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Review of Rance IV - Kyoudan no Isan -

SubjectRance IV - Kyoudan no Isan -
ByHelpfulness: 1
Vote: 5
ikffes on 2024-07-09
ReviewI decided to play Rance IV as soon as I finished the remake of the third game. Since this one doesn't have a remake, I knew I would have to play the old game before continuing the series if I didn't want to miss any important information about the world-building and character development. With that in mind, I lowered my expectations and prepared to ignore any major flaws and inconveniences, considering the game is over 20 years old. Even then, I was still disappointed, and it wasn't because of the old art style, which doesn't really bother me that much, it was everything else.

Let's start talking about the gameplay. You have a map laid out in front of you, and you can move a cursor shaped ">" in any direction. When you enter an important room, the map switches to a screen where you can move your character and interact with the environment. As you move around the map, you can come across random enemy encounters, triggering battles with a turn-based gameplay. In these battles, you choose a character and set an action. The character can either move in any direction or perform an attack.

The gameplay was fine for the first three battles, but after that, it became really boring because it is so long and repetitive. To make things worse, you get into random encounters every few seconds while roaming the map. The game has an auto-battle system that you can use to fast-forward the battles, but the system is useless since your characters act so fucking dumb. If you set the gameplay to auto, it’s not uncommon for your mage to move to the front line and engage the enemy warrior in direct combat instead of staying behind the other party members and providing support. The mage, of course, quickly dies due to their low HP.

To go back to the map, unless you use a walkthrough, good luck finding your way. The game doesn't give you any clues about what you need to do next, so you have to wander around the map trying to find your goal while constantly dealing with the never-ending hordes of random encounters. At some point, I was so frustrated—not just because I was lost, but also because I couldn't search anywhere without having to go through so many repetitive battles.

To make things even worse, the game is so stingy with EXP that you barely get any after battles. So, if you don't want to get stuck, you have to grind a lot.

The plot is almost nonexistent. Rance is trying to find his way down the floating island, and that's it. This wouldn't be so bad if we had the interesting characters that the series usually provides or Rance's antics that are always entertaining. However, the new characters and villains in this entry are incredibly boring. The character interactions and development are almost nonexistent. The whole game feels like filler, where nothing that matters really happens. The only new character that was remotely relevant was Io, who was like a female version of Rance. But we barely see their interaction at all since most of the time, you are just lost in the map.

There are only two scenes that I think are relevant in the whole game, both at the end of the novel. One is with Kanami, and the other is with Sill. In the scene with Kanami, we learn more about her true feelings. In the scene with Sill, we gain a better understanding of how her relationship with Rance works and how Rance really feels about her.

I knew that Rance cared about Sill, but I never thought he cared so much that when he thought she was dead, he hugged her and was willing to stay on the falling floating island instead of seeking to escape like the other characters. He only moved after realizing that Sill was alive.

I can only recommend this game to those who want to read the whole series. I don't think it is worth playing as a standalone title.
1 point
#1 by nirvaren
2024-07-10 at 02:43
< report >Pretty accurate review. I tried playing through it but quickly got bored and watched a youtube playthrough of it instead (even though I'd been planning on playing through every game in the series myself). Just skimmed non story segments.Last modified on 2024-07-10 at 02:44