mention, you can forego what is essentially known as “Glorious Reflexology”. You know, in case a loved one is in the room, but you still need the final squeeze to finish before bed. It’ll still count and go towards completing the picture in what I assume represents your heart.
For those who are familiar with me, you know I’m an amateur novelist, so writing is usually a strong point. When talking about Senran Kagura: Reflexions, I found some genuinely, heart-warming moments. For example, when Asuka finally confesses her secret, it felt heavy with emotion and that’s something all authors strive for. So, congratulations to XSeed for this feat, but it’s sad that this didn’t extend further into the game. While the dialogue of the sexual fantasy’s mirrors that of teenagers in lust, it grew repetitive. There was no variation after about an hour and is the reason why I ended up skipping most of the dialogue. There’s also one fantasy that just, okay, look, I’m not a prude and this genre, it has it’s place. I, however, found one section crossed the line from silliness, to a felony charge waiting to happen. I’m not sure if it was a direct translation but I feel the localization team could have taken a few liberties. I won’t say what section but trust me, when it comes your way, you’ll know.
In conclusion, this game is misogynistic, it’s perverted, and let’s be honest, it glorifies sexual assault. Don’t go around groping girls, okay, unless it’s a consensual act. To me, that’s what this seemed like, so I can see an argument being made. These are sexual fantasies that a girl has about a boy she likes and while some are questionable, who am I to fetish shame. I don’t personally agree with them but you know what, if it doesn’t hurt anyone, go for it, just be safe. As for Senran Kagura: Reflexions, it’s a shallow experience and doesn’t do the franchise favors. I do want to, however, praise the excellent animation work that is sprinkled throughout; it was gorgeous. If you’ve read this far and disliked my review, at least take this with you;
Always get consent and remember, no means no, so walk away when you hear that.
I Can’t Recommend It
- Review Code was Provided by Decibel-PR. This Review was for Senran Kagura: Reflexions on Nintendo Switch.