Kandagawa Jet Girls – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Honey ∞ Parade Games
Publisher: Xseed Games
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Kandagawa Jet Girls – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Character design, Overall content
Bad: Dodgy controls at times
User Score
9.4
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (5 votes cast)

Marvelous has already brought over many busty babes from the Senran Kagura franchise. If we have to be honest, we loved playing through the normal adventure games with the standard ninja theme, but we also loved the Peach Beach Splash spin-off game where you left your ninja weaponry behind but traded them for water guns. We had a few other obscure encounters with the ladies from Senran Kagura as well in Peach Ball and Reflexions, but those traded in a lot of the gameplay value of the original games, just for the sake of looking at digital boobs. Now, Marvelous presents us with a new set of voluptuous ladies in a game that’s all about jet ski racing. We were quite curious to see if this game would be a poor excuse for a wet T-shirt contest, or if it actually had engaging gameplay.

Story

Kandagawa Jet Girls is one of those games that has a lot of story content but a story that doesn’t really ‘mean’ anything. You’ll get to learn all the different girls the game throws at you, and you can play with different leading ladies, and pretty much go from one situation to another. These all involve tiny events, which eventually end with a jet ski battle versus other girls.

Graphics

Graphically the game falls in the typical ecchi anime tropes, where the ladies are well-formed and extremely busty. The game then also only makes a distinction between two types of girls, namely the tall and big breasted ones, or those that are deemed under-developed, maintaining a certain cuteness factor. This isn’t a bad design choice per se, but it will of course only cater to those that are a fan of this animation style, and thus scaring off those who would like to play a fun jet ski game. The available girls all look very detailed, have nice facial features and can be customized with unlockable costumes, haircuts and accessories. The characters will also be portrayed with a 3D model during conversations of the story, and you sometimes also get nice still pictures to emphasize certain story happenings.

Outside of the eye-catching girls, there are jet skis, which look futuristic but also quite nice. These can also be customized with different decals, stickers and even the trails they leave behind when in water.

The tracks and the clutter in them feel a bit less qualitative, as the hazards are often repeated, and things feel a bit more low poly compared to the rest of the game. The backdrops are not that diverse and the overall animation quality isn’t that spectacular when racing. The special attacks look nice, and some of the tricks you can perform as well, but it feels a bit like we went back a generation when looking at the overall quality of the stages.

Sound

The sound design of the game is actually topnotch. The game has full voice acting in its story mode, and the overall things the girls shout during the actual races feel of a certain high quality. The music may not be immediately memorable, and can sometimes even get a bit annoying when browsing through the menu, the racing backdrop has been decently handled. Overall the soundtrack will not come close to winning any awards, but it’s a pleasant sound that accompanies the gameplay.

Gameplay

Kandagawa Jet Girls is a racing game at its core, with visual novel elements in the story mode. You’ll basically be wading through banter between girls, who will then duke it out on jet skis. The game will allow you to earn points, with which you can buy upgrades for your machine and new clothes and accessories for the different characters. There is actually a lot of content to grind for, even though some of it is just color variations of the costumes and items you already own. If you’re bored of the main content, there are a few mini-games that earn you an exuberant amount of points, compared to playing the normal races. These tiny games are well-crafted and fun though.

When initially checking out the game’s trailer, the game seemed fairly simple, but the actual mechanics are quite complicated. You will have to take into account if the nose of your jet ski is pointing upwards or downwards, simply to have more control, more speed or to soften your landing after jumps. Other than that, you can drift, boost and use special attacks. The latter also uses the saved up energy in your boost meter, so it’s pretty much choosing which action you want to perform. Last but not least, there are the attacks you can perform. These can be done automatically by just pressing the button and hoping you hit something, or you can actually take control over the gunner in the back, and aim manually at your opponents, while the AI drives you around the track.

The game’s controls and lack of an offline multiplayer mode are pretty much the biggest issues with Kandagawa Jet Girls. You’ll notice that the controls aren’t always that responsive and tight, but then again, racing on water probably isn’t as precise as doing so on land. We can still understand some of the clunkiness in this part, but we sometimes could have done with a bit more control. The lack of an offline multiplayer mode is a shame for a racing game such as this. Even though the game has an online mode, it’s still quite sad not being able to play locally with a friend.

Conclusion

Kandagawa Jet Girls is one of those games that directs itself towards a very specific audience, and that is actually quite a shame. While the controls aren’t as tight as one would like, the overall content and meatiness of the game could easily entice a bigger crowd. The game’s biggest issue lies within the lack of a local multiplayer mode, but we were however surprised with a proper (superficial) story mode in a racing game. We can easily recommend this game to fans of the story portions of the Senran Kagura games, as well as those looking for a casual, yet grindy, experience. Those still on the fence for this release, if you find this one with a heavy discount in the future, you will certainly have a lot of fun with it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Kandagawa Jet Girls - Review, 9.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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