Category: Reviews

Dazed and Disoriented

By , 21 November, 2010 10:45 PM

Aah, Tokimi. Why did they tone her down so much in Seinarukana? I miss her crazier self in Eien no Aselia…;_;

Narukana’s route is easily the best route in all of Seinarukana, and not just because of personal preference. In her route, everything comes together so perfectly that I can’t really see another way for Seinarukana to canonically end and pave the way for their appearance in Eien no Aselia 3 without it becoming ridiculously cheesy (like how the fandisc shows it, with the whole brigade all together and all). While Satsuki’s ending – the ending the fandisc picks up from – is kind of acceptable because it does incorporate some necessary story elements, it’s just not as complete as Narukana’s route offers.

What makes Narukana’s route so complete? For me, these defining elements would be it: Jiruoru’s true character and nature, Narukana’s “curse”, and the resolution to the whole Et Ca Rifa incident.

In all the other routes, Jiruoru’s character is barely touched on; aside from his reputation for being the heartless God of Destruction, that he was part of the time tree’s creation, and that he was imprisoned along with Narukana. In Narukana’s route, Nozomu not only gets to briefly witness what transpired during Narukana’s imprisonment, but also feel firsthand Jiruoru’s thoughts. Jiruoru’s loss of himself was tragic – almost on the same level as Celica Sylphil’s – only Jiruoru was integrated into a “system”, along with Faim. His regret at being unable to not just grant, but “connect” with Narukana once they managed to “go outside” with his own desire was just as sad. Kind of adds a new meaning to the choice that you are given should you pursue Narukana’s route – by reaching out to her hand, Nozomu in effect “wakes up” to Jiruoru’s unspoken desire.

Which was why I was pretty much smiling during the entire exchange between Jiruoru and Narukana inside Jiruoru/Nozomu’s mind. Jiruoru realized that he had a second chance to make up to Narukana with Nozomu; despite Nozomu’s lack of power compared to Jiruoru (then again EVERYONE is puny ass weak compared to the fearsome God of Destruction), Nozomu’s will was adamantly stronger than Jiruoru’s own (Immortal Will, there’s a big clue right there), which Jiruoru felt was what he sorely lacked in order to be worthy of Narukana. Narukana, seeing that Jiruoru telling her that Nozomu would be the one who would become her owner, kind of dances around the issue – I think it’s cute. It also explains why, out of everyone, Narukana’s the only one who was fondly thinking of Jiruoru, and not just because they a history. Despite her lack of desire for an owner, I believe Narukana subconsciously knew that Jiruoru was the only one capable of wielding her, and that must have been why she had been looking for him for such a long time (enough to even go as far as to create Ruptna and then forget that she did so in the first place). Not just to be with him again, but to be “outside” again – to be free from everything that restrains them. Jiruoru with his place in the system and the way he was converted to be a part of it, and Narukana from her “curse”.

Narukana’s character as a selfish, loudmouthed impatient know-it-all is a pretty hilarious (and effective) mask for what her character really is. Once the ball gets rolling in Narukana’s route, and that it’s revealed that Narukana (or to be precise, Murakumo) is a cursed existence, that mask starts to makes sense considering the context of her background and her nature. Murakumo, the cursed sword that produces Naru mana, effectively making it unwieldy unless one had a death wish – and therefore immune to its own basic instinct of having a wielder (or so Narukana says). The moment Narukana’s insecurity was shown was the moment that I really felt for Narukana as a character, as she seeks escape from not just her seal but also her fate. Given that she’s shown repeatedly that she WANTS to be wielded by Nozomu after she helps him smack the Naru-corrupted Management God in the face hard (sneaking in his futon once, and the “manga” incident twice, not counting others) yet has to restrain herself for fear of killing Nozomu, that for me marks her inner conflict. It’s pretty much obvious with her kiss to Nozomu, and again during her battle against Naru Yaga, after Naru Yaga’s consumed Satsuki, Euphoria, and Nozomu. Her mask is effectively taken off and she just flies into a rage, trying to kill Naru Yaga to the utmost of her abilities.

Sure the gattai scene detracts from the seriousness of Nozomu making his contract with Murakumo (you have to admit, it IS very hilarious), but the scenes after Naru Yaga’s defeat are pretty sweet. Naru High Eternal Murakumo no Nozomu in his melancholy, brushing off Tokimi and Euphie’s concerns and departing off without an idea as to where to go, is a brief glance at the melancholy that has pervaded Narukana’s existence for a long time. The “reunion” scene brought tears to my eyes, haha. NARUKANA AND JIRUORU NOZOMU, FINALLY FREE AND TOGETHER! WAI WAI! Not without a price, of course – they’ve run smack dab in the middle of the war between Chaos and Law Eternals, with the latter opposed to their existence, and the former sitting on the fence as to how to treat Naru High Eternal Nozomu and co. Another Ikusa Megami parallelism, but whatever – in a sense, Nozomu has become similar to Celica, an existence that is reviled and hated by the entire Eternal pantheon (only Nozomu doesn’t lose his memories every so often, and should he fuck other ladies, his own ladies will kill him). Only not that extreme, as Chaos Eternals seem to not just give a fuck about Nozomu and co. unless they get in their way. Except for Tokimi, and most probably High Eternals Yuuto and Aselia, though I don’t know how those two would take to Nozomu and co’s existence.

All of the above’s also part of why I like Nozomu’s cut-in CG during Immortal Will so much. He looks so calm, collected, so complete in a sense compared to his cut-in CG appearance in Namebreaker, and it’s not hard to figure out why – even if he is fighting another Eternal, albeit Naru-corrupted and with a Rank 2 Shinken, and with the fate of entire worlds in his hands. I’d like to think that it’s because he’s finally fulfilling his purpose, becoming Murakumo’s master and choosing to walk the same path as Narukana. Regarding the Eien no Aselia -Seinarukana Arrange- that plays during the fight with Naru Yaga, I actually didn’t attack until the first loop of the song ended as I was too busy being frozen in place, mouth agape and brain going “WAIT WHAT IS THIS SONG WHAT I THINK IT I-OH FUCK ME YES IT’S THAT SONG ALRIGHT“.

This is why I’d say that at the end of it all, Seinarukana’s a fancy love story involving swords and stuff – only it drunkenly staggers towards that goal. I love the whole love story between Narukana and Jiruoru Nozomu a lot, it’s just too bad that the fandisc felt the need to pick Satsuki’s route over Narukana in order to get some cheap gags (at Narukana’s expense). Admittedly the Rehme fuckans is fine with me, but seriously, that could’ve been done with Narukana’s route as a starting point too – maybe they were just being lazy about it. I want to dismiss it by just closing my ears, going LA LA LAA and telling myself that it’s a fandisc, but it does put some things on the table – things I already know, unfortunately (like how Law Eternals are after Nozomu and co., Nozomi and co. trying to hook up with Nozomu again, and Nozomu having the power to create his own time tree).

I love Seinarukana, but unfortunately Narukana’s route isn’t really enough to hold the title up, even if the other character’s routes are interesting, compared to Eien no Aselia. It strikes me as funny that it’s the non-human characters in the Eien no Aselia universe that I feel are the ones who are well-written, interesting and completely likable to the point that I can emotionally identify with them. In EnA, it was Aselia who held my affections; seeing her grow and develop emotions, up until the incident where she lost her will, then became an Eternal with Yuuto were very touching moments for me (I cried like a bitch once Yuuto and Aselia became Eternals, and went FUCK YEAH IT’S TIME TO KICK ASS at the final battle with Shun, what with the music playing). In Seikana, it’d be (clearly) Narukana, the incarnation and will of the Rank 1 Eien Shinken Murakumo, who gets to be my favorite character, for reasons stated above and more.

Okay, on to Ikusa Megami. Oh man.

Why is VERITA so underwhelming? I keep asking myself that and yet I can’t come up with any definitive answers. Zak suggested that maybe Eushully’s just bad with multiple story progressions, referring to ZERO and the Chapter during which you controlled Hishera after she took over Satia’s body for herself and citing the weakness of that particular chapter with regards to the story. I’d like to agree, but it can’t be simply because of the story structure alone, even though I argued otherwise in here.

What made ZERO epic was because it was reminiscent of the stuff of Greek tragedies, and that was a big thing for me because I fucking loved Greek tragedies. Celica wishing for power in order to simply protect the powerless, and getting it at a heavy price – the deaths of his loved ones and the loss of himself as well as gaining the hatred of the entire world. That’s a pretty big fucking thing for me, and seeing the theme unfold in Celica’s story was even more so. At the end of ZERO, Celica continues to live for the promise he made to live and reunite with Satia, even if he does not remember what promise he made or who he made it with; he continues to help those in need, but new evils are born from actions he perceived as helpful and made with good intentions; he fights to protect those he can protect, but is just barely able to win against Satia’s goddess body.

In VERITA, most of that goes unspoken but shown – there’s even a brief throwback to Celica’s history via the events that occur with Ekria, before she decides to become his apostle. Two cursed existence reviled by the world, finding solace in each other, though not in the sense that you’d think. Admittedly, the most powerful scenes for me were the ones that involved Celica – the moment he threw himself after Ekria after she jumped off the cliff, and during the fight with Marsteria – because they were reminiscent of the events that ZERO had. That was pretty much it for Celica-defining moments for me.

Louie, at first, felt like he was just a tacked-on character who was included just because, but that changed later on once more of his character was explored. Let me get this out of the way first – FUCKING HELL, THERE IS A SEVERE LACK OF GENRIN 2 CHARACTER PRESENCE WTF, WHERE ARE MY RIONNE AND TINA AND SERIEL AND RHEANA AND NINA AND MIRA FUCK WHY ISN’T FAMI RECRUITABLE WHAT THE HELLLLLLLLLLLLL?! Louie’s motivation was primarily creating a country wherein humans and nonhumans could exist together, thanks to Irina who made Louie realize that that was his true desire. Irina’s loss clearly took a huge toll on Louie, as he can be seen still trying to cope with her loss. Hell, his entire story, once he got the facts from Paimon and Zahaniu, was to save Irina from Buleard’s core and resurrect her, while still keeping true to the ideals that he and Irina believed in. There is also the tension between Ekria and Louie whenever they meet, which makes the scene whenever both of them encounter each other interesting, but not so much. The true history ending shows Louie running off after Rifia (and possibly making babies along the way with Fami, Petrene and Carian), so there’s still a slight chance we might get future Genrin installments. I hope so, because much like Celica, Louie is too much of a badass to just put aside.

VERITA had it’s FUCK YEAH moments, off the top of my head those being; Zephyra realizing the existence of the Godslayer, Kuu coming to the rescue, Celica and Louie’s first encounter, the three Majin fight (fuck that was scary the first time I went through it), Louie rampaging through Zahaniu and co.’s base, Ekria fighting “Fate” (though this was a bit cheesy, really), Celica going berserk and going on a rampage, and then Celica and Louie grudgingly teaming up against the demon dragon (poor delishuz Rashena). I also loved the scenes that connected to ZERO, such as Marinya becoming Celica’s apostle, or Abirus’ rebirth. Even the hilarious ones got me laughing, like Rita and her loathing for centipedes, or Amdosius trying to run off with a pillar. But VERITA still paled in comparison to ZERO – maybe ZERO plus the expectations for VERITA put the bar far too high, is what I’m thinking. Most of what happened were a recursion of what happened in ZERO, or expectantly mentioned in previous titles, but were not enough to make a big enough impact on their own in VERITA. That, and trying to merge Ikusa Megami ZERO and Genrin no Kishogun 2 – two big titles on their own – into a single title and being able to match or even exceed either of them in both scale, epic and impact, is, while ideal, actually a very difficult thing to do.

…Ugh, I wish there was a recruitable, playable Dianne and Zephyra, and that Rekshumi and Levia could join you. ;_; And that Ekria had combat skills with her whip swords, ’cause she was a pretty great fighter in Genrin 2. I’m off to cry in my corner now.

PS. I should stop writing about 聖なるかな.

戦女神ZERO

By , 9 March, 2010 6:31 AM
A powerful tale, of eternal love and hope... ...of despair, atonement, and a search for redemption. A powerful tale, of eternal love and hope... ...of despair, atonement, and a search for redemption.

Welcome to the world of Serika Shirufiru. Welcome to Ikusa Megami Zero.

Released on June 13, 2008, Ikusa Megami 0 is the prequel of the Ikusa Megami series. It is entirely about the Godslayer, Serika Shirufiru, and his origins, detailing how he who was once human received the loathed and sought-after title of Godslayer, and of the tragedies that followed suit. In all sincerity, this is really one of the most epic eroges out there, and you owe it to yourself to play this one. Not just because this ties in to VERITA, which I’ve been going nuts over, but because it really is very good.

At the heart of Ikusa Megami 0 is Serika Shirufiru, the man who would later become the Godslayer, and throughout the game you control him (for the most part). He’s the pivotal character, and everything happens around him. Kind-hearted and very talented with his sword skills, Serika’s goal is to become strong enough in order to protect the weak and put an end to conflict. He’s similar to other morally upright characters like Emiya Shirou in that regard, though Serika is more compromising when it comes to doing what has to be done and is nowhere near as insufferable. He’s also very much a tennen boke, but not so much when it comes to the fuckans.

The story of Ikusa Megami 0 starts off with Serika and his comrades, comprising of his sister Kaya and his best friend Dalnoth, kicking monster ass as they investigate the matter of monsters attacking villagers. Cue to the first dungeon of the game which is a big tutorial, where Kaya ends up getting separated from the rest of the group only to be reunited with Serika and Dalnoth right before you fight the boss at the end, with some monster-on-girl fuckans in between. Serika later revisits the dungeon in remorse for having killed the resident water serpent, and in his wish to find its infant, he runs into a girl who goes by the name of Sateia instead, who believes that their meeting was destined to happen.

Oh, and he’s also the Yuusha candidate of Balhart, and after a ritual involving him coming into close contact with their “sacred treasure”, he is given the mission of finding a way to purify the said item, the same mission that his father was entrusted with – and failed at, long ago. During his journey to search for the method of purifying the treasure, he runs into several characters and finds out more about the true nature of Balhart’s so-called sacred treasure, and ends up becoming embroiled in something that would lead to several future tragedies.

The aforementioned monster ass kicking This would be Dalnoth And this would be Kaya And this disgusting thing is their sacred treasure

I’m tempted to spoil the story for you, but I won’t because it’s something that you have to read through and experience for yourself. Admittedly, I’m relatively new to the mythos and world of Eushully so I didn’t get some of the things that happened or were discussed (which is a nice way of saying that the events in Omal mountain in particular confused the fuck out of me), so if you’re new to the entire thing, then heads up – you’re not gonna be able to understand every thing in the Eushully world all of a sudden just by playing Ikusa Megami 0. The story’s emotional value and impact, however, are not to be underestimated.

Discovering that Serika, who only desired power in order to protect those he loved and end conflict, ends up obtaining power by actually killing those he loved, and becomes a cause of conflict; as well as the deep realization that, in the process, he lost not only his purpose for power but everything that actually mattered to him yet gains a new purpose (the promise he made) in the process, was quite a moving experience, one that I was very much glad to play through. It’s much like 君が呼ぶ、メギドの丘で, only Ikusa Megami Zero’s emotional undertones go understated until you stop and actually think about what happened to Serika throughout the story.

While it’s epic in scale and impact, it’s not perfect. There are some parts that do feel awkward, like the “last” sex scene between Serika and Sateia – you’ll know it once you see it. In terms of pacing, the story’s got itself paced nicely – none of the buildups felt too slow or fast, while the immersion factor is such that once it grabbed me, I had a hard time tearing myself away from the game.

With regards to the characters, while Serika is the main focus and star of the game, the other characters are still very interesting and decently-fleshed out, like Sateia. Myself, I ended up being drawn to Rekushumi.

Gameplay-wise, the game’s easy to navigate through, and if you pay attention to the tutorial you’ll know everything there is to know about the system. The combat is simple and easy to follow, with the characters and enemies represented with both statues on the battlefield and cards to designate effects and damage taken as the battle unfolds (something that reminds me of 冥色の隷姫/Princess of Darkness). There’s a nice variety of skills to choose from, such as magic skills, summoning skills, and special attack skills, so you can mix and match your ass-kicking preferences.

Also, certain gameplay decisions can have an impact on the story – for example, depending on how much Steinrura soldiers you choose to run into and fight, their village will either survive or end up being destroyed.

The menu selection screen The character menu screen This would be Serika, staring at a bunch of rubble The combat gameplay

The music is excellent, with some of the tracks sending chills down my spine during certain events or dungeons, while the voice acting is very much remarkable, as the performance and delivery of most of the seiyuus were just wonderful to listen to.

How about the fuckans? It ranges from the bizarre to utterly delishuz, and while some of the scenes might not click well with some people, 41 scenes is bound to make sure that at least some of them end up being memorable enough to replay.

There's mandatory monster rape Optional monster rape Mandatory romantic fuckans And mandatory delishuz fuckans!

You know what? I’m just going to start rambling at this point on, because this review will never do Ikusa Megami 0 justice. It’s really one of the most epic games out there, and if you’re after an epic experience with fun and challenging RPG gameplay and an emotionally engaging and riveting tale, then go get Ikusa Megami 0, and get hooked on it. HOOKED ON IT, I TELL YOU!

When Planets Go Kablooie

By , 10 February, 2010 5:42 AM

Yeah that’s right, SeiTen is a prequel instead of a sequel like I initially thought, involving the Crystal girls from Seinarukana (as you all might have already figured out) and why they ended in such a state after their planet goes kaboom (as I just found out AFTER a SeiKana replay).

So the premise of the game is, treasure hunter Christopher/Clifford Tangram look I really have an issue with this douche and how Xuse wants his official name to stay as Christopher even though the whole fucking game has him called Clifford but I’ll address that later, for now FUCK YOU CHRISTOPHER OR CLIFFORD and his company ends up in the World of Crystal after following a map that points the way to the Droplet of Life. Upon arrival, their ship malfunctions, Clifford goes out to investigate and uses his Shinken, which is a rank 5 that allows him the power of flight. At that point I thought of Ikaruga Satsuki and wondered if she could fly as well, what with her HUGE FREAKING WINGS ON TOP OF HER HEAD AND ALL, but apparently it didn’t serve any purpose other than head decoration…crap, where was I.

So he bails the ship while it’s in free fall, starts flying around, and sees a village being attacked by winged demons, with five very fine and delishuz girls armed with weapons of various kinds doing their best to protect said village. At first the girls mistake him as the head honcho of the demons, because…well, he’s flying, the demons are flying, and the girls can’t fly. So yeah. They start blasting away at him, which causes Clifford AND BY GOLLY I’LL FUCKING CALL HIM CLIFFORD, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE GAME CALLS HIM to dodge said blasts, then show that he’s an ally by striking down some of the demons.

The mikos of swords! Mmmm...cookies!

That is until blood starts spurting out his arm and he drops from the sky. He wakes up later in a room at the inn with Yuura, the lady owning the flying ship that Clifford rented in order to travel to the World of Crystal, telling him that the cause for the ship malfunctioning and Clifford being injured while flying was that their mana was incompatible with this world. So now they’re stuck for a while, as their ship has made quite a nice landmark of itself after it pancaked someone’s house.

Oh, and they’ve also taken to calling Clifford as their Yuusha-sama, viewing him as their savior after he demonstrated his fascinating flight abilities to an entire village of people who can’t fly as well as cutting down one demon. THAT’S SAVIOR MATERIAL RIGHT THERE, IT WAS FORETOLD, OR SOMETHING. After some chatter, Clifford agrees to stay and help the village out while he searches for clues regarding the treasure that landed him into this whole mess in the first place. Oh, and the five girls are apparently mikos, and can make use of Clifford’s power of flight via these simple steps.

  1. Clifford gets close to one of the mikos
  2. Clifford fucks one of the mikos
  3. Miko gets her soul synchronized with Clifford
  4. Said fucked miko can now make use of Clifford’s power
  5. Fucked miko can share Clifford’s power because she’s synchronized with the other four mikos as well
The will to power... Fuckans style. Don't forget! Sometimes they need refills!

Aside from being a very, very convenient method of sharing power, it also reveals Clifford’s true plans for staying in the village – HE’S HUNGERING FOR SOME LOLI POONTANGS AND THERE’S FIVE WILLING LOLIS RIGHT THERE, DAMN THE MOTHERFUCKER comes with another arrangement – each of the girls are given necklaces imbued with the ability to miniaturize Clifford and contain him, so they can keep him nearby in order to effectively use his power. The five mikos now insist on taking the fight to the demons instead of just staying holed up inside their village – with Clifford’s power, they believe that pushing forward and making the most of it is the best strategy they’ve have yet!

And that’s pretty much it for the beginning portion of SeiTen. Now while you might want to inquire as to how the story progresses, just take note of the fact that in Seinarukana, these girls are in a strange world, keeping themselves alive from mana that is incompatible with them via preserving themselves with the mana from their world in crystal form. And there is no mention, or presence, at all of Clifford in Seinarukana. Once you do the math, you’ll see that the road to the normal – and canon! – ending is one fun ride that involves their planet going KABLOOM and Clifford kicking the bucket. Oh but after the crappy canon normal end, there’s the per-character endings that are more like “What If” endings, if only to reward the player for trudging through the game a second time! Those are pretty nice and are really the only reason for warranting a second playthrough.

The STG gameplay was all right, even though standard SRPG in the fashion of Seinarukana could have sufficed. The premise of the story feels as if they forced it to accommodate the STG aspect of the game, what with the whole emphasis on flying that hardly made an impact later on – which feels like a big no-no for me. If they took out all the mention or emphasis on flying, put in the standard SRPG system that Seinarukana had, and let it go from there, the story still would have sufficed. I mean, come on; Satsuki, Narukana, Jiruoru and some other characters were flying by themselves in Seinarukana, it’s not like it was a pretty exclusive thing nor did it warrant special notice!

It's a good thing that delishuz lolis have this calming effect on me... Mmmmmm...yes... Very calming...

The one thing that really sticks out like a sore thumb for me, in line with forcing the story to conform to certain matters, is the issue of Christopher/Clifford, only this one completely doesn’t make sense. So in the trial I played, the lead called himself Clifford and was addressed as such by everyone – even Satsuki’s narration. Now in the main game, there’s this one line that mentions him as Christopher Tangram, with Clifford being his nickname and that being the name that everyone calls him as…which made me wonder how badly Xuse wanted to confuse players of SeiTen. If he was called Clifford by everyone, WHY NOT LEAVE HIS NAME AS CLIFFORD?! Hell I even remember in the getchu page, as well as on the official site, that his name was Clifford until they changed it to Christopher for some arbitrary reason. The whole thing is just sloppy, really, and the whole lack of cohesiveness in this matter is just bleh.

What I like most from SeiTen were the interactions between Clifford and the girls, particularly with the girl you decide to keep on banging. You get scenes here and there, mostly at the end of every chapter, with your chosen girl, and this is really where their characterizations make my heart go KYUN KYUN DOKI DOKI. Each of the five girls are based on particular archetypes: Rur is the logical kuudere, Mew is the gentle oneesan, Wow is the blithering airhead idiot who likes to keep everyone’s spirits up, Pow is the supportive soft spoken second oneesan who ranks just below Mew, and Zeu is the brash tsundere pessimist. I REALLY liked the interactions with Rur and Zeu a lot – have yet to go for Mew but I’m headed there – and while I suppose that the several scenes with Clifford talking with the village chief in deciphering old texts makes sense as Clifford’s a treasure hunter, it loses its charm midway through the game. Dammit, I want more scenes with the girls! More talking! More emphasis on character interaction! GIVE ME MOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRREEEEEEEEE! If you’re gonna make per-character What If endings as the sole purpose for the game’s replayability, why not add more scenes with them? It gives the player more initiative to actually replay the whole thing while still devote some attention, instead of just breezing through the battles again and skipping all the scenes just to head at the ending.

SeiTen’s CGs are VERY nice, admittedly; these are by far hitomaru’s nicest works in a Xuse game yet. The girls are nicely drawn, detail is noticeable, and aside from the whole womb-poking thing (which isn’t so much upsetting as it is a “wtf am I looking at Mahou Shoujo Ai here?” moment), it’s all very nice to look at.

Overall, I’d say that SeiTen’s an okay game. You can play this one, put in some hours, go past the canon normal end and hit up some heroine what if endings with a few hours worth of investment here and there, but that’s about it. In the long term SeiTen doesn’t have a lot to offer with replayability aside from heroine What If endings. It’s fun, especially with the heroine interactions and scenes, but it’ll leave you wanting MORE – and that’s where it will fail to deliver.

Rance 2: 反逆の少女達!

By , 16 January, 2010 4:33 AM

Ah, that Rance…

You either hate his guts... Or love him way too much!

For those of you who have tried out Alice 2010 and played Rance 2, I applaud you, because I know what you’re playing it for, and that is good, clean, wholesome fun! Okay well it’s definitely neither CLEAN or WHOLESOME, but it is definitely goddamn fun.

One thing that’s definitely going to come as a shock for people who have played Sengoku Rance is the gameplay, which is in standard adventure RPG back in the days. It’s something that’s not completely new or bizarre to some people, but to others, it might take some getting used to. You go around and investigate or talk to characters via options, and then roam around dungeons navigating Rance (or Sill, depending on how far you are in the game) while fighting off monsters, checking every nook and cranny for items, and seeing what you have to do in order to fulfill a requirement to let the story progress.

Tavern girls sure are friendly! What, are items that hard to sell now?! Demon fuckans - it puts the K in Kinky! Also in WHAT THE FUCK.

The story behind Rance 2 is, according to the AliceSoft wikia entry on the game, as follows:

Ten years ago in the town of Custard four young girls were appointed as disciples to old mage Ragithis. They were to be raised as mages and then to work as town’s guardians. But after the ten years of training due to unknown reason girls rebelled against Ragithis and killed him. During the harsh magic battle a whole town were entombed in the underground and a barrier spell was put on town preventing everyone from going out.

This is when Rance appears with Sill on his side, and taking a job of defeating magician maidens and saving the town. But after some research he finds out that actual evil guy was Ragithis himself, who put four magical rings on four maidens. That rings are giving a great boost of magical power to it’s bearers, but aslo able to steal magic power from virgin sorceresses and after collecting magic power of 40 maidens anyone could use these rings to obtain unlimited power. The leader of girls, Masou Shizuka, figured out Ragithis’s plan and rebelled against him but it was too late – cursed rings could not be removed and the curse started to dive maidens crazy. Now they are sheltered in the labirinth beneath the town abducting young girls from the town and killing everyone who tried to go into the labirinth and stop them. It seems that the only way to release them from the curse of the rings is to steal a virginity from them, and the only man up to this job is Rance.

Got that? Good. Now let me tell you firsthand that while a background story’s good in setting up events and story progressions, trust me when I say that you won’t have time to bother caring with the story. In my case, I was too busy laughing my ass off at the antics of both Rance and the other characters, as well as the absurdity and sheer hilarity of some of the events, that I was progressing the story not because I wanted to see how the plot would unfold but because of the need to see more of Rance and company’s crazy antics. AND WHAT CRAZY ANTICS THEY ARE.

From hardcore fuckans... To perverted mirrors! Then summoned demon fuckans! What comes next? STAY TUNED!

And they manage to make it hilarious while at the same time have the story retain some degree of weight! Reminds me of Chouko Sennin Haruka, only in that title, I firmly believe that AliceSoft didn’t manage to come up with the right mix of humor and seriousness (if you’re going down the Lawful routes that is, because let’s the face it, the Chaotic routes are all about torture and embarrassment for the heroines) unlike what you’ll find in Rance 2.

Dungeon exploration is pretty much composed of “roam around until you get stuck at something”, then “look for something” or “talk to everyone” in order to move forward, repeated ad infinitum. It’s not very complex, and most often than not you’ll be able to find the way forward through sheer, simple and multiple! trial and error. For the combat system, you can choose to either do a simple attack, use Rance’s hissatsu attack which consumes much more SP, badmouth the enemy (LOL), rest a bit, or run away. Once you get to controlling Sill, the first option will then lead to you picking which spell of hers to use, with the physical attack option set as the second option. You level up by calling the Level Goddess, who will boost your level depending on how much EXP points you have. For people who have played Toushin Toushi 3, it’s pretty much the same thing.

The game’s not as long as you might think, which might be why AliceSoft included it as part of a fandisc package. You can finish it in a few hours, or in one day, depending on how grindtastically happy you are. Despite that, the game’s pacing is set like a rollercoaster ride, only I’d equate the lull periods in the ride akin to the grinding that you would be investing in, and the peak periods with just about everything else that happens in game. Regarding the plot, most of the mysteries are revealed as you liberate the four witches from their rings’ influences, one by one, with a giant (though somewhat expected) plot twist at the very end of the game. I mean come on, you didn’t REALLY expect the whole thing to be over THAT easily, did you? Not when all the pieces in the puzzle were all conveniently set in place!

Save the four witches... Then save some more ladies! And fight the big baddie! Can you help Rance achieve his much-coveted 41P? CAN YOU?!

Other things to note? Let’s see…the music sounds like your standard fare RPG music from bygone SNES days, which I found nostalgic but not noteworthy, and voice acting is…hahaha. What voice acting?

And to think I checked this out on a whim…then ended up laughing my ass off so hard at the beginning that I ended up getting hooked just to see what outrageous events comes next!

Shizuka is MUCH LOVE... Alice's cuteness might be distracting, and it certainly is, but I advise you to LOOK AT THE MENU!

And the end of it all, I’d say it was DAMN WELL WORTH IT. Now get to work and start playing Rance 2 you guys! Go go go! MUCH ABSURDITY AND AMOUR AWAITS!

PS. The trailer for the upcoming third “Dai” title is FREAKING AWESOME.

DAITEIKOKU. IN SPACE! Holy shit, AliceSoft must be so happy, finally an opportunity to cram as much Gundam references and homages as they can without even trying!

冥色の隷姫

By , 27 December, 2009 11:43 PM

Welcome to the world of Meishoku no Reiki, Eushully’s conquest SLG title. You take on the role of Ignat, a badder-than-bad dude who’s like a mix between a dragon and some real fucked up demon, and who commands a country that’s comprised of orcs, demons, and various other creatures who are definitely not known for their warm-heartedness and willingness to talk problems over. No, these motherfuckers are out for blood, and so are you.

As a conquest SLG, you have the choice of conquering one, some, or all of the countries, or even allying with the rest, with endings depending on which countries you conquer and who you capture. And by who you capture, this of course refers to the heroines, all in various countries. Some countries are easy to take, as if they were made just for you to trample over (which is really what they’re for!), while some would prefer to amass huge armies and play a really screwed-up version of tag, often ending in big bad demon spanking sessions for you AND your whole army should you come unprepared.

While you take on the role of Igaat, the story doesn’t really take on his character for the narrative. Most of it unfolds through the eyes of Silfietta, the elven heroine, who decided to willingly bring herself to Ignat’s castle as part of a treaty between Zerf Grace (Ignat’s kingdom) and Lua Gracemeil (Silfietta’s kingdom where she is known as a princess). That was one of the two choices that Ignat gave Lua Gracemeil: to either surrender and relinquish their kingdom’s full control over to Zerf Grace, or to hand over Silfietta to Ignat. Silfietta, at the start of the game, is shown willingly bringing herself to Ignat’s kingdom, but is then treated as a mere slave by both Ignat and Tilly, Ignat’s second-in-command. It is then revealed that the reason that Ignat wanted Silfietta was for her magical affinity, as with it, he could make himself much, much stronger. Silfietta then makes a plea with Ignat, that while he is free to obtain as much “magic” from her as he wants (you know how it is…with intimate contact no less!), she hopes he will let her keep her virginity intact.

Like there’s a fuckchance of that happening! One of the best units you can ever get is obtained by fucking the living shit out of her! And I MEAN, best unit ever! But that’s getting too far ahead of myself.

When you begin the gameplay, you’ll find that your kingdom, Zerf Grace, is at the center of the entire continent, which is not a very nice position to begin with, seeing as it leaves your butt open from every angle. Locations are connected to each other by lines, and if you’ve played Eien no Aselia or Seinarukana then you’ll know how that looks, and how unit movement works. You can have a maximum of 4 units in a group (though the actual number of units you can have in a group depends on how many troops a group leader can accommodate), with a maximum of 10 groups. Every action that you choose to do, whether it be reorganizing your troops, using your magic to do various things from, sending our your troops, or constructing something, always takes up time. The bar in the lower right corner of the screen will move once you choose to do something, stopping only once the corresponding time for the action that you chose to execute is done. Once it reaches 100, the turn will be over.

Unlike Sengoku Rance (which is what I’m using as a comparison because it’s the one SLG that everyone is familiar with at the moment), your enemies don’t take their moves after your turn is up. They take their moves at the same time you do, which means more careful planning and strategy in order to make sure that you don’t get caught unaware. Battles occur whenever units encounter each other in the field, or whenever your units try to move into a city (and vice versa), and should Ignat fall in battle, it spells an instant Game Over. There is a lot of available units for you to pick from and put into Ignat’s army, with even a few special heroes from Eushully’s other games (should you have the Append Disk for Meishoku no Reiki as well). The gameplay is fun and frantic at the same time: trying to meet requirements for certain endings within turn counts while fending off enemies and trying to upgrade your units (which is done by making them gain full “exp”, then using an item to upgrade them) makes for a totally entertaining experience and can suck away several hours worth of your time without you even knowing.

Despite that, though, the gameplay is unintuitive, and it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out how the entire system works. Once you do, however, you can be assured that you’re in for a fun ride, gameplay-wise.

With regards to the story, since most of the narrative and plot progression done mostly through SIlfietta’s actions, that doesn’t mean that Ignat takes a backseat. I mean to say that most of the narrative that carries weight relative to the plot: like, what is Ignat and how did he come to be as such, what is Tilly’s purpose, and such – most of the questions that the game brings up are to be addressed and answered by Silfietta’s actions in the game. Ignat’s role is to be the bad-ass overlord that’s out there conquering countries, taking down rulers, and enslaving all the women (for his personal use), which shows in most of the game’s boss battles and H scenes. Despite the whole evil bad guy thing going for Ignat, he’s an awesome lead, on par with Himegari’s Emilio – between the two, I wouldn’t know who to root for if they came to trading blows.

Which, I guess, is part of the reason why I ended up not liking Silfietta as much as I wanted to. They presented her as an oppressed, tragic heroine simply with the purest of intentions, sure, but in light of Ignat’s character, goddamn woman, I could hardly care less – when you have someone that awesome, fuck it, who cares about weepy, tragic characters! Some of the other heroines, however, were just utterly delishuz, like the female knight from this kingdom who comes together with an equally delishuz princess (should you choose to capture them both).

The best character in the game, hands down, is Seobit. Despite all the delishuz heroines, Seobit takes the cake: not only is the one of the most powerful units in game, she’s also unbelievably hilarious and awesome. I guarantee you, the scenes you will get with child Seobit will make you laugh your ass off – which will come rather unexpected in a game like Meishoku no Reiki, given its dark and serious nature. But it’s actually nice to have, and the humor won’t feel disjointed and leave you going “wtf but I thought-”, as I appreciated all the laughs that child Seobit brought. And it doesn’t stop there! Teenaged Seobit’s got some hilarious scenes as well, and mature Seobit’s a mix between hilarious and awesome, much like her father Ignat (THAT is a goddamn good hint on how to get her!). If you’ve played Himegari, you can think of Seobit as the prototype Lily. Hell, Eushully even came out with an entire scenario revolving around Seobit, just because she was THAT great (which is available through the Append Disk)! In it, they expounded more on the humor, and even lampooned the game itself.

Seobit's Playtime: Anytime, Anywhere Nice clothes don't matter in BATTLE! NEKKID IS FINE! Having an army doesn't save you from a demon with daddy issues.

Trust me when I say Meishoku no Reiki is a MUST HAVE for SLG fans out there. It’s definitely a great title, and worth investing some time into. Now: Ignat versus Emilio! Who would win?! Who would lose?! Or would these motherfuckers team up together and proceed to assrape everyone instead!? Who knows! But I damn hell definitely want to see something like that!

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