Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal Review

  • Developer: HONEY∞PARADE GAMES, Inc
  • Publisher: XSEED Games
  • Release Date: 1/22/2019
  • ESRB Rating: M
  • Reviewed on: PS4 Pro

Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal is not exactly a new game but you would be forgiven for thinking that it is. This is in fact a full 3D remake of the 2.5D Senran Kagura Burst for the Nintendo 3DS.

The first thing you will notice is that the game now plays more like the earlier PS4 entry in the series Estival Versus thanks to the new shift in perspective. Quick attacks and mid-air combos are still the order of the day here and returning players will feel right at home with the gameplay. That also means that that action (no matter how frantic) may start to feel repetitive after a while and it most certainly did for me. Fortunately the game sort of feels as if it is meant to be played in intervals thanks to its 3DS roots and coming back to the game after some breaks helped to keep things fresh. Fans of the original, portable version will appreciate the complete overhaul in the graphics in terms of both characters and attack animations.

There is plenty of game to be played here with two story options available from the start. You can select Ultimate Shadows to experience the main story or Burst to experience events form the perspective of the evil shinobi. If you get tired of one you can access the other from the main menu and each side is comprised of 41 missions. The missions (with rare exception) are typically free for all style battle against waves of nameless opponents or a face of against one of the other main characters.

While combat in Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal great for the most part, storytelling is where the game falls flat. The writing is so dry and outright cringe-worthy at times that I found myself skipping the dialogue before and after each mission after my first 30 minutes in. This is not by far the worst game dialogue but there is so much of it that wears thin very quickly. It’s your basic good versus evil tale but nowhere near as outrageous or hilarious as what we got with Estival Versus or Peach Beach Splash. Once the combat starts to get a tad repetitive (especially given how many missions there are) the story simply drags down the entire package.

Overall I did not hate my time spent playing Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal but I didn’t necessarily enjoy it either. It is a nice to be able to add this classic entry to the PS4 library but it just feels lacking. I know that this is a remake of a portable game and a great job was done bringing it to the current gen but when I finally finished the last mission I just felt kind of…meh. I tend to have a great time with this series and hardcore fans will really dig it but for me this entry was just ok.

Final Score: 6.0/10

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