Kandagawa Jet Girls is a multimedia project with an anime that was released in 2019. On August 25th the time had come and the game for the anime was released. Suffice it to say: Anyone who has something against scantily clad anime girls will probably have less fun here. On the other hand, you can read whether we had our fun in our test.
If you are not familiar with the anime, don't worry, the story is simple enough to deal with. To put it simply: It's about couples of girls who are pursuing their dream of becoming jet racers. That was actually about the story. But it's also more about the eponymous jets that you control and whether the water spectacle ignites we will tell you now.
The core of the game
At its core, it is a simple racing game in which you drive your jet ski through a course full of obstacles and ramps to be avoided, which allow you to perform a few tricks with your jet ski. There are also item boxes that you can use to pick up random weapons. As soon as you have one of these special water pistols, you can let the computer take over the driving and hand over control to your teammate, who takes over the shooting.
You must slow down your rivals by breaking their shield while trying to avoid them doing the same to you. Unfortunately, all of this is much more interesting on paper than in reality. That is the core of the gameplay at Kandagawa Jet Girls, which unfortunately loses fun very quickly.
Uninteresting story and races
Most of the game is in story mode. There are seven duos, each with their own story arc to play through. At the beginning and at the end of each race you will receive a cutscene that gives you the motivation for the next race and allows you to get to know all the characters carefully. It's all kept very simple and dreary, like a rival team trying to restrict your access to the river, or you're fighting for the last box of macaroons in a bakery. While the little stories feel cute at first, it doesn't take long before these story bits get a little monotonous. We often caught ourselves skipping the whole clip because sometimes it was really just boring talk.
It doesn't help that the races themselves are ridiculously easy. It usually only takes about 30 seconds to stand out from the rest of the pack. What then follows are 3 to 4 minutes in which you drive around on a route all by yourself. Many racing games have rubber band AI (where computerized competitors can always catch up with you) as a way to create a constant challenge during a race, but there is nothing like that here. The races lose motivation very quickly.
It's a shame because the early stages of a race are actually quite a lot of fun. Using water guns to fend off your opponent is really fun, but unfortunately without the ability to increase the difficulty, it never takes long to get out of gun range and until then the AI can do nothing to catch up with you.
The game tries to add a layer of complexity by giving you the choice of using your boost gauge or saving it. When you have reached the maximum, you can use everything in a strong attack or defense technique. It just feels like a pointless option when the enemies are all so far behind you. It's far better to just keep adding up if you can, or at least the races will be over sooner.
Unfortunately no challenge for a lot of clothes
There are other game modes available, such as a free mode in which you can drive on any route that you have unlocked in story mode. Here is actually an option to choose a harder difficulty, but unfortunately it still suffers from the same problems. Once you're out of gun range, there's not much the AI can do to catch up with you. There is also an online mode, which is perhaps more challenging, but unfortunately it was not yet available at the time of our test.
As you play through the story mode, new things will be unlocked that can be purchased in the store. There are tons of cosmetics to buy, and being able to change the look of your entire team is actually a bit motivating. There are also new parts that can be purchased to improve the performance of your jet ski, but it's not that it really takes much as it is pretty easy to completely decimate the competition.
You get points from racing that can be spent in the store, but the quickest way to earn them is to play one of the four mini-games. These are just little things like collecting hearts while running on a treadmill or performing tricks on a jet ski. Playing through these mini-games is actually far more entertaining than many of the story races.
Number of players: 1
Age: from 16 (USK)
Long-term motivation: low
Publisher: Marvelous USA
Developer: Honey Parade Games
Year of publication: 2020
platforms: Playstation 4, PC,
Languages: English, Japanese
Cost: 49,99 Euro
It's a real shame that while the game looks so bright and colorful, the whole package is just incredibly boring. With just a handful of game modes, a bland storyline, and no local co-op to spice things up a bit, it won't be long before you get tired of it. Even if you're a fan of the anime, it's probably better to skip this game.
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