THE BACKLOG FILE: Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson

I’ve never been one to be embarrassed to play a game on the subway until Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson.

I already had an idea of what I was getting myself into as I’d played Senran Kagura Burst (and even maxed out Asuka’s stats), but Senran Kagura 2 ratchets up the “oppai” and general “ecchi” (look it up) to another level. I kind of feel like the entire game centers around the revamped physics engine for the girls’ “assets”. I’m not one to shy away from this kind of media (see my thoughts on Keijo!!!!!!!!), but the way the girls bounce around means playing this around other people is a no-no.

Cosmetics aside, Senran Kagura 2 is a decent hack and slash game that takes several ideas from the first game and improves on them, but there are still annoyances the series hasn’t yet let go of.

The first thing I was struck by game-play wise was the general absence of massive slowdown that bogged down the first game. I felt like at a certain point in the first game, too many enemies emerged and the game couldn’t keep up. That isn’t to say that this game doesn’t have a hiccup or two, but the development team absolutely cleaned things up in that regard.

The visual novel aspect is still a bit overdone, but it’s manageable. The thing people find after they get over the “omg, boobs!” aspect of the Senran Kagura series is that there is a story underneath, and it’s actually decent. The exposition in the early chapters is annoying to someone who knows the story and characters involved, but the depth of the characters and their backstories is actually not half bad. That said, some of the story segments can be a bit long when you want to get to the action immediately. Luckily, dialogue is easily skipped.

Senran Kagura 2 plays a bit more with 3-D movement than its predecessor, and that’s not always a good thing. I find myself getting lost in crowds, and missing attacks on enemies that I think I should be landing. Some of this can be attributed to a lack of built up skill as I power through the game even when I use the helpful new aiming system. I imagine if I spent more time with the new systems to “git gud”, I would be a bit more sympathetic, but I’ve whiffed too many special attacks.

All in all, the game is rough in spots, but is worthy of a look if you 1) Aren’t afraid of the in-you-face sexual tonality and 2) Need some solid quick twitch-action if you’re like me an play a ton of more moderately paced games like RPGs.

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