Game Title: Senran Kagura Reflexions
Company: Marvelous, XSEED Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Digital Download
Battery Life: 2.75 – 3.75 hours
Download: 7.3 GB (without the Yumi DLC)
I’ve played lots of games that have had lewd touching mini-games thrown into them. Valkyrie Drive, Criminal Girls, Neptunia, Gun Gun Pixies, and the list goes on. It’s become something that’s very common in a certain niche part of the Japanese gaming market.
However, a game centered around these sort of lewd mini-games is something I haven’t seen before, yet it’s here and it’s exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. Who would’ve thought? In any case, I decided to dive back into the Senran franchise with this new game built around the new handheld’s unique take on motion controls.
So, here is my review of the newest lewd-heavy game for the Nintendo Switch, Senran Kagura: Reflexions!
The plot of Reflexions centers around you and your classmate, Asuka. After being asked to meet her after class for some alone time with you, she reaches her hands out and asks you to hold them for her. Once you do, you become enraveled in shared daydreams that Asuka has involving the two of you in provocative and lewd role-playing scenarios.
The story I wouldn’t call bad or terrible, but more confusing. By the time you get to the end of the game, the purpose of the plot is revealed to you, and you get some very subtle hints towards it about halfway-through, but until you get to that point, it feels like there’s virtually no point to the plot outside of Asuka wanting to have fantasies about sexual role-playing with you.
Reflexions is hard to label. It’s like an assortment of mini-games with some character customization thrown into the mix. Unlike the “Versus” games, you’re not going to be fighting enemies in 3D arenas, but rather you’re going to be taking part in petting and interactive mini-games involving massaging Asuka in various areas of her body and with various items and toys.
First of all, because I’m sure some of you will want to ask, this game has not been censored between releasing in Japan and the West. As far as I can tell from seeing videos of the Japanese version, everything here is the same as it was in Japan. Even the Vibrator Mini-game is still here and functional as you progress.
Now, progression. From the Main Menu, you have 4 game modes: Reflexology, Dress-Up, Mini-Reflexology, and Diorama. Reflexology is this game’s version of a Story Mode, where you go through the Mini-games in a gauntlet, along with Asuka talking to you in each story scene as you explore your daydreams together and she grows closer to you and becomes more fond of you.
Mini-Reflexology is basically just the first mini-game you go through, where you massage and squeeze various parts of her body before going into the more interactive and angled mini-game. Dress-Up and Diorama are more customization and posing modes, where you can dress up Asuka and customize her with hairstyles, outfits, and accessories and place and pose her in the various environments of the game, which is great for setting up screenshots. In essence, it’s like the “Dressing Room” game modes for games like the Versus games or Valkyrie Drive on the Vita.
Now, let’s talk about Reflexology. In this game mode, you will go from holding Asuka’s hand to the daydream sequences where you role-play and massage Asuka in various roles of her fantasies. When you start out, you have to massage different parts of her hands to basically stimulate her and make her start to blush and fantasize about the two of you together. This has a little of a trick to it, as the parts that spark the daydreams will change each time you do them and they will be able to spark different day-dream scenarios.
This is pretty simple. You start off with Asuka talking to you in the scenario/setting, and then you have to give her a massage by squeezing and caressing various parts of her body. Each body part changes in color in accordance to how you are interacting with it and different colors represent different emotions. If you keep massaging her in the “red” area, she will grow increasingly-passionate towards you, while doing more the Blue or Violet areas that are more lewd body parts, she will become increasingly-upset with you.
Eventually, her emotions will rise to the point where she wants to take the massage to the next level, where you will become very close to her and have to massage her in various ways, like rubbing her thighs with your hands, or running a hairbrush down her arm. This is where the game gets a bit more intense as you have motion controls and very specific actions you must perform to keep her in a good mood level to raise a heat gauge. If you can raise her body heat within the time limit, you will succeed and exit the day-dream.
And that’s basically what you do for the entire game. Touch her hand, spark a daydream, massage her during role-play, and repeat the process. The goal is to succeed in every attempt to fill up a bottle of emotions and unlock a piece of her heart by the time the game ends. Once you have one color, you go back and play Reflexions again to go for the other colors, requiring a total of 5 plays to unlock her complete heart and unlock the “True Ending” for the game.
This does make the game a bit grindy, but you do constantly unlock content while you’re doing this. Just as her heart has 5 color-coded completion possibilities, so do all of the different scenarios and role-plays you are pulled into. With each color completion come unlocked hairstyles, accessories, background music, and costumes for you to use in Dress-Up and toggle to use in the other game modes.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s a ton of replayability, either. In terms of time, I achieved the True Ending in about 5 runs, and another 3 runs to complete every color for every scenario to get 100% completion. That puts me at around a little under 2 hours for the True Ending and a little under 3 hours for 100% completion. Even for the lower price of $9.99, that’s not very much content.
While you can extend your replayability with the Yumi Scenario DLC that essentially doubles the Reflexology content, that doesn’t change the content vs price. It just changed 2-3 hours for $9.99 to 5-6 hours for $19.99.
This big thing about Reflexions on the Switch is that it heavily relies on the Joy-Cons’ ability to use Motion and Gyro Controls for all of the game’s mini-games. While all of these can use button controls, you can also tilt, shake, and lower the joy-cons with motion controls individually for all of the activities in Reflexology.
There’s only one problem with this. As interesting and fun as these motion controls are, they don’t always work. The “Roller” mini-game doesn’t always activate when you do the motion. This is strange, as the Vibrator mini-game uses the same motion and it works fine.
As far as button controls go, the two analog sticks move cursors during the Hand and Pre-Massage parts of the game. In the activities, you can also use the ZR button in combination with the Analog Sticks to utilize those activities, if you’re using handheld mode or just don’t want to use the motion controls.
Graphically, this game looks very good. The 3D renders for Asuka look incredibly-polished, as do all of the different outfits and accessories that you can equip to her.
The game also plays very well. I never saw dropping frames, and the loading times are practically non-existent.
Despite the graphical presentation, I was expecting Battery Life to be pretty decent. Here are my times, from 100% to 0%
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 2 hours, 43 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 16 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 20 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 47 minutes
About what I expected. You can get most of the game, if not all of it done on one charge.
In conclusion, Senran Kagura: Relexions is a game that is made out of something that would normally be a mini-game in this franchise. Although the story is a bit confusing to take in, the game gets pretty repetitive, and the controls don’t always work, it’s not a bad pick for people who enjoy those sorts of mini-games and have ten bucks to spare. Bonus points if you’re someone who enjoys uncensored handheld games.
Final Score: 7.5