Publisher: XSEED Games
Senran Kagura Bon Appetit is a mind-bogglingly stupid game. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After all, it’s the latest game in a series that exists primarily — if not solely — so that developers can master the art of boob physics, while throwing jobs to writers who are generally a meaning short of being able to write suggestive double entendres.
Of course, no one is looking to Senran Kagura for mental stimulation. Other types of stimulation, sure, but if you’re going into Bon Appetit looking for anything remotely intelligent, you’re doing it wrong. This series has always been about underage girls saying suggestive things and being maneuvered into suggestive poses, and just because Bon Appetit is a rhythm-based cooking game doesn’t mean any of that has changed.
What is surprising, however, is that the gameplay itself isn’t half bad. I went into this game expecting the absolute worst — my view of last month’s Shinovi Versus has only gotten worse over time, and it wasn’t very charitable to begin with — but I quickly learned that if you’re able to look beyond the girls talking about wanting big, thick things in their mouths and girls dressed only in whipped cream, it’s awfully easy to get hooked. Admittedly, that’s asking you to look past quite a bit, but if you can, you’ll find that this is a rhythm game designed for people of all skill levels — and I say this as someone with an extraordinarily bad sense of rhythm. Bon Appetit has easy levels that are genuinely easy, hard levels that are challenging, and a good mix in between.
Of course, if you’re simply too creeped out by the absurd extreme to which Bon Appetit takes its, er, “sexiness”, that’s wholly understandable. I found myself constantly skipping over everything I could, just to avoid the cringe-worthy dialogue and mind-bogglingly stupid scenes. And even if that’s not enough to put you off, then you’ll also need to have a pretty high tolerance for J-Pop, because that’s all you’re going to get here. (Though the J-Pop is way less of a deal-breaker — I can barely stand the stuff, but I was still able to tolerate it for the purposes of this game.)
Ultimately, my feelings towards Senran Kagura Bon Appetit are awfully similar to how I wound up feeling towards Monster Monpiece — AKA that Vita-wanking game from earlier this year. I feel kind of icky even suggesting it’s not terrible, and I’d be completely mortified to play it in public…but deep down, beneath the stupid, juvenile exterior, there’s secretly a game that’s kind of worth checking out. But don’t tell anyone I said that.