Senran Kagura Reflexions is the latest entry as a side-story game, one where players will take on the role of being a masseuse for the hard-working all-female cast of the Senran Kagura universe. Find out what we thought about giving these ladies a massage and if it’s something to enjoy.
-Asuka model is a high-quality version likely from Estival or Peach Beach
-Low $10 price of entry for those just looking for the SK dressing room experience
-Low price also equals low replay value.
-Only one girl to start with
-Not all previous features such as kissing are used in Reflexology gameplay but are still part of the actual
-Obvious cash grab with day one DLC over $30.
Several years ago, a popular breakfast cereal released a version comprised of only the sweet-shapes and minus the yellow squares that made up the bulk of the main product. The target demographic loved the new sweet-shapes version but soon, some discovered that too much of a good thing caused them to become acclimated and they became bored with the taste, as it lost its splendor. What we have with today’s game is very much a case of the crunch berries; a mini-game only version of a series that has far
more to offer.
Senran Kagura Reflexions is the 7th release in the ever-expanding Senran Kagura series to make its way over to North America. Returning to a Nintendo platform this time, Reflexions boldly rolls the dice by intimately stripping away much of the core combat mechanics and story to focus what made the series infamous: dressing room mini-games where you grope the character to your heart’s content. The plot of the game is very simple, Asuka has called you to her classroom to ask for your help. Her mind is going blank and she doesn’t feel like herself. Gripping your hands, she builds up the courage to finally ask you for a big request: “So please… help me… search myself.”
And that’s it, folks. That little segue is all you get before you reach the main premise of the game. In Reflexions, you use the Joy-Cons to gently massage Asuka’s hands, stroking the top of her fingers and palms to help her relax. When you find a tender spot, the Joy-Con will begin to pulse slowly. If you continue rubbing the area, the Joy-Con will vibrate more fiercely as your hearts become one. Doing this will result in Asuka’s imagination running wild in one of seven different fantasies.
Each fetish fantasy plays out the exact same but flavored for the experience: brief commentary or question by Asuka about how the two of you wound up in this situation, oops-I-guess-you-get-massage time, and then a finisher to bring her to climax the end of the session. The massage sections are referred to as Standard Reflexology, where you can grope, poke, prod, and rub Asuka to elicit responses. Depending on the action and location of the interaction, one of five colors will pulse when touched, hinting at whether the contact was pleasant or unwelcome. Repeating the same action enough times will allow you to start the Glourious Reflexology finisher, an additional mini-game where you perform more intimate maneuvers using your hands or special tools.
Completing the reflexology session will partially fill a crystal/vile with
the color of the reaction your massage generated. Once you’ve performed five sessions, the full vile gives you half of a heart-shaped image that is fully unlocked once you’ve completed five playthroughs of the game, filling the vile with each color. Only after you unlock the full picture will you have finished the story mode.
As for replay value, there isn’t much you can really do. You unlock accessories and costumes by completing each fantasy with a different color. So if you want to unlock everything, you’d be looking at 35 sessions and for your troubles, you get 10 hairstyles, 16 outfits, 45 lingerie patterns, 51 backdrops, and 18 audio tracks. There are three additional modes to select on the main menu: dressing room, mini-reflexology, and diorama.
The dressing room is the exact same experience you get in full Senran Kagura
games, where you can change the outfits and add accessories. Mini-reflexology lets you perform a session without having to wade through the hand holding. One interesting difference from the story mode is you can engage the kiss option introduced in Estival Versus. It’s not mentioned in any of the instructions as is typical for the series, but it can’t be activated anywhere else which is strange.
Finally, the Diorama mode returns, allowing you to pose Asuka and any DLC characters in group shots. Reflexions doesn’t have much in the way of visuals. The base game includes a single model of Asuka, presumably from one of the recent titles like Peach Beach Splash or Estival Versus, which gives it a high polygon count with textures that are just as nice, although you will encounter some that are noticeably blurry when close up. Other than accessories and the Glorious Reflexology props, everything else is just
a 2D background.
Audio-wise, the soundtrack is limited and unexceptional, serving only as goofy mood music. One of the features Kenichiro Takaki talked about in the announcement trailer was how they were utilizing the HD rumble feature to mimic the feeling of different objects. I promise you, there is nothing special about their use of HD rumble. It’s just different levels of vibration and disappointment.
In the end, Reflexions is nothing more than an obvious and shameful cash grab by Marvelous! to prey on horny anime fans equal to the same level as Dead or Alive Xtreme 3… or just Dead or Alive in general. I’m conflicted about this title as I’m a fan of the series. The perverted features have always been prominent but mixed in with fantastic gameplay and a light-hearted, silly story.
Senran Kagura Kagura Reflexions
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Version Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date: Now Available
Cost: $19.99 USD
Reflexions is nothing more than a small sliver of what the series has to offer and even that is divided up behind DLC paywalls if you want more than one character. And if you wanted to save money, you could just buy Shinovi or Estival Versus where you not only get the full roster of characters, but an actual game to play for less than Reflexions will likely cost after all the DLC is released. Reflexions is uninspired, serving no purpose to advancing the series that it came from and like a bowl of sugary cereal, leaves you disappointed and a stomach ache.
Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 5 out of 10
About the Writer:
Greg F. is an RPG enthusiast whom absolutely enjoys the niche titles that come across from the East. When it comes to beat-’em-up brawlers such as Senran Kagura, Greg knows the titles just about as good as anyone else, but his passion not-so-secretly sits with his love for retro games from the NES and Sega period. In his free time Greg contributes to B.A.T.G.R. with his knowledge of such feedback.