Senran Kagura Peach Ball is utter chaos. It’s madness incarnate. And also surprisingly fun, although you’ll have to get past the hurdle of fanservice if you’re not into that. It brings back memories of then-common pinball spinoffs, such as Pokemon Pinball, Kirby’s Pinball Land, and the like.
The gist of the excuse plot this time is that the resident troublemaker Haruka has concocted a new potion that turns humans into animals, which accidentally gets tested on Asuka, Yumi, Yomi, Ryona, and Murasaki. In Story Mode, you play as a faceless bystander that helps out as the main character of the route attempts to try turn everyone back to normal. It’s a two-step process, with a visual novel section where you get to see cross-School interactions, and of course the pinball part.
Peach Ball’s pinball is essentially a concentrated extract of video game pinball, featuring trippy visuals, lots of features off to the sides on the two different tables, and of course, a giant girl in the middle for you to hit your ball at. (It’s more innocent than it sounds, I’m pretty sure.)
In Story Mode, you’ll need to complete three Sexy Challenge minigames in order to complete each stage. Unlocking each one consists of racking up points to a certain amount, and this is done via regular point collection around the board, as well as completing Peach Missions that appear towards the right. These are the equivalent of the Pokemon Pinball capture missions that appear at random, except dialed up to ten.
With all of them active at once, spawning Fairies that appear on the table, arrows that shout at you to shoot the ball up the sides, and more, there’s really no time to look over to the right – I found it easy enough to complete them just playing naturally, and only glanced right when special high-scoring limited-time Special Peach Missions appeared.
After entering a Sexy Challenge, you’re brought to separate special tables where you’re asked to complete relatively simple tasks in a short amount of time. The better you do, the more points you’re rewarded with at the end of the minigame, and you’re also rewarded with a clothes break scene straight out of the main games.
At the very end of a Stage (which loops back to the starting state if you’re playing Free mode), you’re tasked with a Super Sexy Challenge, where you need to flick the pinballs into the girls’ butts. It’s fanservice, but in the ridiculous way that makes you laugh when you take a step back and look at it. I mean, you’re flicking balls against butts on a neon-colored pinball table, all while the girl’s vocal song is blaring in the background. I found it unintentionally hilarious. At the end of the Super Sexy Challenge, you even whack the girl directly with the flippers during “Bonus Time”.
There’s also a Costume mode, Intimacy Mode, and Diorama Mode that lets you customize the girls’ looks during Free Play, which you can use to create the Ultimate Best Girl™. Diaroma Mode is essentially a picture mode that you see commonly in these games, and Intimacy Mode returns from its absence on Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal.
To be honest, taken objectively, there’s nobody who will deny that this game is depraved to all sorts of degrees. But at the same time, if you’re getting this game, you’re likely already aware of what you’re diving into. In terms of pinball gameplay, there’s just so much going on at once that there’s no time to rest at all, like an adrenaline and dopamine shot that’s pretty fun in small bursts. If you’re the type of person that loves pinball games that take advantage of the video game medium, and don’t mind the fanservice or are a fan of Senran Kagura, this game might be worth checking out.
Senran Kagura Peach Ball is available on the Nintendo Switch.