Sengoku Rance is possibly the best strategy visual novel I played. Its also one of the best visual novels I have played in a long time.Sengoku Rance is the 7th game in the franchise with an 8th on the way in August. Everything about this game is excellent the production values are incredibly high on this one, its too bad that it did not see the light of day in the west as the only real problem I found was the censoring anyway lets begin. There is a heavy amount of H-scenes and sex so its defiantly 18+
When I play visual novels I look for a few things:
1. Artwork and production values
2. Story (impact of said/emotional value)
3. Game play (being novels this is some what different between titles)
So when using this to critique visual novels I find that the majority of them are terrible, boring, and ugly. Many visual novels are just about having choices and coming out on a certain girls route its linear but can produce some good things (Fate/Stay and Bible Black series) and bad one's (X-Change series). Regardless I'll keep looking out for visual novels because I like them for the most part. Now Sengoku Rance is a strategy visual novel (a time consuming one) and is a very high caliber one. This game has everything a visual novel should have: beautiful artwork, great music, fantastic game play, and a story that while not being overly serious is better then 80% of most VN's I have endured over the years.
You are Rance a pervert warrior who just wants to have sex with as many woman as possible, he is strong and is a self proclaimed hero and all around sexual being. He will help anyone as long as he can have sex with a good looking female eventually. Anyway his character has not changed since the series began but that's why the series has such a following. So Rance lands in Japan with his slave Sill and makes friends with Nobunaga Oda and begins to conquer Japan. Eventually you are tasked with bringing the Oda house into possession of all Japan and unifying her. Along the way you do battle with the other houses (Takeda, Tokugawa, Mori, etc) as you tighten your grip on Japan. There are demons in this game too the youkai, some are good and some are bad. Anyway without any big spoilers you eventually have to fight a Demon King and save Japan. Now the story itself is pretty good especially the true route as it tries to bring history and fantasy together and for the most part it works. It's not as dark as Fate/Stay Night but its not as light as Shuffle! There are a ton of girls to conquer (oh boy does he conquer them) and each have a story of some sort while only the route girls have really fleshed out stories all the girls are likeable and will satisfy most people.
The Game Play
The game play takes place on a map of Japan where its divided by ruling clans. Your job is to take over all of Japan. You have the option on each turn to make two decisions, and there are many potions to choose from. You can attack adjacent clans, hire new commanders, interact with female generals, and so much more it would take me two full posts to explain everything. It all works well and is fun, but where would we be without battles and in each you get the chance to bring six generals with you. They all have different stat's and all play differently but its nice to see how much control they give you to decide on how you want to tackle the game. When you are in battle each unit has a set amount of actions they can take and when they use them up they can do anything (obviously) so you have to be intelligent on how you want to tackle each battle. If you played the others then this is fundamentally the same style of play which is a good thing and hardcore strategy players like myself will find hours of fun in this game (100+) at least. When you beat the game once a mode called free for all is unlocked in which you can choose any country to play as which is cool.
The Visuals and Music
This game is beautiful, the art is gorgeous and it goes to show that you can have a ton of characters and they can all be equally stunning in design. There are a lot of females to clear and each are incredible from the way they look to how much detail was given to them. With that being said there are about 104 cg scenarios most girls have two or three major scenes while route girls can have up to five and like before all are super high quality and is one of the best looking vn in recent years. Though my only real problem is like most Japanese things with nudity it is censored and for me it can ruin the quality of the pictures. Another thing to note is that there is no voice acting as the amount of females that would have to be hired would make the company go under but its not a big deal. The audio is all excellent and on my computers sound system sounds incredible with the set pieces being incredibly noteworthy and epic in nature.
This is a must get for visual novel players and strategy lovers alike, it will give you hours of strategy goodness and is a beaut to look at. This game is in fact better then some major releases by bigger game companies. Rance 8 comes out in August so get your sights set for that one it should be good ^_^
Audio 4/5Lasting Appeal 5/5