(This review is a guest submission by Albert Calderon @gloriousbagel. He is an affiliate of our group and we all thank him for the time and effort he put into this submission)
The PS Vita the nifty handheld that has had a very strong niche following in the Western markets is no stranger to ports and SideQuest studios decided to port Rainbow Moon to our beloved handheld. Rainbow Moon originally released by SideQuest Studios in 2012, it became a cult hit on PSN. Rainbow Moon's major selling points are its hardcore SRPG mechanics and its colorful artwork.
Rainbow Moon places the player in the shoes of a warrior named Baldren who is warped into an unknown world by his rival. In the events that shortly occur after Baldren being warped to realm known as Rainbow Moon, dimensional gates open up that cause chaos upon the land. Monsters of all kinds begin to wreck havoc upon the land and with this unknown warrior being teleported along with them, the inhabitants of Rainbow Moon can't help but to believe that Baldren is behind the sudden increase of monsters.
Despite having an interesting plot, the game lacks narrative which hurts the overall experience of the game if the player is expecting a good story with a top notch narrative. Rainbow Moon makes up the lack of narrative with the amazing gameplay it has to offer. The Moon offers many places to explore; dungeons, water wells, mountains and caves
with secret loot to be found in every corner.
Rainbow Moon easily requires 50+ to complete the main story line and 100+ hours to 100% the game. Being a Strategy RPG, Rainbow Moon is a grind fest so if you like grind heavy games like Disgaea you will right at home. Leveling up is also standard, in which you have to level up to raise your statistics, learn new skills and to level up your equipped skills. The leveling system does prove to be quite deep with many possibilities to create the most over powered team you can. Rainbow Moon also boasts a diverse crafting system but it isn't something that hasn’t been done before.
Being a Strategy RPG, the combat takes place on a turned based grid system., with your characters having a certain amount of moves per turn depending on your level. You have to plan out your attacks carefully because the AI in the game is anything but stupid. Rainbow Moon is a difficult game and you have to plan ahead during your battles or you will inevitably have the game over screen greet you after your enemies defeat you. Despite being a difficult game the mechanics are easy to grasp and the tutorials that are offered in game give the player a good insight on every gameplay mechanic in the game. You will be forced to grind so keep that in mind when believing that you can breeze through dungeons.
The grinding is a given in every typical SRPG but in Rainbow Moon Side Quest nailed it. It proves to be very addictive, in fact it's so addictive I find myself waiting for the next encounter. Each of the playable characters also have their levels capped at 500, so grinding fans will have a blast.
The graphics are colorful and soothing to the eye and on the Vita's OLED screen the visual really shine. There are many types of monsters in the game and their sprites are beautifully animated. Rainbow Moon doesn't have any graphical glitches or frame dips, which is a quite a relief as ports tend to be plagued by those type of graphical issues.
Rainbow Moon is a huge game and I could talk touch upon way more things about the game, but I would be spoiling it. Rainbow Moon is out on the PSN store, available for $15.99 in the North American region and available for €12.99/£9.99 in the European regions.
Rainbow Moon receives a 8/10 from me.
• Addictive gameplay
• Great port with a locked framrate
• Pretty visuals and character designs
• Offers up to 100+ hours of gameplay
• Lacks a decent narrative
- Albert Calderon