Kandagawa Jet Girls Review

Kandagawa Jet Girls - Key Art

Coming from the creators of Senran Kagura, Kandagawa Jet Girls is exactly what you expect it to be.

Featuring an all-female cast, Kandagawa Jet Girls combines basic visual novel-style storytelling with an ample amount of jet ski racing. But there’s also a bit of combat thrown in for good measure.

Kandagawa Jet Girls‘ main draw is story mode, where you can make your way through numerous arcs each placing you in control of a duo of girls. As usual, the stories are lighthearted, occasionally funny, and tinged with innuendo. Anyone that found themselves enjoying the narratives of the Senran Kagura games will be in their element here, while others will be simply offended or left wanting.

The story scenes, of course, set up scenarios where the game’s stars must race against each other. Furthermore, each event has numerous objectives for you to complete, so it’s rarely just a case of racing ahead of your competitor and staying there. And as it’s a duos sport, one girl drives while the other makes use of weapons to hinder the other racers where possible. It’s simple stuff, and once you’ve got a hang of it it’s fairly solid.

The control scheme will be familiar to anyone who’s played a racing game. The right trigger accelerates, the left trigger is your brake, and the left analogue stick is used to steer. If you press the brake while turning, it puts you into a drift, charging a meter. Let the meter fill to one bar or more before tapping the brake again and you’ll gain a burst of speed, allowing you to quickly exit corners. For best results, you’ll want to wait until all three levels of the drift meter are full.

As you go around each of Kandagawa Jet Girls‘ tracks, there are, of course, obstacles to avoid as well as boost pads to aim for and pick ups to collect. You can also drive through rings in order to charge your EPD meter. Other actions charge the EPD meter as well, such as performing stunts during jumps. Depending on which stunts you perform, the handling of your jet ski can also be improved for a short period of time.

In the early stages of story mode, your opponents pose no threat at all. As you progress, however, you might find yourself needing to fight to maintain your position or defend yourself. You have a water-based assault rifle at all times that can be fired forward, and other weapons, including a gatling gun, sniper rifle, shotgun, and missile launcher, are available via pick ups. They can be fired in front or behind you, and if your EPD meter is full, each weapon has a special technique that can be utilised. You can’t take your opponents out of a race with your attacks though; you simply slow them down by damaging their shields.

By completing races and progressing the story, new upgrades and customisation options for your jet ski are unlocked. Each and every one of the game’s female competitors can be customised, too. If you want to expedite building up a range of customisation options, there’s a shop where you can buy parts and cosmetic items, but you’ll need points to do so. Luckily, you can play a selection of minigames including mopping, aerials, treadmill run and jet ski cleaning to quickly obtain more points. They’re actually quite fun as well.

Kandagawa Jet Girls 1 (1)

Outside of Kandagawa Jet Girls‘ story mode, there’s free mode where you can create your own events, but you’ll need to unlock tracks and characters in story mode first before it’s of any real use. You can also take the action online, competing against other in both Ranked and Casual races. And that’s your lot, basically.

While Kandagawa Jet Girls is somewhat entertaining on the whole, its gameplay simply doesn’t excite like it should. Your jet ski isn’t particularly fast, even once it’s been upgraded, and combat feels rather passive; you just press a button and the game auto aims for you for the most part. And so, the gameplay found within Kandagawa Jet Girls isn’t broken, or bad – it’s just mildly entertaining. If you’re more interested in the game for its lively chests and ridiculous dialogues then it probably won’t matter to you too much, but those also expecting a solid racing experience alongside them may find themselves disappointed.

GameSpew Our Score 6

Kandagawa Jet Girls is available on PS4 and PC. We reviewed the PC version with code provided by the game’s publisher.

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