By William Haderlie / February 6th, 2017
Disclaimer: Rance VI is an Adults Only Eroge Dungeon Crawler, as such this review is 18+ and NSFW, as are all links contained within.
|Title||Rance VI – Collapse of Zeth-|
|Release Date||December 23, 2016|
|Genre||Eroge Dungeon Crawler|
|Age Rating||Adults Only|
Rance VI represents the major title in the recent combination release of Rance 5D and Rance VI from MangaGamer. So I wanted to have the review for this one out a little closer to when my review for Rance 5D was done. However, circumstances prevented that from happening. The primary reason for the delay is that this is a genuinely huge game, not just for a Visual Novel but for any game type. And I’d like to start off with the fact that even though this release comes from the developer Alicesoft and the publisher MangaGamer, this is not really a Visual Novel (any more than something like Hyperdimension Neptunia is a VN); it’s actually a dungeon crawler RPG that is also an Eroge. As such, expect most of the trappings from a traditional dungeon crawler and that includes the length. Visual Novels are long when they are around the 20-30 hour mark, but that is pretty low end for a dungeon crawler, and this one is no exception. If you wanted to play this game with only the critical path story missions, it will still take you around 50 hours, and for me trying to 100% everything it took twice that amount. But, of course, its size isn’t the only thing to recommend about this wonderful release, so first I better back up and give some disclaimers that will likely be part of any Rance game going forward.
Much like with my review of Rance 5D and Beat Blades Haruka, I will need to put a disclaimer in here about rape and sexual assault, since many people are offended by fiction representing it. Those things are seen in Rance VI a lot more than they were represented in Rance 5D because the game is a lot longer and there are far more characters. As a consequence, not only do you see it happen more often, you see a much wider variety of (what is typically called in the world outside of video games) non-consent situations. That is not the only kink on display here, certainly, but it is one of the major themes throughout the game. Like in the previous articles, I will make no moral judgment on whether you should find it entertaining or titillating as long as it’s kept in a fictional or a consenting role-play scenario. The addition I will make to this game is that it doesn’t only treat it as a penalty for failure (Beat Blades Haruka), or purely for humor (Rance 5D). Instead, it can have a wide variety of instigators and consequences in this story, and it’s most common one being that a woman’s body is forfeit as a right of conquest to the victor. If you read enough classic literature, especially from the Greeks and Romans, you are bound to run into this difference between modern views when it comes to any fictional hero from the past, and Rance himself is no different. So that is where I’ll come down on this subject for review purposes, and any further discussion would require a more long form Op-Ed.
Rance himself is definitely an either love or hate type of character. Many people would consider him an anti-hero, and there is certainly something to be said for that argument, but mostly he is just a bundle of chaos. In fact, his legendary sword, Chaos, calls Rance his soul brother. They are extraordinarily similar. More than anything Rance is more like the Platonic Ideal of what a Dom in a fantasy world setting would be like. Honestly, throughout my life, I think more women I’ve known would enjoy this story more than men. But as that dominant type myself, I tend to associate with more submissive women, personality wise. As such, even when Rance isn’t engaging in non-consent sequences, he is establishing his domination in many other ways, such as his Master/slave relationship with Sill, his boss/subordinate relationship with Ursa, and so on. Bondage plays a huge role in the sexual sequences during this game (of which there are tons), as well as humiliation and sadomasochism. That being said, there is a lot more here than just a story that solely exists to get the characters into bed with one another.
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