Kandagawa Jet Girls Review
XSEED, or Marvelous Inc, has a rich history of putting pure Waifu power in their games. Things like pinball, cooking, ninja fighting, and water guns have all gotten the Senran Kagura treatment. Now, racing around with jet skis is the latest realm to get the gorgeous girls/tiny outfits upgrade. The eternal question persists, however. Are these games… good? Or is Kandagawa Jet Girls yet another vehicle for dress-up montages and car wash competitions? My cautious optimism is unfounded once again, my friends.
Kandagawa Jet Girls (KJG for short) follows a crew of ‘high school’ students with impossible proportions as they engage in Jet Races at the drop of a hat. Literally every on-screen conflict, no matter how minor, is resolved with a rip down the river. Someone wants an autograph? Jet Race! Having a fight over the last box of macarons? Jet Race!! Trying to decide who gets the Jet Race practice space? IT’S TIME FOR A JET RACE, BABY! Cute girls building flimsy excuses for One More Race is the entire story. So how is that Jet racing? Well, after eventually running dozens of races with most of the characters, it’s… fine? It’s perfectly acceptable.
Never Not Jet Racing Time
Sure, you can’t always turn and shoot at the same time. But there’s a generous boost system, lots of weapons to mess with, and obstacles to avoid. You can also rely on special moves to give you a slight edge at critical junctures. Not that I ever needed it. You see, the thing about the Jet Races is that they’re really easy. Once I got first place, I didn’t lose it unless I did something truly ridiculous. One of the bonus stars you get in some races is ‘blast everyone at once.’ Yet how can I achieve this lofty goal if everyone is constantly behind me? Netting those bonus stars is pretty tough, but the races themselves are a breeze.
Bonus Stars- extra goals you can tick off by performing certain tasks during the race -are the only real challenge you encounter in single player. There’s a rotating carousel of missions to pull off, from popping balloons to performing ramp tricks. You unlock customization options in doing so, which is my main motivation for playing the game. While the rest of the graphics are fine, the character models are excellent. High-quality textures, animations, and effects all make every racer look terrific. If you’ve no interest in unlocking outfits, there’s little incentive to perfect your skills. The races only require you to show up, and also suffer the load times.
The only reason I haven’t finished the quest lines for every team already is the loading that entails. Every race, every section, and every cutscene requires yet another loading screen. Hopefully, a succession of patches will correct this problem, but the current state of affairs is pretty bleak. Perhaps those excellent character models require a crazy amount of memory to display? Regardless of the reason, the loading screens make every activity take almost twice as long. In fact, the amount of loading versus the amount of racing you do feels almost equal.
A Load Screen For Every Occasion
All the customization is powered by points. These are earned through both races and mini-games, but don’t be fooled. You can rack up more points with a single Jet Racer cleaning session than with multiple hours of races. If your ultimate goal is giving every racer a neon and lace glow-up, there’s no faster way than some menial labor. Also the mini-games are really fun? They provide a delightful distraction while you’re grinding away for every variety of polka dot bikini. Whether it’s washing your jet racer, hitting the treadmill, or swabbing some sort of deck, you’ll have a great time. Maybe even more so than when you’re racing!
Whether you enjoy KJG depends on what kind of fun you’re looking for. If you want a racing game, this might not be for you. If you want to ogle and/or glam up a squad of anime girls, then you’re in for a good time. This is one of the central tenets of XSEED and Honey Parade’s line of games. Whatever main activity is being advertised is likely not what got you to buy the game. And honestly, the extra content is usually more fun anyway. Mini-games, customization, item collection, and light fan service are the areas where games like Kandagawa Jet Girls shine brightest. So long as you understand this caveat, you’ll have a ton of goofy, slightly pervy fun.
***A PS4 code was provided by the publisher***
- Top notch character models
- Lots of customization options
- Some delightful mini games
- So many loading screens
- Races almost too easy
- Combat mechanics feel tacked on