Title: Senran Kagura Reflexions
Release Date: June 24, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: XSEED Games
I’m usually a fan of games that have an actual plot, but I also feel like there’s a balance to be found when it comes to serious and light-hearted themes in games. If anything to add a little variety to your usual palet of titles. Enter Senran Kagura Reflexions, a game that manages to stand out from the usual series of Senran Kagura titles. I’m not saying that as if it were a bad thing either, in fact, I ended up finding Reflexions to be very relaxing to play after experiencing a tough day or needing something (or someone) to cheer me up. Senran Kagura Reflexions definitely managed to do this every time I launched the game. That being said, Senran Kagura Reflexions is a simple game, without complex gameplay or even a substantial plot. So, I’d rather think of this game as a spin-off and a standalone title despite it belonging to the same series.
Author’s Note: The base game only contains Asuka as a massage-able character. The other girls, Yumi, Murasaki, Ryona, and Yomi are purchasable through DLC. However, it is not required to buy all character DLC unless you’re a fan of these specific shinobis.
At the beginning of the game, players enter a classroom with Asuka standing front and center. Yeah, a typical scenario in Japan when it comes to love confession scenes, although she isn’t sure about her feelings yet. To find her “true heart”, she asks you to hold her hands and gently massage them while she begins to experience a daydream. This way, you will be able to learn the ways of “reflexology”, by syncing her heart and body. Along the way, you can help her relax through hard working massaging and by spending some quality time with shinobi.
As aforementioned, the whole purpose of Senran Kagura Reflexions is to massage your favorite shinobi through a few different modes that are available. In the “Mini-Reflexology”, which is a free-mode, you can freely interact with your girl the way you desire — and even change her outfit which you can unlock or purchase as DLC. The main mode is “Reflexology” where you can select another DLC character or simply start off by massaging Asuka’s hands, although the gameplay stays the same no matter what girl you are going for and the interaction and endings are different which means more content to explore overall. There, you can choose multiple different spots to touch such as the individual fingers or the palm of her hand. One spot is enough to make her daydream, although you need to hold the interaction button in order to achieve this. Depending on where you are touching her, she will have different dreams where she plays different roles, such as your little sister, an idol, a warrior, a teacher and much more, plus the location changes as well from the woods to your own room.
A feature I really found useful was that when you already played through a certain scenario when touching her hand, the scenario that happens shows up in a thought bubble while unknown scenarios will be grayed out. Now, the useful thing here is that not only can you massage Asuka where you prefer but since there are different outcomes available depending on where you massage another color will show up. Players can easily look up what color they already achieved to aim for another one. In total, you have to complete five daydreams until one playthrough of the Reflexology ends, which takes around half an hour. The color you get the most of will decide the ending that you get and there are different endings available as well. However, these are only short dialogues.
After massaging a girl long enough, you will get to the final mode of the massage. This brings up a time limit and allows players to interact with the character further by using their hands, a massage roller, a brush, or even a vibrator. You start off with just your hands and then new options unlock that adds more tools to use. Basically, the more you play Senran Kagura Reflexions the more tools you’ll be able to use on the character. There’s also a skip option that allows players to pass up some of the features that can come off as rather repetitive. However, I found the mini-games to be quite interesting, even though they were simple, each mini-game required a different combination of button presses, plus I had the option of choosing which mini-games I wanted to play more of.
Don’t go into Senran Kagura Reflexions thinking that you will discover some deep plot, this isn’t that type of game. Understand what you’re getting yourself into here and I promise you’ll have the best time with it. I wasn’t expecting it to be a serious game or even a game with a deep plot at all and that’s why I found some enjoyment in simple gameplay of massaging Asuka while listening to her nice comments.
After playing difficult games or even after having a difficult day in general, Senran Kagura Reflexions cheered me up and made me feel relaxed. That being said, Senran Kagura Reflexions might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it definitely isn’t a game that you can play for more than a couple of hours. Furthermore, it might not even appeal to Senran Kagura fans who only enjoy the ninja fighting, but I don’t know if those type of fans exists for this series. However, this is just a light-hearted game which managed to make me smile. It’s cute, simple, and hilarious so I was all in.
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