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E3 2014: Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! Hands On

by: Matt -
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Well, I thought Shinovi Versus was embarrassing to play. I'm really glad XSeed put this one on the back wall, away from the prying eyes of your normal attendees. Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! was able to initially suck me in on the pretense of being a music game. What I came to find was perhaps one of the most ridiculous combinations of gameplay elements to make a game that you just have to play to understand, and even then I don't think it's possible to figure out what's going on. The Senran Kagura cast has been informed that a Super Ninja Art Scroll is up for grabs that will grant any wish. All they have to do to earn it? Create the best possible dish for the legendary shinobi Hanzo. So expect a lot of cooking, a lot of stripping, and some surprisingly catchy tunes. 

The track genres range from classical to jazzy with a few others in between and some feature vocals from the Japanese vocalists that play the part of faction leaders. There will also be tracks available via DLC, along with tracks that can be carried over from Shinovi Versus. The gameplay itself feels reminiscent of the Taiko Drum Master games, two lanes will have markers representing the face buttons on the PS Vita, and you'll be pressing them in time with the music. The normal difficulty provided sufficient challenge, and the expert level tracks will challenge hardened music game veterans. Over the course of each song you'll be battling with another member of the cast, and at pre-determined points in each song your combo and score will be factored in to the quality of the dish you are making. Prepare a better dish than your opponent and they'll lose some clothing. If you manage to win all three phases of the battle then you'll be treated to... something... 

With challenging gameplay and some great visuals, Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! joins a surprisingly growing genre on the PS Vita, music games, which doesn't have me complaining. The wait until this winter to play more of this game gives me plenty of time to find one of those privacy screen protectors for my Vita.