By William Haderlie / February 6th, 2017
Having that many party members is not merely for variety of sexual partners; it’s important to the dungeon diving in the game as well. Each party member has a certain amount of Stamina Points (SP), which can be raised only through very special events and at certain Friendship Point (FR) levels. You lose 1 SP for every fight you engage in, even if you run or withdraw from the fight. As such, you will need to repeatedly switch out characters all throughout the dungeon, because as soon as their SP drops to 0, they will be unable to fight anymore. If you look at the above party selection screen you can see that there is an FR required to even be able to join the party for that dungeon. In that particular instance, a Friendship level of 4 was required, but Kaoru only had 3 so she was unable to join. You gain more FR through certain events at your base, or you can add 1 FR by giving that character a present. Some characters have FR events that you can do on repeat, but many of them will only be unlocked later in the game. However, that only applies to about half of the cast. Of those party members you see above, only Kaoru has a repeatable FR event that appears near the end of the game.
There are other repeatable events beyond the ones that raise your FR, there are also H events (probably short for Hentai) that can be used to either raise that character’s level cap or give them extra power. Rance and Sill never reached a level cap during my play (when I finished my post game stuff I was level 70 on Rance), but all the other characters start reaching a Talent Cap at around level 30. The male characters have various roundabout ways to raise the cap, whether that’s a story sequence with Rocky or Sand Lances for Bernard. The female characters raise their cap through a much more… hands on approach. Putting it succinctly, Rance’s sperm gives more power to any female he has sex with and ejaculates inside. It turns out that it doesn’t matter which orifice he ejaculates in, as you will eventually find out with the 2 of the potential female partners. This is an interesting mechanic that gives more reason for some pornographic content but also affects your gameplay strategies.
Whether you are raising FR or raising the Talent Cap of your party members, each will require you to use either Crab Orbs, Monkey Orbs, or both. Also when you are learning new skills you will be using Eagle Orbs. These resources are rarely found in treasure chests but are more often earned by Adventure Achievements in dungeons. You gain one-time rewards for each of the Map Conquest points you see in the screenshot above (25, 50, 75, 95), but those rewards are only earned a single time. The chart you see above for Adventure Achievements resets each time you enter that dungeon. The primary way your earn those AA points are to gain them for winning a battle, but there are also points on the map (marked by a yellow X) that will give you a boost to your Adventure Achievement score (between 3-8 points), and those X points respawn as well each time. So when you run low on orbs, or if you need some cash, it’s good to go back to a low-rank dungeon and grind up some more AA to get those orbs back. Because of my desire to get as many CG scenes as possible, I spent far more time grinding those orbs than I did grinding any levels. By the time I was unlocking all the scenes for everyone, I was leveled more than enough to take on any challenge (other than some post-game special boss enemies). Because of the limited SP, to get up near 100 Adventure Achievements you will need to do some strategic party switching, and engage the enemies in far fewer numbers than a full group of 6.
The actual dungeon crawling of this game happens in the traditional first person perspective. But this game, even though it’s very much an Eroge, is surprisingly well crafted even for a dungeon crawler. I played some major release dungeon crawlers in the past year, a couple of which I reviewed for Operation Rainfall, and this one had better-designed dungeons than many of the console release ones. One of the more interesting designs is that it’s quite vertical for a traditional first person dungeon crawler. Many of the areas are very open and have a lot of different stairs and levels to them, even many secret areas that you can see but are difficult to get to. It’s hard to believe that this game was originally a 2004 release, and even without the extra HD filter on the game that was added to the re-release, it would still look very well designed. But with that extra filter (that you have the option to turn on or off), this actually looks very much in line with a modern release. The game also natively supports an XBox 360 controller, so it actually feels like a modern game in its controls as well. There were some difficulties with dragging and dropping menu items with the controller, but those are the only times where I used the mouse and keyboard.
Unlike most other first person dungeon crawlers, the battles actually play out in a side-scrolling fashion, similar to old school RPGs of the 1990’s. Initially, there is not much strategy to the fighting, but as you gain more abilities, and as the enemies get more difficult, the battles will get a lot more strategic and difficult by the end. Not only will you need to keep up on your weapon and armor upgrades (which you may need to grind some gold for), but you will also sometimes need to switch up your two accessories to fit a dungeon you are entering if you want the best chance for success. Much like the dungeon crawling, I was surprised at how well designed the battle system of this game was, and it never really got old all through the 100 hours I spent reviewing this game.
As I wrap up this review, you’ll notice that I haven’t had anything bad to say about this game. And that is not going to change, there is really nothing bad I can say about it. I think that the music is really good, if not super memorable and that the game would be even better with voice acting. But that’s as close to a criticism as I can come; this really is a classic game. There is a lot of game here to enjoy, and even a lot of post game stuff that I can’t go into here due to the risk of spoilers and the space limitations of a review. This game was well worth the $34.95 price from MangaGamer even if it was sold by itself and even as a 2004 original release. But the facts that you also get Rance 5D, it has controller support, and it has that nice graphic filter all combine to make it just the perfect Rance release. If you can get past the rape thing, there is an amazing story to be found but there is also a lot of pornographic fun on top of it. I had never played a Rance before this release but if this is what they are like, I’m officially part of the fan club now. MangaGamer has my wholehearted support to give us every title in this series that Alicesoft can provide.
18+Adult Visual NovelAlicesoftdungeon crawler rpgerogeMangaGamerPCRanceRance VISteam