Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit!: Cooking up fanservice

November 27, 2014


When thinking about crossovers and spinoffs for an action title, cooking and rhythm games certainly aren’t the first things that come to mind. Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit mixes the two with the cast of Senran Kagura into a silly spinoff title and brings the same style that is a hallmark of the series.

The game begins with the entire Senran Kagura cast entering into a cooking competition, with the prize being a ninjutsu scroll that grants any wish. It’s worth noting this whole thing is being overseen by a lecherous old man whose motives seem rather questionable. The entire cast from Shinovi Versus is playable in the game, as well as any DLC characters you might have.

In the main Story Mode, each “song” has your chosen girl square off against a rival Iron Chef-style, and you have to hit notes to improve your score. At three points in each song, the old man will taste the meal you are preparing and give a point to the winner, which is determined by how well you are playing the rhythm game. The bar at the top fills with either your color or that of your rival, and whoever fills more of it wins the point. Losing means your clothes are ripped or begin to fall off, similar to how damage in Shinovi or Burst works.


As you progress, you will get visual novel-style scenes explaining why each girl wants the scroll at the end, and each of these is dripping with double and triple entendres. It’s clear that the game is essentially poking fun at its own art style, and someone had a lot of fun writing the corny lines in here. It feels like the fanservice aspects of the Senran Kagura series have been stepped up a notch or two, though I still feel like it stays within the bounds the creators have aimed for; it’s clear they’re targeting an audience that is generally okay with this sort of thing, and they don’t really cross any lines here.

Story Mode is also where you can unlock outfits and accessories, as in the main games. Most of them are purely cosmetic, allowing you to dress your characters as you see fit. This doesn’t add a ton of gameplay, but it offers some much-needed customization in an otherwise-static environment. After playing so many rhythm games that use visuals as a backdrop, the whole cooking contest setting sets it apart, as the judging points and clothing based damage add a lot of importance to whats going on, instead of simply showing a character performing a song.

With the possible exception of Hatsune Miku titles, it’s unlikely that a rendered performance will really be of much interest to anyone. Arcade and Free Play are available, but lack the ability to unlock content and are the traditional modes for most rhythm games, where you can pick any song and practice it. One interesting note: if you have character or costume DLC for Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus, it will also work in Bon Appetit.


The biggest disappointment here is really the most expected one for a lower budget title: the songs you are playing aren’t all that great. They aren’t bad by any means, but none of them are particularly memorable, which can be an issue in a rhythm game. Where most rhythm games put a game around the music, this one sticks the music into the game, and it shows.

Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit isn’t a great rhythm game, but it has a lot of character, and for fans of Senran Kagura, it brings the racy humor of the previous titles to the next level, perhaps at the expense of a deeper plot.

Pros: Interesting premise, character customization
Cons: Weak track list, unavoidable fanservice

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.