Japanese RPG-style games are something that certain people look at and turn their heads in disgust these days for any number of reasons. Rainbow Moon is a small, single-player indie game that is done in this style and surprisingly gets a lot of things right, but that doesn't make up for the larger problems it generated for itself.
First of all, unlike a lot of JRPGs, Rainbow Moon actually has a very short prologue, which does a great job of establishing what is going on. After that, you're quickly thrown into the world, and tutorial-style hints appear as you investigate the beginning parts of the world.
Combat is relatively straightforward. You have actions you can do standard for everyone, get skills for certain characters, and so forth. As you level up, characters can take more actions in a turn, which was interesting at first, but as I got more characters, it actually became a massive hassle. The reason for this was that the combat interface is a top-down view where you use the D-pad to indicate direction of orders. However, when it comes to movement, if you accidentally tap the wrong direction, then your character is going to walk over there and be useless. Upon unlocking the second character, who was ranged and could only attack at a certain distance and specific point at that distance, these mechanics became absolutely infuriating. Compounding on that, fighting countless imps at level one feels the exact same as fighting golems and thieves at higher levels. Combat simply never gets more exciting, and "boss" fights aren't really engaging either.
The things Rainbow Moon does well are the stat leveling system where you gain currency by defeating enemies, which you then in turn use to raise your statistics to a certain cap based on what your character's levels are and the fact that you can upload your game information online to compare against other players. However, I'm unsure what that second thing does for you, if anything, and I never opted into doing such a thing.
Rainbow Moon is a game that could be a lot of fun if the combat system wasn't as frustrating as mentioned above. It also doesn't help that a majority of this game, like most JRPGs, is running around and getting into battles all the time. It's just combat, combat, combat, silly story (which isn't anything new as far as I saw), and then more combat. I'd had large hopes that an indie company was going to do something different, but it just ended up doing the same thing every other company has been doing with a different skin that's not even very good looking. The company has also set up micro-transactions for additional content, plus in-game currencies like many free-to-play MMOs have done.
Overall, Rainbow Moon is not a great game. As mentioned, the major part of the game is combat, and that's just not very well done as a whole. The interfaces, overall, seem put together in an intelligent fashion, but the methods of their use are clumsily put together. It might have been worth it as a simple downloadable game from the store, but even that is thrown into your face with ridiculous amounts of DLC and in-game currency available for purchase. I hope these micro-transactions for single player games does not become a trend, or I fear that all single-players in the future will require you to be online among other unrequired, silly features. Honestly, there is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, so keep dreaming for something better than this... or give it a try, I guess, if you're still curious.
GameDynamo's Score for Rainbow Moon (PS3)
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