E3 2015 | Electronic Entertainment Expo Feature

Interview with Senran Kagura producer Kenichiro Takaki

One of the on-going Japanese franchises XSEED Games has localized in the past years is the infamous Senran Kagura. A new entry in the “busty brawler” series, Senran Kagura Estival Versus, arrives in North America this winter and makes its first ever jump to a home console, releasing on the PlayStation 4 (as well as Vita). At E3 2015, I had the opportunity to quickly ask Senran Kagura game producer Kenichiro Takaki a few questions about the upcoming title.

How was developing Senran Kagura Estival Versus for the PlayStation 4, especially compared to your past experience with only handhelds?

As a developer, it’s a dream – you always like making console games. So I was very, very happy that the Senran Kagura series was able to move over to the console. And I think throughout all my game development career, PS4 was probably the easiest to create a game on.

Was there a reason why you selected PS4 rather than the PS3, considering the larger install base of the PS3, particularly in Japan?

Simply put, with making the girls cuter and aesthetically more pleasing, PS4 is a powerful machine [for that purpose] and it was easier to create what I had envisioned on the console. Also, I was not creating a AAA title so the hardware number wasn’t that much of a concern because I had trust that the fanbase will purchase if I create the game for whatever platform. I just love PS4 and PS Vita. It was taking a dive, but that was the main reason we decided to go with the PS4.

Are there any differences between the PS4 and PS Vita versions of Senran Kagura Estival Versus?

Other than of course graphical improvements, the number of enemies that can displayed on screen at one time is greater on PS4. It’s not like they aren’t there on the Vita version, just that on the far ends of the screen, you won’t be able to see them unless you get closer to them. There’s the multiplayer aspect too: the Vita will support up to 4 players at once while the PS4 can handle up to 10 people at once.

What was your main goal in developing this sequel to top the previous installment?

Other than aesthetically hyping up the cuteness and the softness of the girls, the dressing room is one of the things I wanted to do. In Senran Kagura, you can completely customize each girl’s outfit – what they’re wearing and how you want to present them. In this game, there’s a diorama mode where you can place all the girls and choose how they are posing and the background. You can then take a picture and share it with your friends. It’s a new and different way for Senran Kagura fans to enjoy or immerse themselves into the world.

Are you hoping to expand the Senran Kagura franchise to expand to other game genres like you did with the rhythm game Senran Kagura Bon Appétit? It could lend itself to say an RPG for example.

I constantly think about making the girls do dodgeball, making it into a pinball game, and a water-squirting third-person shooter – all the girls would just get drenched in it!

[My fellow senior editor Adam Byrne] How about water polo?

Ahh, yes!