Tester's Corner: Bukakke Ranch Ed. Vol.1

002Tuna Salad with his long overdue report from everyone’s favorite ranch!

Let’s get one thing out of the way, despite this game being called Bukakke Ranch, there is no actual bukakke in it…at least not ‘bukakke’ that we’re use to–you know, the one where a mommy and a daddy and a daddy and a daddy, etc…This is the Japanese definition of just ‘splashing’ stuff, albeit a variety of stuff, so you’re going to be disappointed if you were hoping for that other one…

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When I first heard of Bukakke Ranch, it was over a year ago at a friend’s party where an overenthusiastic Kouryuu was talking about “work” to a group of our friends, all of whom were thoroughly enraptured despite usually mocking him for his occupation. At that time, I was stuck with Boob Wars (which was not terrible) and I couldn’t help but think that Bukakke Ranch sounded like fun. Now let me be clear, I’m not into monster-girls, in fact, I didn’t know monster-girls was an entire genre of its own until a month ago. That being said, I still don’t understand the infatuation, it’s all nukige to me…

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As much as I enjoy walls of text in the typical visual novel, I’m all for games with actual gameplay. Manga Gamer doesn’t exactly have the most extensive repertoire in this field, but Bukakke Ranch is an interesting subversion of the standard click and read format in favor of some strategy and actual interactivity. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ‘gameplay’ but when I have to take notes in order to acquire endings, then I like to think it’s moved beyond just being an average VN.

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For starters, there are four endings to Bukakke Ranch: you make the slutstone and satisfy (in that way) the demon queen, you make the lustaments and defeat (and enslave) the demon queen, you win over the demon queen and marry (and bed) her, or she kills you. Now, three of these endings require that you make use of the item crafting system which really just breaks down to finding raw materials and making the items, but when you add onto that training the elementals so that they produce other needed materials, only being able to pick three activities in an in-game day (with only 100 days to make the slutstone), all the while finding and making things in order to keep the demon queen’s favor up (or else she kills you), suddenly it doesn’t quite look like a courtesy fap anymore…

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On the storytelling front, Bukakke Ranch is amusingly palpable. Sure a lot of the scripts get recycled when you run through the scenes over and over to farm materials, but on a first-run there’s plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor to keep everything entertaining. From the slime-girl’s inability to stay standing when penis comes into view, to the harpy opening up a TV shopping network to sell her own golden eggs (that she lays in front of the camera), everything is silly enough to at least warrant a chuckle. As far as the H goes, everything is quite tame, a fair amount of vanilla with some “experimenting” when it comes to eggs and golems, nothing too far out there. It’s an all-around silly game, worth a few aimless hours spent laughing if not…other things…

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5 Comments

  1. You say you like your games to have actual gameplay. I agree very much, but perhaps then with typical-format VNs you could take a page out of my book by perceiving them similarly to manga or light novels rather than video games.

    Outside of the hardcore otaku, this seems to be the standard viewpoint on VNs.

  2. Actual gameplay? Ridiculous.

    VNs should be story focused, even to the exclusion of game play. There is a reason good VNs (G線上の魔王, ef, etc) have far better stories than any games. The reason is the lack of gameplay and the intense story focus. VNs are primarily novels, and should continue to be.

    • I agree but from time to time is not a bad things to play something like Kamidori Alchemy Meister, for example. ~_~

    • Then what’s stopping VN makers from just writing a novel? A novel is far easier and has significantly less overhead.

      • Nothing is stopping them from writing novels. I’d welcome a novel from any of the great VN creators. VNs, however, offer something novels can not. VNs give you music and images to go with your story. It may not seem like much at times, but a good sound track can tremendously increase the enjoyment of a story. The images are also quite nice. I believe this is why they choose to make visual novels. Visual novels are novels, but better. That is what they should be, and that is what truly great VN writers should strive for.

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