For far longer than we care to admit pornography has been part of the shared human experience. Expelling sexual urges manually has been a subject of controversy with medical and religious experts disagreeing with it on moral and scientific bases. Literature and film have both supplied mediums in which erotica can flourish, some becoming the foundation for great artistic works. So why, oh why do videogames struggle so much with it? Let’s ask Senran Kagura: Peach Ball.
However, instead of answering this Senran Kagura: Peach Ball provides its own question, one which has probably never been considered before. What if pinball could be a source of masturbatory inspiration? To quote Alan Moore’s Watchmen, “If that statement starts to chill you after a couple of moments’ consideration, then don’t be alarmed. A feeling of intense and crushing religious terror at the concept indicates only that you are still sane.”
Senran Kagura: Peach Ball begins with a lengthy video detailing how the buxom series stalwarts have been turned into half-human half-animal hybrids. (Translation: ladies in animal skin bras.) To coax them back into human form they must sit on top of pinball machines and let the vibrations do their work. The writers must have consulted medical professionals in order to detail this narrative. Bravo! From there you select your maiden of choice for liberation and begin your journey.
A Load of Old Balls
Herein lies this title’s dilemma. Yes, when removed from the pervasive creepiness the pinball segments are decent but is it actually possible to mess up pinball? Outside of possible technical shortcomings pinball is a fairly infallible formula. Aside from the monolithic scantily clad chimeras that dominate the middle of each course the layouts are varied and interesting. Whilst racking up points the aim is to hit the massive ladies with balls until they change position and then you can… hit them with more balls.
Succeeding during these segments leads into the “Sexy Challenges” (please imagine around forty more quotation marks around the sexy part of that title). In these, the additional goal of hitting an umbrella or Russian doll is presented. For completing these you are rewarded with getting to whack massive mammaries with, you guessed it, more balls.
The Cost of Victory
Upon completing each mission the girl is returned to human form naked and ashamed, on the verge of tears. Never before has the morality of pinball success been in question. Yet why does winning feel like being a huge loser? From victory you obtain new costumes for your victims to be inevitably stripped of in the unending cycle of depravity. Most egregious is the inclusion of a mode which removes even the brainless joy of pinball, letting you fondle and soak the girls in water at your own leisure. Their unhappy wailing is truly haunting, their hell unending.
So if you enjoy pinball there are already hundreds of better, less grotesque games to indulge yourself. Other than that this title provides only a crushing sadness at mankind’s latest disaster. Starting this game you are given the usual motion control warning. Watch your surrounding and make sure nobody is too close to you. Never before has the latter been more crucial to playing a videogame.
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