Today on the blog, we have a tester’s corner from Umbelia!
So here we are yet again- another Alicesoft release, another shining review. But this one in particular probably isn’t one you actually need more information on…
The big man himself doesn’t really need any introduction…
…and I doubt the game itself does, either. Sengoku Rance is here!
If you’ve been around in the VN scene for any nontrivial amount f time, you’ve definitely already played this. Sengoku Rance is a sprawling strategy/takeover, about Rance’s adventures in country of JAPAN. A lot of things happen. A lot of things. As is the way of Rance.
There’s really not much to this game that wasn’t a masterpiece at it’s time, and all of it still holds up extremely well. Just starting with the gameplay, it’s exactly the kind of high quality you’ve(probably) come to expect from Alicesoft in general- a surprisingly deep tactical RPG where you pit armies led by the heroes of Rance’s world against… mostly no one of any real importance unless they’re a boss, as it shouId be. How else would you recruit everyone you cared about?
The game is played in three phases- at the start of each turn you can go to areas(mostly only ones under your control) and see events for a variety of effects- this plays out in typical Visual Novel format and is about what someoe who didn’t play Alicesoft before now would expect.
The second phase is combat, if applicable; you’ll be attacked by any states you’re at war with. Fighting is pretty straightforward- you pick the commanders for each fight, and each commander has a certain number of troops, the troops are both HP and effective attack power. There are active and passive skills and… well, if you’ve played an RPG ever you know roughly what to expect. It’s amazingly solid gameplay for an eroge (though Rance always is…)- the ridiculous and surprising depth to the system can leave you discovering new things to play with pretty much any new playthrough you decide to do.
The music is, of course, a big ole monolithic masterpiece. It’s done by SHADE of Alicesoft fame and, to me, Sengoku is probably one of his highest points in terms of the soundtrack being played on the whole. Really not much to say, but I’ve been listening to several of the tracks from Sengoku for years at this point. It’s seriously good stuff.
The story, again, is amazingly strong for an eroge (but, again, that’s just Rance’s thing!) and each of the six routes have a huge array of funny, dramatic, and stressful moments. It’s really hard to talk about without spoiling anything, but if you’re new to the series:
Rance is a man living in a world dictated by the Planner Scenario. What this means in a nutshell is that their lives are literally defined and operate with the rpg mechanics we know and love. Skill ranks, levels, level caps, heroes, the good stuff. Rance in particular is a “Glitch” in this system, allowing him to level infinitely… though levels go down with idleness, and Rance himself is only really motivated by two things: sex, and also sex.
Our anti-hero, Rance, is a complete menace. He travels the world, saving countries and the world and countless people… all in the name of busting a nut. One moment he will lead the army of a revolution against a demon lord, with the simple purpose of wanting to get laid.
And he’s very good at what he does.
Finally, the art…
It’s, again, great for it’s time. It’s a bit dated now, but for the most part it doesn’t matter: it’s still great. The portraits are very expressive and fun, but that’s probably not what you care about from this section…
If you’re reading this, then I’ll guess that you’re new here. Alicesoft games- especially Rance(and more recently, Evenicle), cast an extremely broad net of kinks. You’re basically guranteed to find a wife to your tastes, and you’re actually guranteed for a scene for whatever gets your rocks off.
Space suit vanilla sex? We’ve got that.
Horny mikos? We’ve got that too.
The English release of it is noteworthy in that the censorship is all gone, and I was pretty pleasantly surprised to find that the dicks and vags were (mostly) fully drawn and not skimped on at all. I’m avoiding getting into the messier things, or the spoilery things, but rest assured that unless you’re into the really crazy stuff(in which case you’re probably looking for Maggot Baits or Euphoria…) there is going to be something here fr you.
Anyway this thing is a mega classic and if you’ve not played it, you should.