Rance 01 + 02
Critic Reviews for Rance 01 + 02
Rance 01 is a relatively short game compared to later games in the series, but that’s in keeping with the relatively small-scale nature of the story it has to tell. One of the particularly appealing things about the series in its entirety is how it develops in scale and scope over time — both in terms of what you, as the player, get to experience, and what Rance is actually getting up to as part of the narrative.
New characters will be introduced, and will show up again in later games — indeed, there are several characters who first appear in Rance 01 that I already recognise from my previous encounters with Rance 5D and VI. Rance’s relationships with these characters will evolve and change in sometimes surprising ways, and there’s a real sense that you’re going on a journey through this character’s life as the series goes on.
My initial reaction to Rance 02 is that it’s probably not quite as solid a game as Rance 01 was, but this is understandable given that it’s not as substantial a reimagining of the original as Rance 01 is. Instead, the intent here was to provide a modernised experience that is still very true to the original game — and so far, at least, it feels very much like it’s succeeded in that regard. I’m looking forward to diving deeper.
My initial impressions of Rance 02 were that it probably wasn’t quite as solid a game as Rance 01 is, and I think that’s probably still true; after all, Rance 01 was completely rebuilt for a modern audience, while Rance 02 is mechanically almost identical to its original incarnation. But that doesn’t mean Rance 02 is a bad game by any means, either; on the contrary, it’s a title that becomes more rewarding and satisfying to play the longer you spend with it — and when you couple that with the excellent story and characterisation, you have the perfect recipe for a thoroughly compelling RPG that will keep you gripped right to the end.
It all ends up pretty well, though; after finally causing the evil sorcerer to blow himself into oblivion by overusing the magic of the Phiel Rings, Rance ends up releasing the spirits of the 40 girls who had previously had their magic absorbed by the deadly jewellery. And when they promise to grant him any wish he wants in exchange for releasing them — whether it be riches, fame, immortality or anything else he might desire — there is, of course, nothing he wants more than a forty-onesome with this bevy of naked magical beauties before their spirits finally dissipate and find peace once and for all.