Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
[Review code provided by Marvelous]
Ready to make waves? So are the girls of Kandagawa Jet Girls, the latest multimedia project from Kenichiro Takaki (creator of Senran Kagura). Today we’re taking a look at the video game portion of the project.
If you’re familiar with Senran Kagura, then you probably won’t be too surprised by the premise: a cast of cute girls pair up into teams and race to be the fastest on the Kandagawa. Although Kandagawa Jet Girls is decidedly less horny than Senran Kagura, there’s still plenty of yuri tones. The girls are still quite busty, and you can still put them in bikinis and dress them up as you like. We’re not exactly pioneering, here.
The game itself follows the tried-and-true formula, too. There’s three main modes – Story, Free Mode (which consists of custom races and time trials) and Multiplayer. Side modes include your dressing room, jet machine customisation (both aesthetic and functional) and mini-games to earn cash.
Story mode plays out in the visual novel format, with brief conversations setting up the next race. There’s quite a bit to go through, with a story consisting of about 10 chapters for each duo. Each chapter has special objectives to meet, with unlockable rewards. As you might expect, there’s not much substance to the writing, but the characters are fun and charming enough to make it interesting.
Races take place across one of eight courses (each with variations), with players controlling both the Jetter and Shooter. There’s actually quite a lot going on at any given moment. Navigating the course and it’s obstacles, using weapons to attack your enemies, hitting boost pads and doing sick flips off of ramps… It’s quite fun, and the controls are smooth and responsive. It’s a pretty competent racing game, at it’s core.
Where the game does falter is it’s difficulty level. The game swings between being far too easy and far too hard (with an asterisk, which I’ll get to). You can’t change difficulties in the Story mode, where I was never once at risk of losing to the AI. This can make progressing a bit of a dull affair.
Custom races offer a choice of three difficulties, but setting the AI to ‘strong’ simply made them much faster – too fast to feasibly keep up with. But then I slapped a bunch of speed and acceleration mods onto my vehicle, and the tables were turned again.
Perhaps there’s a happy medium here, if you feel like finding the right balance. Or, with some luck, you might find some skilful racers to face off with online.
Overall, I did enjoy my time with Kandagawa Jet Girls. Much like Senran Kagura before it, the game doesn’t aspire to break new ground – it just wants to be fun. I’d say it does a good enough job at that.
Still, it’s a shame that the vehicle customisation and difficulty settings are rather shallow. I wouldn’t really recommend this to people looking for a challenge – hardcore racing fans would probably be better off looking elsewhere. A racing sim this is not. But if you’re not too fussed about challenge and you just want to splash, dash and crash with cute girls, it could be worth checking out.
Kandagawa Jet Girls is a competent racer that packs solid fun and a decent amount of content. It’s not an especially challenging game, but hardcore racing fans probably aren’t turning to games like this for their thrills anyway. If you just want to jet-ski with cute girls in bikinis, then this is probably up your alley.