On February 17th 2016 Rainbow Moon was released to the PS4, a port from the PS3 and Vita title which I personally had not heard of but I am happy to see brought forward as big fan of RPG’s. Rainbow Moon is available as a download only title and has been developed by SideQuest Studios, and published by eastasiasoft. Not far behind this release we will also be seeing Rainbow Skies coming to PS4 later on in the year which we also be covering so get ready for that, but for now let’s talk about Rainbow Moon.
At the start of the game you are given the choice of difficulty to play between normal and hard. Now this is where I made my first mistake and got cocky thinking I would be a better player than I was and jumped straight into hard mode (bad mistake!) There is a significant difference here so watch out. Once you have selected your difficulty you will then be given another choice of four options. The options give you a choice of starting with no equipment, except for a rather dodgy sword, to a full set of armour and equipment. As I said I first went for hard mode with the adventuresome starter package which is said to have a hidden benefit (I really wanted to find out what this was). I quickly found out that this was a bad choice and after dying a lot, not earning much money and running out of food decided to restart on normal mode but I have kept the hard save so I can go back to it one day. I was surprised at just how hard that mode was and how little you got for killing enemies in the way of experience but would be a great challenge for the hard grinders out there.
The world you enter gives you room to explore but is quite rail based so don’t expect to go wandering too far. This is something you will find in a lot of the old RPG style games but still works well. The game places you above the world from an angled overhead view both in the main world and battle scenes that you would have seen in games like Vandal Hearts and Final Fantasy Tactics. Graphically Rainbow Moon keeps up with the old school RPG style and is very beautiful to look at with a well mixed soundtrack that, even though repetitive, doesn’t seem to get boring at all (I still love the music from Final Fantasy VII, no matter how many times I hear it). The only thing I did struggle with is the way you view the movement on the battlefield, I would select one direction only to move the wrong way but you soon get used to this but cost me a few bad moves early on. SideQuest Studios look to have kept the game true to the original through the port with no real changes being made to the graphics.
Your battleground will consist of two types of encounters; either random or specific such as enemies that are loitering in trees or paths that need to be crossed to move forward. You can choose to ignore the random encounters but it is worth fighting when you can to build up your characters for the bigger enemies and bosses (in other words get grinding!). Entering a battle puts you into the turn based field where characters and enemies turns are decided by their level of speed. Until you reach a certain level your character will only have one turn available, this will progress over time and open your strategy more allowing for more actions to be taken such as specials, magic and healing. Battles are pretty faced paced and fluid and after you progress in the game you will need to utilise strategy more and more to come out on top.
Your characters will also be able to acquire and buy skills to improve their use on the field of battle and aid your other characters. Skills are bought at stores along with other items such as healing items, equipment and food (Yes, your characters need to sustain food and water, don’t let that bar drop or you will lose hit points!). Through the game you will earn and collect Rainbow coins which are the main currency in-game, these can also be bought through the PS Store if you get bored with all the grinding. Another type of currency that you will acquire through battles is the Rainbow Pearls, these can be used to upgrade your skills such as HP, MP, Speed, Defence and Luck. Characters will also each have their own class type and can purchase extra skills through the stores to build their class.
When it comes to the story of the game I feel personally this is the only place it gets a bit let down and that is only due to simplistic NPC characters. I feel there could have been more life put into them but this might be only due to what we now get from the big RPG games out there. This is not to put the game down as with all games like this you will spend a lot of time doing quests that involve retrieving items or saving people for other lazy villagers who just don’t seem to be up for the task. This does look to have been a common complaint and the studio has taken this on board for Rainbow Skies so it will be great to see how they have progressed. The characters that join you are of great design and offer a lot to your team with their own unique skills and personalities. I am really enjoying this game and have found it very addictive and am yet to find myself getting bored or fed up of the grind, can be nice to just turn on after a long day and grind a few levels before tackling your next big quest. If you are a big fan of the old school RPG games then this has to be one that you add to the list and at the price of £11.99 you have no reason not to give it a try.