Review by Clark A.
In fact, a detail as vital as the game’s genre seems to be a point of comedy. Senran Kagura titles have chiefly aimed to be action-heavy sidescrollers since the IP’s inception, but this spin-off toys with the expectations of anyone who hasn’t bothered to actively seek out the details. This game’s subtitle, Bon Appétit, and its plot imply the player would actually in the act of cooking, presumably in similar vein to Cooking Mama, but the result is far more reminiscent of Dance Dance Revolution in practice. Elements of the series’ trademark combat are present and the cooking theme is represented by on-screen montages of the kitchen-based warfare, but this is a rhythm game through and through. You’re going to be doing anything butpreparing meals or engaging in fisticuffs, in other words.
Ultimately, the gameplay is pretence to mould a rather comedic script around. That’s a risky aspect to focus on considering the tendency of comedy in games to fall flat, but thankfully it works wonders here, bolstering the absurdity and shock value of an already preposterous premise.
And just to shed further light on the game’s “fanservice” (because although there’s every possibility this series’ characters and themes were designed in jest rather than for titillation, this game really goes all out with the flesh), Senran Kagura doesn’t disappoint. Monster Monpiece might’ve had players rubbing up moe monster girls but it’s child’s play compared to how utterly transparent Bon Appétit! strives to be. The key distinguishing factor between the two is narrative tone; Monster Monpiece was a surprisingly serious affair that, for all the rubbing, didn’t make a big deal of it, whilst Senran Kagura delights in borderline exhibitionism with certain characters.
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