Senran Kagura fans rejoice, your favorite bare naked ninja ladies have been given a pinball game, yes you read that right, a pinball game, a sexy pinball game to be more precise. Senran Kagura Peach Ball is available on the PC and Nintendo Switch, of which I am reviewing this game on the latter.
- Senran Kagura Peach Ball
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
- Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Honey∞Parade Games
- Publisher: Xseed Games/Marvelous Europe
- Available: 9th July 2019
- Price: £35.99 (UK), €39.99 (EU), $60.00 (AUS), $39.99 (US)
- Age Rating: PEGI 16 (UK/EU), USK 18 (GER), MA15+ (AUS)
- Review Code Provided
For those of you not familiar with Senran Kagura, it’s typically an action series featuring a group of ninja females. It’s full of bare naked action and features more innuendos then you can shake your stick at. This is probably why it’s shocking to see a pinball game in the series, yet all things considered, it’s not a bad game of pinball. Check out the launch trailer below in case you missed it before.
When it comes to plot lines, Senran Kagura is often quite strange and silly, and that remains in Senran Kagura Peach Ball. The game is set within the Honey Arcade, a place that is usually not very busy, which in this case leads to Haruka performing some chemistry that leads her to create Beastall, a powerful chemical concoction that turns people into half animal half human creatures. Unfortunately, during a trip to the toilets, Ryona comes across the chemical and mistakes it for hand soap, which leads to her becoming a dog. She starts licking the other characters, who then due to their indirect exposure also start turning into animals themselves. Haruka then informs the ladies, that the only way to change them back to humans is to use the ‘Peach Ball’ in a game of pinball while each girl sits on top of the pinball machine. While it seems like an insane idea, it does work quite well and it seems that the writers have put their all into keeping the fans happy, by using the same silly story formula found within other games in the series.
In true Senran Kagura style, Peach Ball is packed to the rim with sexuality and innuendos. The girls in their animal form, for example, are all so underdressed that the main areas of fur look like a bra and underwear with the only other areas covered in fur being their arms and legs complete with animal paws. Then you have the ”Bopping”, which is basically the term used to describe bouncing the pinballs off the women. There’s also a lot more but I’d be here forever typing away if I listed it all.
One big disappointment with Senran Kagura Peach Ball is that it only features two pinball tables, which isn’t nearly enough for a game that costs £35.99. That said both tables are very nicely detailed and have customizable themes and backgrounds.
Luckily Peach Ball packs in a load of stuff to do within the pinball games, which keeps them from getting too stale over the 5 or so hours of the campaign. As you advance through the story, each game of pinball you play will give you a growing list of challenges to complete, which are listed on the right side of the screen. Such challenges include things such as scoring a certain amount of points, bopping the character so many times and using an item just to name a few. It’s this list of challenges that help to keep the game going as they give you goals to obtain. I have to admit I have been trying so hard to achieve as many of them as I could before completing each round. It’s fair to say that each round really does set you a decent level of challenge.
Senran Kagura actively encourages the player to shake the table, something that not many other pinball games do. This can be done by either shaking the Joy-Con or using the thumbsticks depending on how you play. Making use of the shake feature is a great way to rack up the points while playing. If you hit the girl in the center of the table you’ll score handsomely particularly when you hit their ”areas of interest” as I’ll call them to sound professional.
As well as a story mode, players can also enjoy a free mode, which allows them to play as they like without any story or interruptions. Here you can earn coins to spend within the in-game shop, just as you can in story mode. The shop is packed full of things to unlock from hairstyles and clothing right down to art and music. The unlockable customizations can be used within the changing room, that allows you to dress your ladies as you please from the wide selection of accessories and styles on offer.
The game controls are quite simple and require very little in the way of learning. The trigger buttons on the Joy-Cons act as the flipper buttons, while shaking can be done using the motion controls or the thumbsticks.
I have thoroughly enjoyed Senran Kagura Peach Ball for the most part but do feel that its lack of pinball tables and very short campaign are issues, which taint the overall experience. For a pinball game though it’s very entertaining and the challenges on offer ensure that boredom isn’t easily obtained throughout the short campaign.