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SENRAN KAGURA: Bon Appetit

The designers of SENRAN KAGURA: Bon Appetit must have been watching the latest John Lewis Christmas advert when they came up with this gem of a crazy abstract game. (If you are not au fait with the JL advert it features a trampoline and lots of bouncing). There is no trampoline in SENRAN KAGURA: Bon Appetit but there is a heck of a lot of bouncing. Whatever they (the designers) were on they have completely changed how I view the "Bake-Off" television programme in future.

The characters from which you get to choose whom to play, are competitors in a Bake-Off Competition for which the prize is a Secret Ninja Art Scroll which allows the owner ONE WISH. The prestige of this prize has excited many nubile young ladies to enter, the thrill of being in the competition has visually excited these girls.

The girls are all archetypal Manga style, with large eyes, huge breasts and are scantily dressed in a variety of "almost" outfits. 

 The MC calls the girls to the Bake-Off Arena

The scene is a studio setting with two identical mini kitchens side by side with the contestants (your character and a randomly chosen one, probably depending on whether you elected EASY, NORMAL or HARD) both ready to start mixing their way to the final and finally success in the SUPER DISH competition. For the tournament SUPER DISH means GREAT COOKING and / or GREAT RACKS. These girls do not produce a great rack of Lamb but they do all possess great racks of very bouncy chest muscles.

  the "mad" lair

The players select their personal characters from the 22 "Flowers" on display and their opponents are randomly taken from the same list. Players can choose from several ways to play, Free (roam) Mode; Arcade Mode or Story Mode. Free Mode allows you to just play around and learn the ropes so as to speak; the Arcade Mode allows for one off competitions and Story Mode is the game for the long term where you can save as you go.

  

When I was younger there used to be such a thing as Seaside Postcards and these often featured busty young girls in comedic situations. The characters were more caricatures and this is how I see the ladies in SENRAN KAGURA, caricatures of over-the-top well endowed bright young girls; in other words, Animé but not to the point of Hentai.

The game involves watching the two compet(it)ing girls in a split screen style view with mixing bowls, whisks and ingredients at the ready for the start of the cooking tournament. The problem I found with playing this game is that it is so fast I can't get to see all that is going on (or coming off) on the screen. The faster the girls whisk away the more the fabric of the girl's clothing is stretched and over-stretched towards poinging-point. Along the bottom of the screen the ingredients, in the form of the letters A, S and D and the arrow keys Left, Right and Down, glide from right to left towards the girl's mixing bowl. As the letters/arrows reach the star at the end of the line you have to press the correct key, and of course the further into the game you get the faster and more randomly clumped the symbols arrive. After the last ingredient is in the bowl the Master Chef makes his decision and then you get the chance to move on, if successful, play again or quit.

Each contest begins with the characters onscreen facing each other with a fierce blinding light glowing and growing between them. Then the screen goes black, Japanese [text] characters appear along with the word "FIGHT!" Now you think you are about to enter the arcade genre of scrolling fight games from the not-too-distant past, but instead you are in a head-to-head bake-off. You have to mix it to win it!

  

The faster the ingredients arrive the more likely it is you will miss one and not score. The more you miss the faster the girls move and the heavier they bounce and the more their clothes disintegrate until only a couple of well placed plasters and a carefully positioned hand are all that stands between the player and the girls modesty - this is not a game to play in either 3D or VR. It is blatantly sexual but done in such a fun way that only someone who is a Victorian prude in attitude would find anything to complain at - though having said that it really isn't a game for the young child and should come with an A for Adult warning.

  

As you can see from my screenshots my arthritic fingers and thumbs have only managed to get me an E result to date. Even though I have played many times I just cannot get my fingers to work fast enough, players who can touch-type or simply type faster than I can will have more success. Apart from the letters and numbers scrolling across the screen I saw nothing of the actual onscreen visuals and for reasons I cannot understand my PC wouldn't allow me to take screenies using the [Print Screen] key. Thus I only got to take screenies with my camera when I managed to pause the game or when it got to a natural in-game point where a key had to be pressed to carry on.

There is no crudeness or nudity per se in the game. It is naughty but nice as they say, with more than a hint of naked skin, lots of bounciness and a large, very large in fact, dollop of stretchy, gravity-defying [almost]costumes. It's Fast, It's Furious, and it's diabolically funny and although this is only my opinion I believe it is co-titled Bon Apetit just so the last three letters can be subtly emphasised.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015