Let me start by saying Rainbow Moon isn’t for everyone. If you’re not one of those gamers that spent their youth grinding levels in strategy RPG games look away now as this is a must in Rainbow Moon. I hope you have got a lot of time to spare if your planning on purchasing this game as it will have you burning the midnight oil time and time again leveling up your characters in order to clear that next infernal dungeon. Now I know some of you stopped reading at “grinding levels” and will never speak of this game again, but those of you who are still here and are fans of strategy RPG games there is a lot on offer here. Rainbow Moon goes back to the roots of this style of game and there is a great feeling of nostalgia as you play, “they don’t make them like they used to” comes to mind. Rainbow Moon is not by any means groundbreaking and doesn’t have an original bone in its body but for a $12 price tag for over 100 possible hours of gameplay where can you go wrong?
The game starts off with your typical run of the mill fantasy story. The hero Baldrin is fighting with his arch-nemesis when the bad guy manages to get the upper hand. He pushes you into a portal transporting you to Rainbow Moon where you become stranded unable to return back from where you came. To make matters worse monsters came flooding through the gate once it was opened taking over Rainbow Moon and harassing its citizens. So off you set on your quest to get revenge on your nemesis and return home. Along the way you will encounter a host of new characters willing to join you in your fight, complete quests, clear out dungeons, and level up a countless number of times (especially if you choose to play the game on hard mode.)
Rainbow Moon does take its time at the start to really become interesting. The first island you encounter is bursting with color and vibrant with enemies and characters giving you plenty to do. The problem is with the battles. It is a monotonous task at the beginning of the game fighting monsters. You start off only being able to move one space at a time and attacking once each turn. Battles can be quite boring and not have much strategy involved until you unlock that all important sub-turn. Sub-turns grant you an additional action each turn and are unlocked as you level up. For example if you have three sub-turns you can use the first to get close enough to an enemy, the second to hit it and if it’s a tough enemy the third to use your all-powerful guard move to defend against the enemies attacks. There is also a bar at the top of the battle screen showing the order in which your characters and the enemies will take their turn. This allows you to plan ahead in tougher battles and use awesome strategies to win the day. Once you unlock more abilities, sub-turns and characters battles become entertaining and level grinding becomes less boring than at the very start of the game.
Once again I will say you will be doing a lot of level grinding in this game in other to make progress. As you level up you gain skill points which you can spend at a vendor to increase your characters stats. The only thing that automatically increases when you level up is your hit points and magic points. This way you are given the freedom to shape each character the way you would like. Want a speedy little guy that will get his turns quicker and be able to move around a lot to harass your enemies? Increase the speed stat and this is what you get. Need a guy who deals big damage? Increase the strength stat first. You get the picture. You can also unlock abilities for each character. This is not done by leveling up. Instead as you make progress through the game skill scrolls become available to purchase in shops which you can buy and use on the character you want to teach the skill to. Buying the most up to date armor and weapons will also make things easier on you in the long run.
Once you feel you are strong enough to take on a quest they usually involve finding an item at the end of a dungeon or delivering something to someone somewhere. Although quests are similar they don’t get repetitive. Each of the forty plus dungeons in Rainbow Moon are well designed and keep things interesting on your quests. Sometimes while inside a dungeon you will come across a path you can’t take because you will have to find an item to unlock the way that can only be found by completing another quest. This keeps things interesting because when you finally find that all important item there is a genuine moment of excitement to get back to that dungeon and see where the path leads and what you might find at the end. There are also side quests to keep you entertained if you feel like veering off from the main story for a while.
There are a few problems with the game. The level grinding can get tiring and unless you have a lot of time to put into this game you will not be seeing the end. The story is dull and your character doesn’t have dialogue this really annoys me in games. There is no originality to be found anywhere in the game. This is purely a game that possibly only fans of old-fashioned RPG games will find appealing. Also there is not any replay value here as you can accomplish everything on you first play through. Its $12 for a forty hour game though so there is great value here.
Rainbow Moon is a very entertaining little game available for download from the PSN Store now. If you’re a fan of strategy RPG’s you will be very pleased with what is on offer here. This game is to be avoided by anyone that hates level grinding or turn based battle.