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My OCD Is Showing: Senran Kagura Estival Versus, Take Two:

June 5, 2016

estivalversusplat

This makes eight total platinum trophies, three of them for entries in the Senran Kagura series.  Say what you will about the series, it doesn’t make you jump through a ton of crazy hoops to get cheevos.  If you just play through all of story modes, you are almost certainly going to be 95% of the way to getting the plat for this one.

It does take some time, mind you.  There are 220-some missions in the game, and most of them are at least five minutes each with a little bit of conversation between characters before and after.

The main story is, well, I didn’t care for it very much because it pushed my favorite characters into the background in favor of new characters.  There’s a bonus mission where Asuka (the original main character) goes and beats up all of the other team leaders for hogging the spotlight, and I chose to take it as something of an apology from the developers.

Fortunately, you can unlock side stories for all of the characters while playing the main story, and the side stories turned out to be a lot more fun.  They’re full of the kind of fan service that doesn’t involve bouncing, with the sorts of callbacks to earlier games that are more rewarding if you’ve played all of them.  Some of them got a little… weirder than others, mind you – Ryona’s longing to be made into tempura is one of those things that barely makes sense if you HAVE played all of the previous games, and Ikaruga’s ending is bizarrely out of character for Hanzo Academy’s most prim and proper student.

Of course, if you’re a completionist, this presents a certain disadvantage:  You need to play all of the stories for trophies, so you’ll spend roughly a half-hour each stuck with characters that drive you batty.

Also, as a second warning: If you are particularly fond of any characters that play a little slower – Yozakura comes to mind, also Yomi and Hanabi – I found their story modes to be particularly frustrating.  Estival Versus is a fast game, and heavily rewards building up huge combo numbers with experience bonuses, and some of the slower characters have more trouble building combos and will therefore level slower.  It’s a bit of a design oversight that I will forgive them for only because balancing 27 characters (and more via DLC) must have been a special nightmare.

One final note before I wrap this up – because each character’s story mode has a trophy attached, and because PSN lets you see what percentage of people get each trophy, it’s plausible that there’s a fair correlation between the side story completion rate and character popularity.  With THAT in mind, it is very odd to consider that Murakumo is apparently the most popular character in the series.  The other end of the scale makes much more sense, with Hanabi and Haruka virtually tied for Worst Girl.

Also Mirai is horribly slighted despite having one of the funniest side stories.  At least she’s ranked higher than any of the new characters.

No idea what’s next up.  I’m out of Souls games and a little hesitant to start Bloodborne.  I have a couple of JRPGs, maybe I should check whether any of them are doable or whether they’re all 80+ hour monsters.

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