Senko no Ronde 2
Senko no Ronde 2 is a unique mix of fighting game and bullet hell shooter in which players pilot powerful armed robots Rounders, and do battle in futuristic arenas.
Single-Player, Online and Offline Competitive Multi-Player, Shooter and fighting gameplay
September 7, 2017
Rating: E10+ for Everyone
In this day and age, it is important for any game to be original and try to stick out from the oversaturation of games being released almost daily. Taking risks can be a dangerous endeavor, but the possibility of making a hit game is first and foremost for many gaming developers. Degica games is trying to do just that by combining the shooting genre and the fighting genre to make its next title in the Senko no Ronde series with their new title Senko no Ronde 2, which is out now for PS4 and PC.
Violence: Explosions, bullets, laser beams, and rockets fly everywhere in a euphoric display of mechanized combat. While there is a lot of action going on, there is no sense of despair with death rarely occurring. After a battle, the defeated mech always retreats and no graphic details are present such as blood or gore.
Language/crude humor: One of the women in particular is flirty and makes some suggestive comments to the males of the group.
Sexual themes: There are instances during the cutscenes of some skimpily clad women and even an instance of one of the woman being nude, only being covered by censor bars.
The history of the Senko no Ronde series can be confusing; basically Senko no Ronde 2 is an enhanced version of Senko no Ronde DUO which was originally released back in 2006, but only in Japan and South Korea until it finally came to North America in 2010. The series has seen a very shaky release schedule since in North America with the last one releasing stateside originally on the Xbox 360 and unfortunately sold poorly.
The series has always been in the fighting game genre with shoot ‘em up (SHUMP) mechanics for its actual battling. However, instead of trying to make combos with kicks and punches, you use different types of firing, and you can even turn into a giant boss-like version of your mech with the goal of trying to take down your opponent’s health gauge to defeat them.
Senko no Ronde 2 features different playable characters with each one having different types of firing styles and unique weapons. Figuring out which character is the best for you will probably take some time as all of them have enough differences to warrant a play-through. Every character has different rates of fire for their respective mech and others may use magnetic fields to disperse energy or homing missiles and machine-gun fire. It’s nice to see the vast differentiation between the characters attack patterns and weapons used.
Each character has three different main styles of firing using the face buttons of X, square, and circle on the PlayStation controller. These basically work as strong, medium, and weak attacks, with the stronger ones taking longer to recharge in order to use them again. You can dash-in close to your opponents for a melee combo if you’re able to catch them off guard or use a shield in order to be able to achieve the ultimate boss form.
When you go into the boss form, you become a giant shoot ‘em up boss and are able to fire massive attacks against your opponent. You have a limited amount of time to stay in this form and the longer you charge it up, the more health your boss form will have. It’s good to have a higher amount of health in this form because your opponent can still defeat you if your health is too low. A nice fall-back option is having the ability to change to your final boss form when you are down to your final hit which can change the tide of battle greatly.
Since this is a unique title, it does take awhile to get used to. Using the practice mode or tutorial to get the hang of things is a good idea, but it will still probably take some time to feel confident using the control scheme. Senko no Ronde 2 tries to ease you in, but you may find sudden difficulty spikes when playing against certain characters due to personal gameplay preferences. Equally, it does not teach much beyond the universal mechanics for the gameplay, so you will need to experiment a fair bit to get a good grasp of your character.
There are a generous amount of modes, including Arcade mode which is where you face off against a series of opponents back to back. You are able to change a variety of modifiers in this mode, including the time of the matches, the number of rounds, and the difficulty. Senko no Ronde 2 also features online and offline versus matches; in the online mode you can do quick or ranked matches with the ability to change modifiers.
In the Story mode you play enhanced version of the narrative from Senko no Ronde DUO in which there is plenty of story and exposition content here from a visual novel sense. There is a graph-like system where you get to choose which part of the story you wish to do next and each section represents a narrative or battle scenario. The difficulty of each match can be changed and there is always a different victory condition for each battle as well as a different character to play as.
The Score Attack mode is similar to Arcade, but this time around you play to see how high of a score you can obtain through combos, weapon selection, shooting accuracy, and other factors. Other features of Senko no Ronde 2 include a Gallery which you can look at specific portraits and artwork you unlock through your time playing.
Technically the battles ran smoothly with no major glitches, crashes, or slowdown. While the particle effects and onscreen action was great to behold, it was hard to look past the generic presentation of the menus, bad translation from Japanese to English in the writing, and the dated nature of the graphics which is just an uprezzed version of the 2006 Japanese title.
Overall, Senko no Ronde 2 is a very interesting title differentiating itself from many of the shoot ‘em ups and fighting games we experience more frequently. It is definitely fun to play with friends, but the experimental nature of fusing gaming genres may not be worth the high price point of $39.99. Unless you are very familiar to the series and couldn’t wait to finally get your hands on the title in North America, it’s hard to recommend, though there is a demo if you want to give it a try.
+ Experimental combat is fun
+ Plenty of modes and content
+ Deep story for those who want to invest
- Graphics are dated
- Gameplay can be stiff and unresponsive
- Story is nonsensical to those not invested in the series