Everybody's favourite shinobi girls are back and this time it is a trip back to where it all started. You see, in Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal players can experience the start of the popular series as it is a complete remake of the Senran Kagura Burst which released in 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS. With so many improvements in the series since then, and new hardware to play with, fans of the series and newcomers alike have been keen to see how the remake holds up. Having spent time with the PlayStation 4 version of the game, I think it is time we find out just how the remake fairs.
First and foremost let me address the elephant in the room, the censorship. You may or may not know, but due to Sony’s strict content guidelines a feature was removed from the PlayStation 4 version of the title that allows players the chance to interact with the bodies of the girls in the Dressing Room. Outfit customization is still included, but for those who were looking forward to getting ‘hands-on’ with the girls will be disappointed. Personally, the inclusion of this feature or the lack of it doesn’t impact my opinion on the title so that’s that. Now, onto the review.
As Senran Kagura Burst: Re:Newal is a remake players will get to see where it all started with some new and improved gameplay, visuals and audio. What this means is that you have three story campaigns to tackle of varied length that focus on the Hanzo Ninja Academy, the Hebijo Academy and even a shorter one following Yumi. This third campaign is a side story with only ten missions while the main two feature over forty. Each mission can take between a few minutes to half an hour depending on size and difficulty. These are broken into one-on-one boss fights against other characters and clearing stages full of copy-and-paste enemies. The actual story of the campaigns will be progressed through cutscenes and visual novel like sections that deliver an enjoyable tale of young ninjas.
What players will stick around for though is the gameplay, which is as refined as you would expect for a series that has been going eight years. Every character has their own moveset, combos, special attacks and even levels. You’ll need to find what works for each one and utilize them effectively if you want to unleash deadly moves that are fast and flashy. Parries and Aerial Raves mix up the gameplay a bit as well giving players more options to deal the hurt. Launch an enemy into the air, stun them with a well-timed parry and take them down with a powerful counter-attack. It can take a while to click with each character, but once you do you’ll be in for a highly enjoyable experience.
One system that has been kept from the original is the Style System which offers even more ways to mix up the combat, while encouraging you to keep attacking. Each character has three of these styles which can be upgraded to offer numerous permanent perks. You unlock these by dealing out damage with one of them equipped meaning it pays to be aggressive. Speaking of which, there is even the option to go into a level without your clothes on - no, really - to gain a massive power boost at the exchange of a lower defence. It’s a risk reward move known as Frantic Mode, but it can be a lot of fun when it works in your favour.
Thankfully this fast paced and flashy combat is held up by a solid frame rate and impressive visuals that ensure the action is never dull. Sure, you’ll be hearing the same audio lines over and over and might even become a bit tired of grinding all your character’s to max level, but at least it will always look fantastic. The only real draw back on the presentation side of things is the loading time between different sections in the menu. Navigating these can feel somewhat slow, but once you enter the action is doesn’t matter. Besides, performing those special moves and watching the short cutscene that follows is always enjoyable.
Like other entries in the series, Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is packed full of content and polish that will make any player happy. Sure, the gameplay can get repetitive and the grind is real in this title but when has it not been for the series? This remake makes for the ideal starting point for newcomers to the series, while also providing long time fans with another polished title to enjoy to their heart's content. You’ll come for the girls and clothes ripping, but you stay for the enjoyable combat and action. Another solid entry in this weird and wonderful series.
SENRAN KAGURA Burst Re:Newal (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is a well made and polished remake that offers plenty of content for players to enjoy.