PC Port Report: Senran Kagura Estival Versus

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Ported with all its assets intact

Individuals on Destructoid have expressed surprise that I have never played a Senran Kagura title before. I’m not sure what that says about me – or the people on Dtoid.

Time for that to change. Now that Senran Kagura Estival Versus has flounced its way onto the PC, and with a copy thrust into my palms for a port report, there’s no avoiding the groping, the stripping, and presumably whatever actual game they threw in there to justify all of the former. (CJ Andriessen thought it was pretty lewd fun.)

Rig: i7-4720HQ @ 2.60GHz (3.6GHz max) 4-core processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM, GTX 950M, Windows 10 Home 64-bit. FPS measured through Steam.

The very first thing I did when I loaded up Senran Kagura Estival Versus was unplug my controller. Surely the point of this was to test the game under suboptimal circumstances, and what’s more suboptimal than a Musou-like title with a mouse and keyboard

To say you’ll be in for a bad time is putting it lightly.

Even after a recent patch that totally remaps the keyboard, there is little chance anyone will figure things out. Want to skip the opening cutscene? Well, good luck, because the start button has been mapped to tab, and it’s the only thing that works. The menu displays only controller button commands, and you can’t remap the controls without learning the controls to begin with.

The remap finally gave us WASD controls, but for menus you’ll use the arrow keys, and the number pad for camera controls. The whole thing is better than it used to be… but save yourself the medical bills and just use a gamepad already.

This does lead to another of the game’s oddities – there is no central options menu. The main menu has only graphics options, and no volume controls. You have to start a new save file in order to rebind controls or change audio settings, and they are maintained independently for each file (the main menu will always have full volume).

Now that we’ve cleared the air regarding the controls, the rest of the port is just lovely. The visuals, while not award-winning by any stretch, have gotten a nice boost from PC anti-aliasing and shading levels. Add this on top of 4K resolution support, and the game has never looked or moved better better, with both the girls and the effects really standing out. The framerate is locked at either 30 or 60fps, and despite my underwhelming specs, I stayed pretty consistently at 60fps at maximum settings, only dipping during the most ridiculous moments the game has to offer.

And ridiculous did it get. I had seen GIFs and images of Senran Kagura games, of course, but I didn’t realize that the games were truly as shameless as they are. At one point, the title waxes philosophical on the monstrous nature of a world where endless sexual harassment is seen as normal (before proceeding to play a game called, “Strip’n’Rip”). Obviously that’s a tame moment, compared to BDSM sisters, fights where the losers have panties stuffed in their mouths, and knocking your enemy naked, upside-down into a giant sundae.

“Naked in a giant sundae.” Truly, we live in wondrous times.

I also didn’t expect that there would be a genuinely enjoyable Musou-like game strapped to all the near-nudity and touching of butts, an endless series of combo attacks, racking up hundreds (or thousands, in the case of characters like Homura) of hits before finally being knocked away by a “break” attack, something the AI seems all-too fond of.

Some things just can’t be changed, it seems, and if anyone was thinking that the port over to Steam would somehow boost the nonexistent online community, that is sadly not the case. The game’s online mode is a ghost town, and at most, I’ve only ever seen two lobbies at one time, and they’ve always been password protected.

Likewise, those looking for a repeat of the DLC policy of Shinovi Versus will likely be disappointed, as Estival Versus does not come with the DLC included. There are 13 DLC packs available at this point in time, including characters, missions, and costumes. Still, none are required, and the game offers a wealth of content even without them.

Despite the sheer inaccessibility of the keyboard and mouse controls, Senran Kagura Estival Versus is an otherwise strong port. It offers some options that take advantage of the increased power of the platform to look and feel its best while acting its dirtiest.

[This PC Port Report is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]