Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! (PSV) Review
Senran Kagura Bon Appétit is a rhythm/cooking game based of the popular Senran Kagura franchise. However unlike the last Senran Kagura game, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus, this game isn’t very good. Senran Kagura Bon Appétit takes all the good aspects of Shinovi Versus and tosses them aside to make way for a simple rhythm game that contains an unbelievably high amount of fan service.
Bon Appétit is a rather boring game that offers players very little, as the game only consists of an incredibly short story mode, arcade mode and free mode. The game’s story only exists to give the simplest of reason for why everyone is cooking, the reason being that the legendary Shinobi and chef Hanzo is holding a cooking tournament with the winner receiving a powerful secret Ninja art scroll. You choose from one of ten characters (females only) and enter the tournament. Upon completing the story you gain a number of clothes to dress your characters in and a picture of what your character did with the secret scroll. While you can take on the story mode as all ten characters there is no incentive unless you like unlocking more clothes and pictures.
The main part of the game i.e. the cooking is a bit better. The cooking is a one-one-one cook off that is divided into three rounds where you would expect the person who wins the most rounds to be the winner and move onto the next match, but the game decides to do things a bit different because even if you win the first two rounds you can still be eliminated if you lose the final round, as you can imagine this rather frustrating. Moving on from how nonsensical the rounds are, let’s talk gameplay.
The cooking/rhythm gameplay is decent, but feels a bit easy. Its setup is similar to your traditional rhythm games where music is played and you press buttons as icons pass through a target, but unlike in previous rhythm games I’ve played the icons and targets don’t obscure your views or try to be difficult to spot. In Bon Appétit the targets move along two parallel ropes at the bottom of the screen, this placement and the size of the icons makes spotting them very simple. The only difficult aspect of the gameplay is dealing with the fact that there are two ropes moving icons across the screen, now in easy mode you don’t have to worry about two ropes as the icons are spread far apart, but when you increase the difficulty to normal mode you will find yourself dealing with multiple icons at once, this means that you will have to focus on both ropes instead of one at a time as there will be situations where you have to press two buttons at the same time or in rapid succession. To add a bit of spice to the gameplay there is a ninja art gauge, which when filled allows you to use your character’s ninja art. This ninja art increases the amount of points you gain, but upon activation the icons move quicker and if you miss just one icon your ninja art ends. Of course missing an icon or two isn’t the end of world as you can still win a round rather comfortably, it is just that well get a perfect victory (winning all three rounds and completing an on screen heart) offers an interesting reward.
Your reward for achieving a perfect victory is well seeing your opponent being served as a titillating desert as she lies naked with whipped and chocolate cream spread over her body. This perfect victory reward perfectly shows just how bad the fan service is in the game. Apart from the perfect victory scene other fan service content includes the clothes of a character being partially ripped if they lose a round, and some heavy sexual innuendo laden dialogue that include a character yelling “I need something big and thick, now!” When trying to find something to eat. While I did pass the fan service a bit to the side in Shinovi Versus the sheer in your face attitude to it in this games is well frankly disturbing, to make matters worse some characters you see naked and covered in cream are clearly underage.
Now there is another bad note and that is the game’s DLC. As I stated earlier there are ten playable characters, but when you go to the character screen there are an additional twelve characters that are greyed out. My original thought was that these twelve were characters you could unlock by completing various character stories, but unfortunately I was proven wrong as each of the twelve greyed out characters were all paid DLC. To me this idea of having more than half the roster behind a pay wall is insane to me especially when you consider the game isn’t free to play. DLC isn’t just limited to characters as there are some clothes and accessories you can buy.
As I mentioned earlier there you can unlock clothes for your dressing room, and if you’ve played Shinovi Versus you will instantly recognise how it works. Unlockable clothes include: outfits, lingerie, hairstyles and accessories for all available characters. At first glance the dressing room is harmless dress up, but in the dressing room you can perform perverted acts on the character you are dressing for example moving their breasts and grabbing their butt.
Just like Shinovi Versus, Bon Appétit is Japanese audio with English subtitles and well for once in my life I am glad this was not done as I don’t think I would have being able to stomach hearing English voice actors say the game’s numerous perverted lines. Now before I end this review I think we should end on a high note, the game’s music. The music in this game is really catchy and it made me ever so slightly forget about all the bad things in the game.
Despite having relatively good gameplay, Senran Kagura Bon Appétit is let down by a flat story, DLC characters and a large amount of unneeded and disturbing fan service.
+ Catchy music
+ The rhythm element is fun
– The cooking round structure makes no sense
– Non-existent story
– A disturbing high level of fan service
– More DLC characters than unlocked characters
– Lacking content
|Meteorise||Marvelous Games EU||rhythm||16+||PS Vita||November 12, 2014|
*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.