A few years ago Marvelous announced the first Senran Kagura on 3ds. It was met with high negativity in the US (for very obvious reasons), but it is such a hard find today. Senran Kagura is simply one of the most interesting import games for many importers. Senran Kagura may be one of the easiest game to review. Right now you are either in two camps. If you hate fanservice, you will hate this game. The game is an automatic 0, you can move on. If you find yourself intrigued by the concept of Senran kagrua you may find a game that is equally fun and flawed.

Story wise the game is not that great. 3 of the 4 teams of girls story follows a similar pattern. Basically they find a rival team, can't beat them, train by fighting other teams, fight rival again. It's a lame concept that is overused. Only one school manages to break this concept, and make the story fairly interesting. But with 4 teams you think they could have come up with multiple story lines, instead of copy and paste the same story 3 times. The other thing is where the story picks up. When the game was announced it was claimed as not being in the same line as the original games. But characters are in places that left me with a "why are they here?" feeling. It is mentioned, but this feels like a sequel that I needed to play the 3ds games before picking this one up. Overall I was uninterested by what was going on. I found myself spacing out feeling a sense of deja vu going through most of the campaigns. The redeeming quality it the girls back story, which are unfortunately only briefly mentioned, but still give good insight as to why they do what they do. I would have been much happier if they had expanded on these stories instead of the ones presented to me. The other side is the arcade mode. Arcade mode builds the characters up with mini stories. These are stories that most players won't care about. They don't build much back story for characters, but are just plain silly. The main reason to take on this arcade mode is for new costumes and trophies.

The four stars (Miyabi, Yomi, Asuka, and Homura) are the leaders of the four groups.

Gameplay is the fun part of the game. The game is very much a beat-em-up, and very simple to pick up and play. (I've been told it has many similarities to Dynasty Warriors, though I haven't played one before. From what I can tell, they are very similar.) Each mission you select will have a preset girl for you to use. When you first enter the mission you will either start by fighting the boss, or have to go through some waves of enemies before you do so. Missions are very uninspired, and the worlds are fairly bland. By the time you beat the game, you'll see many of the same places multiple times. But once your in there it's time to button mash. Square is your quick attacks, while triangle is you heavy attacks. Send a foe flying and chase after them with circle to keep the combo going. It's very simple, but addictive. The other side of Senran Kagura lies in the girls Shinobi powers. Each girl starts off in regular clothes, but pressing L transforms them into a Shinobi. In shinobi form, the girls can use powerful attacks and special moves. Likewise pressing R and swiping your screen with both thumbs, middle outwards, makes your girls strip down to nothing but their underwear. This boost power, while drastic dropping you defense. And it would work well too if it wasn't so overpowered. In this mode you can simple pull of one special attack and it is usually enough to end a boss in a couple hits. Overall though the gamplay experience was just crazy fun. Add in some multiplayer that is actually very good, and you have a game that one can really find enjoyable. *

Those Pancakes will be your doom!!!!

Senran Kagura major problem can stem from simply the focus of the game, its fanservice. I love characters like Homura for her strong personality, I liked Ryona for her weird humor, and I liked Minori because she was cute and attacks with a giant stack of pancakes. But I feel the game wanted to push me away from all that. Instead they pushed me towards the T&A of the game with insane physics that would make Dead or Alive jealous. It's a shame too because many of the character models are well done, but in the end will go unnoticed. Add in the fact there is literally a lottery for testing your luck to see if you can get rare underwear, and a store for buying nothing but new clothes. There is also the clothes tear effect. It can be helpful to see just how well you're doing (think of it as a pervy health bar), but the effect goes a bit far since you can destroy clothing to the point of nudity (which is covered by chibi faces of characters, and everyones favorite anime character mysterious white light.) As I mentioned earlier if you don't like fanservice avoid this at all cost. In the end though, I was still able to like most of the characters. Not for their looks, but because of how they act. They acted funny, they joke, in the end they acted just like I wanted them too, like girls. Each unique and each with something to bring to the table. And for that, even buried in all the fanservice, is something that I must applaud them for.

Make sure to look over your shoulder, and make sure no one is watching you play....

For people looking to import: This game is very easy to pick up, with the exception of one or two blocking concepts. It has lots of spoken dialogue and written mixed together.


  • Fun combat

  • Lots of outfits to buy and collect

  • Multiplayer is fun

  • Characters who can outshine just being fanservice


  • Story is a broken record

  • Most people will see characters for certain features.

  • Bland areas, and generic enemies

  • Panty lottery..... Seriously?


  • Fanservice, and lots of it

  • silly arcade stories you'll either like, or make you say meh..

  • Good backstories, but need more meat to them.





* Multiplayer requires a Japanese account and an online pass. If you buy the Limited Edition (which I did) you get a free code inside the game sleeve. Otherwise the code must be bought on the PSN Japan shop.