Rainbow Moon is your traditional grid-based strategy RPG (developed by SideQuest Studios and published by EastAsiaSoft for the PS3), wherein you’ll lead a group of heroes out into the battlefield. Before you can do all that, however, you must know your place and what you’re doing there. You are Baldren, who has been cursed by an enemy. Baldren has been stranded in a foreign, unknown world – and there’s also an open dimensional gate, through which your enemies are constantly emerging. You’ll find soon find this multitude of foes and go on the attack, accumulating experience points and items to use in later battles. To return home you have to find a number of artifacts in the Rainbow Moon dungeons to create a dimensional gate staff, but only after closing the gate.
For those who are accustomed to games of this style, you’ll be able to pretty much dive right in headfirst without a second though. People who are new to the genre have tutorial screens to help them along the way, the number of which decrease as you progress further into the game to grant you more autonomy but while still showing you what you need to know. Note: the tutorials tell you what you NEED to know, and manages to do it without hand holding, or taking away the fun like many tutorials do.
Compared to most other strategy RPG games, the battles in Rainbow Moon are shorter than average – but they are also more fast-paced. Dying results in being respawned a few moments before the attack. Be aware, however, you’ll have very little health. Not to worry though! There’s healing supplies galore all around you. If you don’t want to engage in every battle you come across that option is open to you; you can simply press ‘X’ to engage, or choose to continue exploring. This plays into the strategy RPG element flawlessly. Customization is above par for character stats, weapon stats, and how your character plays overall.
The one downside of Rainbow Moon is its low replay value. After a couple hours of investing your time into the game there isn’t anything new to discover. The grinding is almost endless and loses its luster after only a few hours, and it seems as though only the most basic attention was given to the story. The gameplay isn’t bad by any standards, but the storyline could benefit from a lot of work. There’s little compelling motivation to continue on outside of wanting to just advance in level. Unfortunately, there’s also virtually zero character development.
Once you get past the first few initial levels things become more difficult, but that is to be expected with any game, and thankfully it manages to stay consistently balanced. Outside of the battles there are side quests if you’d like to get some extra experience and supplies – some of which can be traded for the upgrading of attributes.
Visually Rainbow Moon is very interesting. The cutscenes are gorgeously crafted and add body to the story, meshing perfectly with the narration to suck you right in. The entire world is vibrant and alive, drawing your eye to every amazing detail and the narration is complimentary.
In the end, Rainbow Moon is worth the money that you spend if you are someone who enjoys the task of grinding and dedicating hours to a fairly repetitive game. To those who need more body and robustness to their games, however, you may want to look elsewhere.
Audio/Visual – 5/5: A wonderfully crafted and realised world, the narration also helps to immerse you in the action appearing onscreen. Fantastic.
Gameplay – 4/5: The repetitive grind will please some and turn-off others, however it’s well executed and is fun to play, even if it can tire.
Innovation – 3/5: The change of battles in an RPG into a smoother and fast-paced style benefits Rainbow Moon and you never have to jump into a battle if you don’t want to.
Value – 3/5: It’s long, 40 hours kind-of long, so you’re getting your moneys worth already, but other than that, the lack of a decent story means only gameplay alone will see you venturing back for more.
Final Score: 4/5