Looking at the current work of Japanese game developer Kenichiro Takaki, there are some impressive projects. Takaki, who joined CyGames in 2019, advised Granblue Fantasy Versus and the upcoming action-adventure Granblue Fantasy: Relink, and was the producer credit for another major upcoming adventure game titled Project Awakening. But before becoming such a prestigious talent at CyGames, Takaki was in charge of a completely unrelated series at Marvelous and Honey Parade Games – Senran Kagura. Source of quotation “Breasts are life, buttocks are hometown”. During his time at Marvelous, he worked extensively on Senran Kagura spin-offs and original games, all of which are the same kind of supersexual and energetic that some love and nonetheless like. I’m back on an adventure.
At first glance, Uppers looks like one game in his recent report that goes against that trend. First released as the PS Vita title a few years ago, localization was announced in 2018, leading to an amazing stealth release last month. This game focuses on two plump brothers in the quest to kick the ass of every man in town. Become the top fighter in the city.
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The story is as thin as paper, but the gritty world and hot-blooded style of the game is a major departure from the typical bright pastel schoolgirl antiques commonly known in honey parade games. One similarity between these game presentations is the focus on partnership. There are over 12 characters in the game, many of whom are pairs of peers and siblings who care for each other. Unfortunately, the unique character and personality are the main highlights of the Senran Kagura series, but the upper hero is a bit more one-dimensional.
The theme of this partnership extends to incredibly deep gameplay. Uppers is a traditional 3D fighter that is more focused than the Shin Sangoku Musou style hack and slash action of other honey parade studio games. There are light attacks, heavy attacks, and grabs, but in addition, you can temporarily power up to expand the combo, unleash the last blow of button mashing, and tag your partner. There is an up mechanism to character in and extend the finish attack or take over the battle.
It’s great to be able to swap characters on the fly, but this rarely has a situational advantage. In contrast to the different playstyles and mechanics of Senran Kagura and Valkyrie Drive characters, all characters feel and behave the same. Still, acting in the Uppers is not pointless, especially at higher difficulty levels.
There are also micromissions and requests to perform in the middle of the battle. This is where the Life & Home Signature of the Honey Parade game stands out. You see, the reason our protagonist wants to be at the top and kick everyone’s donkey is because in this town the chicks are crazy about the guys who really fight good. During the mission, you will see a crowd of girls watching you fight, and when you meet their demands like throwing someone a certain number of times or breaking a wall, they flip In return, give you a health-promoting love letter, and perhaps trigger a pervy animation in the process.
Oh, you also collect panties in battle by flipping skirts in a gust, and the girl you received the love letter visits outside the mission to customize their clothes and put their character model in the dressing room It can be ruined. That’s a lot. If you’ve played other honey parade games, that’s not new, but the contrast between the game’s manly presentation and the cliché anime fan service can turn off many people.
And you quarrel with the bad guys, collect panties, and thumb up through cutscenes about how badly your hero wants to bust the skull and grab the boobs. It’s a weird, naive, super-hamee game and it’s perfectly fine. Unless you challenge yourself by maximizing the difficulty or answering all love letter requests, the game loops will be fairly monotonous and simply quite fast. This game does not require as many upgrades and customization options as other honey parade game titles, so the incentive to continue the game to the end is considerably lower.
When I started playing Uppers, the PC port for aging PlayStation Vita games, I thought it would look a lot worse than it really is. Minor characters and unnamed growls have clunky character models, but all the major characters and playable fighters look pretty astounding. The texture of the game is sharp and the frame rate is always easily locked to smooth 60fps. It’s a pity that this game can’t be experienced in English on the original hardware, but the quality of this port makes it feel like you’re at home with your PC setup.
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