Name: Youju Ranbu - The Impure Holy Land (100.00% in 2 votes)
Release date: 1996
Reviewed by: Lamuness
Youju Ranbu is a pretty old H-3D-RPG, and also Zone's debut. This is prolly one of the very first win95-based games created back when win95 OS was a hit in Japan. So you can say Youju Ranbu is sorta like the win95 bandwagon thing.
In the Gaia continent, once every 1000 years, there is a holy ritual where the pricesses from the 5 dynasties gather together and pray that the holy sprits will bring peace to the land. Just so happens the millenium ritual is being held this year, and therefore attracted a lot of people. Among them is a mercenary called Reseshibu (his other title is "big sword carrier"...Cloud Strife?!) and his friend Jena. Just as the ritual is about to begin, the sky went gloomy and somebody invaded the castle where the ritual is held. Reseshibu and Jena rushed to the castle to see what happened, and found out that the 5 princesses were abducted by ex-royal-magician who was expelled from the kingdom 12 years ago. He new returns to take revenge by using the 5 princesses as sacrifices to summon monsters. What's more surprising is that this villain is Reseshibu's uncle. After abducting the princesses, Reseshibu's uncle challenges our hero to search in the 5 temples and rescue the princesses and ultimately defeat him. Of course, Reseshibu accepts the challenge. Also hinting from the prologue is Reseshibu's unknown relationship with the princesses as well as his uncle...
Not bad for plot. This RPG uses a 3d-dungeon one-pt-perspective engine like some of the older D&D games. However, Youju Ranbu uses some nice 3d texture-mapping in the dungeons, and the animations are reasonably ok (takes a while to load when opening a door ^^). I would have to say that the map screen is a little bit too small and also a big complaint: why can't we use keyboard to move around in the 3d dungeons? Clicking mouse is tiresome and tedious, and keyboard arrow keys are sadly the only efficient way to move around. There are a total of 5 dungeons, each having a reasonable amount of area to explore. You can visit town to purchase items, weapons and spells, ALL of which you can RENAME to your preference (wow). You can also install spirit stones onto your weapons and during battles you can accumulate spirit points to unleash powerful attacks. 99% of the enemies encountered in this game are females, and if you are able to find a special item, something good is bound to happen when you finish a battle...
The graphics, although unfair to compare with today's standards, are still very nice if compared with games released at that time. The use of watercolor wash CGs is also a great idea, and is rarely seen in Hgames. However, I think the best part of the game is the audio part. First, the cd-da bgm is AMAZING~, even better than many of the recently-released Hgames. Also rarely seen in many Hgames is the 100% use of voice tracks especially in RPGs. Literally every single dialogue has a voice track in it. Even some of the menu commands has Reseshibu talking. What's even more fascinating is that when casting a spell, either during battle or on the field, there is a voice track of the person actually chanting the spell~!!!
Even though the game is a bit old, Youju Ranbu is a great game if you are not too agressive with graphic quality. Overall, it is a nicely-made small RPG, and H-RPG fans should not miss out on this. The audio aspect is just amazing, and you should at least play this game just to experience the complete use of voices.
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