On the last day of E3, I had the chance to talk to Kenichiro Takaki, director of the upcoming anime third-person shooter game, Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash. As he showed me the demo for the newest game in the Senran Kagura series, Takaki-san delved into the game, its characters, and the differing demographics between the Eastern and Western game industries.
What sets Peach Beach Splash apart from past Senran Kagura games?
Takaki-san: Until now, all the games in the Senran Kagura series were straight action games, so this is the first time the series is going into the third-person shooter genre.
Which of the 30 girls is your personal favourite?
Takaki-san: Murasaki, she’s probably the, uh, biggest character in the game. [Laughs]
So tell me a bit about your collaboration with Team Ninja and Dead or Alive. How did that come to be?
Takaki-san: I’m friends with the current leader of Team Ninja, so I pretty much just called him up and said “Hey, let’s work together on this”.
So can we expect to see Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden protagonist) in the next Senran Kagura? [Laughs]
Takaki-san: [Laughs] Probably not, since he’s a male character.
So if you could put any character from any franchise in Senran Kagura, who would you pick?
Takaki-san: Definitely Princess Peach from Super Mario! [Laughs]
The game industry has changed quite a lot in the last few years. Do you think more fanservice-based games like Senran Kagura have staying power, or will always have a place in the industry?
Takaki-san: Hm, I would say for games like Senran Kagura, as long as there are male gamers there will always be a spot for games like this, I think.
What differences have you noticed between Senran Kagura’s reception, sales-wise and critically, in the West compared to in the East?
Takaki-san: In the East, the culture is more forgiving of sexual content, so it’s a little easier to make games like this over there. However I find that the fans, the people who really enjoy these games, are actually very similar in both regions. We’re more aware now of the cultural differences between the different regions, so as the game becomes more popular around the world, we’re paying a bit more attention as to what’s “too far”.
Following up on that, have there been any major censorships in Peach Beach Splash?
Takaki-san: We basically rely on the ratings board. XSeed’s policy is to stick as close as possible to the original Japanese game. Peach Beach Splash is actually being rated right now, but we’re confident that little to nothing will have to be changed. We’re still waiting for the verdict though.
Will there be any DLC for Peach Beach Splash in the future?
Takaki-san: Since the game’s already out in Japan, there has already been DLC characters and attribute cards released over there. We’re planning on bringing all DLC over here, and we still want to make some more DLC for the game.
Thank you for your time Takaki-san!
Takaki-san: Thank you very much!
Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash releases for the PS4 later this year. Stay tuned to MonsterVine.com for all the latest news of Senran Kagura.