This past week East Asia Soft an Indie developer for PS3, iPhone, and iPad games released Rainbow Moon it’s a Strategy RPG in the vein of FF tactics and Vanguard Bandits( the first RPG I ever beat several times through ). I have to admit when I heard East Asia soft was developing an SRPG I couldn’t help but think “the soldner X guys”. Soldner X is a sidescrolling space shooter similar to Gradius, it’s very fun a trip down memory lane for any old school rail shooter fans So maybe having East Asia Soft develop a nostalgic SRPG would pay off. Well it did handsomely at that!
The story in Rainbow Moon is your basic hero vs evil it begins with the main character Baldren( whose name you can change if you’d like )being transported to one of the Moons of his world along with his nemesis and a horde of monsters. You as Baldren are trying to stop your foe and get home to your world. Along the way you pick up the usual RPG suspects the “ranger” the “tank” the “healer” and so forth. The story isn’t the strongest aspect of the game and as hopeful I am for a sequel or East Asia Soft doing a similar game the story is the one area I’d like to see improvement in.
These are two of Rainbow Moons strong points graphically there are better games but for being a game that is capturing the nostalgia of yesterday without going with sprites it shines. The superdefomed anime style of the characters works very well here and the detail with armor and weapons is great also the worlds pop with color even the battle maps for dungeons have cool little features( like a pile of skulls on the ground in the dungeon ). It’s those things that make me appreciate the game and the work that went on behind it and the music is great it has an old Final Fantasy feel to it. I haven’t heard one melody in the game that I dislike yet or that doesn’t fit the mood. To go along with that the sound is done well to shop owner give you some type of greeting when you visit them similar to The Legend of Zelda games there’s no spoken dialogue but a sort of odd sounding welcome. Though all the craft owners say the same greeting, the healers say the same greeting and so on it’s nice to have the time taken out to add some type of NPC voice interaction. This is a smaller developer they really seemed to dig into all their resources which is highly commendable.
The gameplay is where Rainbow Moon dominates the main quest is around 40 hours you add all the sidequest in and it’s 100 hours of gameplay, gameplay that is not dull in the least it. When you start the game you’re given several different options to start off with supplies and currency, to start off with currency, or to start with nothing I took the last option but I cheated anyway because I bought some in game currency DLC sue me I know how expensive RPG’s get haha. The currency is in two forms rainbow coins which will buy you armor, healing goods, weapons etc and there are Rainbow Pearls which are used to increase strength, HP, MP, luck, etc. The pearls are very valuable for keeping your character on par with enemies or above them so use them wisely. Battles take place on an open board in the basic turn based fashion but in any SRPG you have to think ahead of your enemy and the AI in this can be tough but that adds to the fun. It is of note that weapons and armor can be crafted and strengthened with adding items to different armor and weapon slots which can add to success on the battlefield. Basically placing your characters in the right place and using your turns wisely will yield good results the opposite well you’ll be looking at the game over screen, which isn’t that bad since rainbow moon has a save anywhere feature( except for in battle )so if you save before a big fight you’re golden.
As for how battles are handled enemies are seen on the map and you approach them and enter the fight but random occurrences do happen the only difference between this and the old school games is you can reject them if you want. The only bad part is this is an old school grinder so snatching up every fight you can will play to your advantage the stronger yo are the better because the further you progress the tougher things get. It’s hard to express how great the gameplay is it’s one of those games where you start playing and you notice you’ve lost hours and you still don’t want to put the controller down, it will have you thinking on how to improve strategy, and wondering what over the top special you’ll receive next.
In short Rainbow Moon is a great game and for $14.99 it’s well worth your money but be prepared to spend a lot of time on this game if you want to get the benefit out of it, i give it a very solid 8.5 out of 10.- Branden
Rainbow Moon TGA recommendation: HIGH