Post by HF Bastian on Mar 29, 2017 18:05:26 GMT -5
There’s a few things I’d like to discuss / speculate about this teaser, but I’m gonna try to just do it one subject at a time. So for now, let’s talk about…
What Consoles is SK7 Going to Be On / How Many Playable Characters Will It Have?
Something we have to keep in mind when talking about this is that Senran Kagura has almost always been a handheld franchise. We didn’t get a console release until Estival Versus, and even that game was on the Vita as well. I was actually a bit surprised (but glad) that PBS turned out to be a PS4 exclusive. However, we can’t ignore the series’ roots.
The thing with Senran Kagura is that its formula has always been very handheld-friendly. Think about it: if you take out the cutscenes before and after (and sometimes halfway) a stage, the actual stage only lasts a couple minutes, sometimes just a couple seconds! You can also go back to that stage and retry it on different difficulties with different characters to get a better grade, or get EXP for that character you’re using, etc. The story, while always a big factor of the franchise, is also a skippable factor so those who just care for the gameplay can do that. So all in all, Senran Kagura’s gameplay has a big focus on replay value and quick consumption. You can play a few missions on your ride to school / work, or during your lunch break, and be done with them without fearing that you’ll lose a ton of progress. And on that note, we have to keep in mind that Japan has an adoration for handheld games precisely for that reason. Japanese work schedules / school schedules are much busier than what we generally see here in the West, so they don’t have as much time to enjoy console / PC games as we do. They mostly get the chance to play video games in their intermissions from school / work. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an audience for console gaming over there. And on top of that, console / PC is more appealing to the Western market than handheld gaming, which is a market that is becoming more aware of Senran Kagura with every new release. But at the end of the day, we have to accept that Senran Kagura is still a franchise made by Japanese people, for Japanese people.
YET… it’s also important to note that this franchise is growing. And I don’t just mean growing in audience size and breast sizes, I mean the games are actually getting bigger every time, filled with more and more content. No matter how much Japan loves their 3DS’ and Vita’s, the matter of the fact is that neither of those consoles come even close to the power of the PS4, XBone, PC, and to a lesser extent the Switch. And as Senran Kagura keeps getting more playable characters, and bigger stages, and more costumes, and more cinematic cutscenes, etc., it will eventually become too much for the handhelds to handle. In fact, I think we already reached that point! If Senran Kagura 7 has more content than Estival Versus did (which I’m 99% sure it will), then it’ll be way too much for even the New 3DS or the Vita (which by the way, a Vita is almost as powerful as a PS3) to handle. Or maybe not! SK’s development team have learned to optimize their games very well. Remember that Burst ran like crap, but fast forward to Estival Versus and that game runs smooth as butter. I’ve seen enough witchcraft done in the programming world to at least give the Vita the benefit of a doubt.
So how many playable characters again?
After all that explanation that the game would have to be on a powerful console in order to handle a large amount of playable characters, just how many are we talking about here? Get your calculators, boys and girls, because we’re about to do some math… or well, I’m gonna do the math for you, but whatever…
Let’s start with the bare minimum. Here’s the characters that have to be in SK7: the five main girls from each faction + Ayame + Daidoji and Rin + Naraku and Kagura. So, 25. Again, these are the obligatory, nonnegotiable, “if you don’t put these characters in the game, there will be blood” characters. They’ve all earned their rightful spot in the Senran Kagura lore, and the hearts of their creators and fans. So let’s see…
Min. # of characters: 25 Max. # of characters: ?
Is that it? Of course not.I made another looooong post explaining why I think we’re going to have several New Wave girls join in on this game, but to summarize, I have reasons to believe that the New Wave Hanzo, New Wave Hebijo, Tono, Zodiac, and potentially Senki Shu teams will be present. Assuming all of these join, that’s 24 more (because we already counted Ayame). However, it’s entirely possible that if Senki Shu does make an appearance, they’d be antagonists rather than playable characters. Though, Hebijo were also the antagonists in Portrait of Girls, but were made playable in Burst, so… I don’t know, anything can happen at this point. Now, let’s be real for a moment. Out of those 24 characters, 21 have never appeared in any non-New Wave game. Even if that number is a bit smaller, that’s still 21 different combat styles to program, 21 models to create, 21 voice actresses to gather, 21 brand new characters to keep in mind when writing a story, and this 21 is on top of the current 25 that the team is more familiar with! So let’s turn the hype way down and say that we may only get a couple of new New Wave characters besides the ones present in Peach Beach Splash. Like, two more. So, again, not counting Ayame, that’s 5 more characters (Souji, Yuyaki, Leo, and two others).
Min. # of characters: 30 Max. # of characters: 49
OK… what about the Mikagura Sisters and the other characters introduced in Estival Versus? I do have to put a disclaimer here: as of this writing, I have not yet played Estival Versus. So really, I don’t know how relevant they are to the Yoma hunting business or if they need to strictly stay in the “Shinobi RIP’s” business (because I don’t actually know what their job’s name is). I do know, however, that they’re in Peach Beach Splash. So if they have time to go play with water guns, I’d think they can go out of their way to fight Yoma for a while. And naturally, Ryoki and Sayuri / Jasmine would come along with them. Now, assuming the latter does go, I don’t know if it’d actually be both Grandma Sayuri and Jasmine that would appear throughout the game, or just one of the two. Again, haven’t played Estival Versus, I don’t know exactly how it works. So just to be safe, let’s say it’s just 5 people. I’m also still going to consider the possibility of them not even being in SK7, so…
Min. # of characters: 30 Max. # of characters: 54
Something else to keep in mind is each faction leader’s “awakened” state. You know, Ultimate Asuka, Crimson Homura, Ice Queen Yumi, and Abyss Miyabi. And to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least Yuyaki and Leo are able to transform as well. However, whether they’re separate characters like they were in Burst and Deep Crimson, or just a transformed state achieved through a Secret Ninja Art like in Shinovi and Estival is unclear. So that makes it…
Min. # of characters: 30 Max. # of characters: 60
Let’s also quickly mention the possibility of brand new, never seen before characters being added. Be them immediately good guys, bad guys turned good, neutral, or dare I say playable antagonists. Though if this does happen, I don’t expect it to be that many people, maybe 3 max. And again, that’s if it even happens. So…
Min. # of characters: 30 Max. # of characters: 63
And last but not least (not to Marvelous’ pockets, anyways), DLC characters. At this point in the franchise, these are pretty much guaranteed. Then again, maybe they’d be willing to hold off on these for a serious title like SK7 is shaping up to be? … Nah. Though I will say, I’d rather any DLC character to be collaboration characters (like Dead or Alive or Ikkitousen characters), not pre-existing Senran Kagura characters. The reason being that I don’t want them to add some New Wave character whose backstory and personality I’d like to know about, only for them to have absolutely no impact on neither the main story nor any side stories. So again, I’d expect some DLC characters, and for now let’s just say between 3 - 5.
Min. # of characters: 30 + 3 Max. # of characters: 63 + 5
OK, that’s all the math we’re gonna need. So with DLC included, we’re looking at anywhere between 33 – 68 characters. For reference, Estival Versus had 28 playable characters before DLC and 35 after DLC. Peach Beach Splash has 29 playable characters before DLC and (currently) 37 after DLC. Alright, now… 68 characters is ludicrous! I highly, highly doubt we’d get anywhere even close to that. But 33 seems rather small, especially considering the previous two games had more than that. So we can play it safe and say that, all in all, Senran Kagura 7 could have 40 playable characters. Can we make that number a bit bigger? Yes, we can. Why? Two reasons: firstly, this next project is going to be BIG. Just from how much the teaser is showing, I can just tell that they want this to be the biggest Senran Kagura yet, without question. They’re gonna want to make Estival Versus look like child’s play compared to this. And secondly, remember that Kenichiro Takaki now has his own studio, Honey ∞ Parade Games. This means that he can get more funding and development power for his games. I’d expect him to want to show the world just what he can do now with this new studio, one potential way being by increasing the amount of new content a new entry to his staple franchise can get. So with all that in mind, I personally think that the number of playable characters we could see in Senran Kagura 7 is… 45. Yes, 68 would be amazing, but I’ve gotta keep my expectations real, even if I sprinkle a little bit of optimism in them.
OK, but how does this all tie back into what consoles SK7 could be on?
Because, my dear reader, depending on how much content the game has (of which playable characters is definitely a big chunk of that content), certain consoles may not be able to handle it. So let’s go down the list of what I think the game could be on.
Will SK7 be on PS4? Yes. That one I’m extremely confident about. Between the franchise’s growth on PS4 and the fact that the teaser for SK7 is in a PS4 exclusive, I have no doubt in my mind that the game will be on PS4.
Will SK7 be on PSVita? Mmmmaybe. If they can do some programming witchcraft to pack all that content into a Vita and still have it run at least at 30FPS with decent graphics, I’d be impressed. Though for sure, the Vita version would be noticeably inferior to the PS4 version.
Will SK7 be on the Switch? It’s possible. Seems like Kenichiro Takaki likes the Switch, specially the HD Rumble part, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to get Senran Kagura on the console. The Switch is a bit weaker than the PS4, but not by much, so I think it should be able to handle it.
Will SK7 be on XBone? … Probably not. Fun fact: the “X” symbol means “No” in Japan. So the Xbox is literally known as the “No-Box.” Due to this (and a few other factors), Microsoft’s console never got much attention in Japan, and to this day that is still the case. So while the Xbox One can probably handle SK7, that doesn’t mean Marvelous would even bother with it.
Will SK7 be on 3DS (even if it’s a New 3DS exclusive)? I… wouldn’t count on it. I know the franchise’s roots are on the 3DS, so that’s why I’m not saying a stern “no,” but I still doubt it. Even if it’s a New 3DS, I think the game would be too much for the lil’ thing to handle.
Will SK7 be on PC? Not on Japanese launch, but it’s very likely that it’ll happen if and when the game gets localized in the West. All the SK games released on Steam so far have proven to be quite successful, with Estival Versus only being topped by NieR: Automata on launch day.
Will SK7 be on anything else? Unless the next generation of PlayStation starts between now and SK7’s launch, probably not.
OK, I think that about covers everything that I wanted to say for this topic. I don’t think anything else I talk about will be as lengthy as this, but I still have some other areas that I want to cover later.