When I initially began to play Rainbow Moon, I had the feeling that I was going to be experiencing a game that was geared towards a younger audience based off of the bright, cartoony art design and simplistic menu system. Instead, I was presented with a game that makes combat the central focus of the entire experience, while creating a world filled with beauty and danger.
Combat: You against the world
Rainbow Moon’s combat system can be described as simply amazing. This system is set up in way that anyone from beginner to hardened veteran of the genre will still get enjoyment from the gameplay. What made this system amazing consisted of a combination of the field layout and AI working together to lure the player into a trap. This game forces the player to create a strategy that deviates from finding a weakness and exploiting it repeatedly. At one point in the game I was forced to fight 28 enemies at the same time and died on multiple occasions, but these deaths were caused due to my own mistakes.
A beautiful world
When my experience initially took off, I thought that I was entering a childish adventure with brightly colored worlds and silly looking enemies, but that all changed when I saw the dark and grisly enemies that hid in the dungeons. These areas in particular give off an eerie vibe and created an unsettling atmosphere when a torch is absent. A bright and vibrant over world also existed as villages were colorful and detailed, full of peddlers, buildings, and travelers. I felt driven to continue playing the video game simply because I looked forward to seeing more of the world’s amazing landscapes, buildings, and potential characters.
An overly padded story
My major issue with Rainbow Moon is the title’s stretched out storyline. The premise includes the main hero, Baldren, as he ventures towards the arena for his annual bout against his Nemesis, Namoris, however, the protagonist is tricked by his rival and is transported to Rainbow Moon, a moon orbiting around Baldren’s home. From this point the main objective is to get off Rainbow Moon, and while this seems like the concept for a grand adventure, it all boils down to a series of fetch quests that pad out the story until the next major plot point is revealed. I found my time was better spent doing side quests, which include, clearing out hordes of enemies and protecting one of your party member’s comic book collection. These instances highlight smaller stories within the world, and the characters involved in these quests felt relatable.
A dull rainbow of characters
Rainbow Moon introduces party characters in the weakest way. When you come across a character that will become a member of your party, they will usually invite themselves on board as if they like to fight or they have nothing better to do. The lack of storytelling and background for each individual creates weak character development. For instance, one character who adds to this problem is Trisha as her only motive is to go to the same place as Baldren.
The Final Say So
Rainbow Moon, by all means, is not a perfect game in the slightest. With its weak protagonist characters and stretched out story, I simply liked it for the combat and the gorgeous art that is a reminder of a more innocent time that creates a warm and fuzzy feeling for JRPG’s of the past. There truly is a sense of nostalgia that makes the experience quite enjoyable. I highly recommend this game if you love the JRPG genre with a tactics based approach. The flat and dismal characters and slightly boorish narrative are a stain on this experience which has tons of potential within a rich world that possesses an amazing combat system. While this is a fun game, it falls short of becoming a masterpiece.
Score: 7/10 – Good!
Rainbow Moon was reviewed on PlayStation 4 with review code from Eastasiasoft.