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 Sengoku Rance Review

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baccano
Hollow
Hollow


Posts : 34
Join date : 2012-03-12

PostSubject: Sengoku Rance Review   Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:48 pm

The following originally had pictures both safe and not-safe for work but when transferring over the pictures kinda disappeared. For those interested I'll post the actual blogspot link that I'm using to post these reviews with the pictures at a later time (one the new user restriction lets up).

Sengoku Rance Review
By: Baccano

Game: Sengoku Rance
Manufacturer: AliceSoft
Language: English Subtitles
Censored/Mosaics: Yes
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Tactical, Turn Based, Action

Sengoku Rance was first released under AliceSoft in 2006 and is the seventh game in the Rance Series. Despite this, one can play this game without any prior knowledge of any of the other games. Sengoku Rance has been fan translated by Yandere Translations and did a damn good job...so good that they have sword to never do another Rance game.

Story: The game takes place during the Sengoku era in Japan and is a complete parody of the real Japan during this time. A war had just finished up and Oda house had lost most of its territory and thus enters Rance who decides to help them.

The game has a ton of stories all wrapped in the guise of one game. Each and every character seen in the game seems to have a story of their own and the few routes that are in the game are completely different and just as long lasting if not longer than the first. The majority of the routes (but not all) lack emotional satisfaction but once you find out more about Rance you will easily see why.

Sengoku Rance is a game unlike any other I've played. Not one character in this series fails to play their role to the fullest potential. The main character Rance is a complete nympho and pervert. He has a slave named Sill who despite the fact he treats her like shit, one can actually see her does care for her. Rance will do anything for sex. He becomes the pseudo ruler of a country and starts attacking the other countries in order to unite Japan for the better. Along the way he fucks just about anything he sees. Whether they want him to or not. Rance may at first glance seem to be driven only by his sex drive and this first glance never changes. He rapes most of the women in the country and yet despite being a rapist with a hyper weapon which will pierce the heavens one can see that does care about women even if it is a bit twisted in its logic.

In the process of conquering the surrounding territories an evil force awakens seeking revenge upon Japan and its people. This idea may not be all that original but the execution is flawless and the typical ending one would expect with this sort of story is not actually present. The main characters in the series are named and based off of real people. Most of these people have side stories of their own dealing with death, love, loss, friendship, etc... The majority of these side stories are well done and enjoyable to watch and not all of them will lead to an h-scene (although many do). There is a large amount of humor in the game and the likelihood is that anyone will be able to find at least something they find funny.

Characters: The characters in this game are many and all of them are unique. Rance himself is one of the most unsuspecting protagonists you might ever play as in a visual novel now or ever. The game really shines though on the aspect that there are hundreds of characters. After playing the game two or three times the likelihood of acquiring and finishing all of these characters stories is highly unlikely. Even if you did there is also a ton of other characters that have some minor dialog and level up just like more central characters.

No matter what you may be into or what characters you like best you will most likely find something to enjoy in this game simply based on the size of the game. There are way too many characters to bother doing a full character review but the characters make this game.

Gameplay: Without a doubt this is the best aspect of this game. The closest way to categorize Sengoku Rance is as a strategy/rpg with some risk thrown into it. Each turn you are given war-fans that determine how many actions you have that turn. The actions consist of anything to fortifying locations, recruiting new officers, exploring, conquering, satisfaction, declaring war, and more. This is a ton of fun on its own but then you get to the actual battling and it rises again.

Usually the battles consist of troops fighting six on six usually with a large number of soldiers stationed with each of the six main commanders. Near the end of my first game my average number of soldiers per person was 2000 (so 12000 total for just six of my 30 commanders). This is also where the rpg element comes into play in which you get to level each of these characters up or if you wish you can dismiss and sell them. They have typical attributes seen in rpg games such as strength, speed, intelligence, defense, but then it also has categories called actions (number of times you can attack during battle), search (cost for finding treasure or dungeons), negotiation (cost for recruiting officers), construction (cost to build something), and all of these categories hit max at level 9.

The majority of these characters can also learn special abilities; be it earning more money per turn or learning special attacks, it is ultimately up to the player to decide how to best use each one of these characters. The game becomes more difficult later on as it begins to put a limit on how much time you have to beat it (this is the same throughout the game but near the end enemies can actually lower the time it takes to finish). The characters level up as the relationships between them grows. The game is not all that easy to learn but once you figure it out it is as fun and addicting as you might imagine.

Graphics: The art work is surprisingly well done and has a bit of an odd look to it. The sprites for example are decent but one cannot see much animation occurring within the scenes. The game does have a nice shade of colors though and seems to know what colors work for certain characters and situations.

Sound: The music in this game although good is a bit repetitive. Variety is lacking and the battle sound will get annoying after a while but even then the music throughout the game is well done...nay awesome. The sound effects are also decently used.

This game may have one slight problem for people though; no voices. For a game released in 2006 one would expect this game to include voices. There is actually a simple reason for this problem; the link effect. All of the games in the Rance series have been left unvoiced and developers in interviews have mentioned that they are giving homage to Nintendo's style of gaming and how they do their Zelda series. A series stops being immortal when the voices die. This way they do not have to worry about the consequences of possibly losing their voice for Rance. To be honest though the voices do not really matter and one is not likely to notice they are gone in the first place. If they did have voices ever the company would go bankrupt. They have a huge number of characters in the game and to get talented seiyuu for all the characters would run them out of money quick.

Ero: As far as ero content goes Sengoku Rance is full of it. Most minor characters only get 1 maybe 2 scenes apiece but there are around 104 different Hscenes throughout the game. They range in variety as well although many of them include reward rape which is what Rance believes he should be rewarded for helping people. I'm not a fan of rape but since there was so much comedy (even in the rape scenes) the game really balances out. Nearly every female character in this game has an Hscene (or an ecchi scene) so no one is left out of Rance's Right.

Replayability: One playthrough of Rance took me about 20-30 hours and this tends to be typical for the first time through. I say the first time because unlike nearly all other visual novels and video games in general; this game has an enormous value in replayability. After beating the game once you have an option of starting a new game with bonuses which you can buy with your last score. The score is not all that easy to do well in and on your first play through it is impossible I believe to get higher than a 36. I got a 5 on my first play through and a 13 on my second. The score is the points and most bonuses tend to be 2-5 points with special ones being much more expensive. The bonuses range from things like starting the game with an additional 10,000 gold, bonus in troop abilities, keeping a previously found item, new captains or characters, special characters from other AliceSoft games, adding an additional action fan right at the beginning, and more. That was only for the bonuses though. It is impossible to unlock all things on the first or second play through; which gives a slightly different ending and allows the use of characters not seen or used in the first play through. If that were not enough there are an additional 4 IF paths that one can follow instead of the usual story. An example of this is Uesugi Kenshin's route where instead of following the usual storyline you must fight all the other captains and territories in a race to become Emperor of Japan (this is just one example). Even without these new routes though many of the events and scenes in the game on the second playthrough are random and you may find a recruit or items never seen before or may find one of the secret uber-bosses (of which there are I believe three).

I'm not done there, the game unlike most others also has the option of allowing you to pick your difficulty. The rewards for playing on a higher difficulty (besides being a lot harder) is that you start with a higher score (mind you nothing can be done with it until the game is beaten but you are likely to keep more points by the end by doing this and by getting bonuses that raise the score. There are 4 alternate difficulty levels besides the normal one for 5 total.

Another bonus feature is free-for-all mode which lets you pick any of the territories in the game and fight the other territories using the troops from the territory picked. All the countries will be at war with one another and can attack any nearby. Each location has different advantages and disadvantages. For example if you pick one of the strongest in the game you will be attacked by one of the other strongest as soon as you conquer one territory. If you decide to play as one of the hardest you will be completely surrounded by enemies and you may have a disadvantage that you can only recruit a certain amount of soldiers per turn. Each location and territory will be different. There is a reason for doing all this and that is you get a score in this type of game as well...not to mention it is damn addicting.

There is one final bonus feature and that is the Alice Room. Two of Alice Soft's mascot characters talk to you about the game and then you get to read some interviews by everyone major involved in the creation of the game (nearly 20 or so people). There is also an option to look at scenarios that never made it in the game and hear people's opinions on different random topics.

End Result: This is easily one of the best hgames that I've ever played. It has great gameplay, story, and artwork and it only gets docked because of repetitive and lackluster background music. I thus give it a score of;

Score: 9.2 out of 10
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