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[PSN Review] Rainbow Moon

Cursed by his arch-rival, Baldren finds himself warped to Rainbow Moon.
And to make things worse, Baldren isn’t only stranded in an unknown place; he has also opened a dimensional gate out of which troops of monsters are crawling, turning this once peaceful planet into a real hell. There’s only one thing for our brave hero to do: He has to seal the gate and warp himself back to his home planet.

Embark on an epic adventure that leads you through a beautiful, isometric, open world with detailed high-definition visuals. Rainbow Moon is a strategy RPG with a strong emphasis on exploration, character development and turn-based battles. Six playable main characters with upgradeable weapons, armor and accessories; about 100 special skills and more than 20 challenging dungeons are awaiting you in a fascinating story that lasts over 40 hours.

Rainbow Moon is a game by gamers, dedicated to gamers.

Rainbow Moon is a game that many will find to be slow during the first hour or so, since it is designed to introduce everyone into how a Strategy RPG works, down to the very basics. Once you level up a bit, find the first extra skills you can teach your main character, and eventually run into a second character, things pick up, and you’re sent into quest after quest after side-quest (if you’re into that). You first start out by battling against 1-3 enemies but, before you even realize it, things escalate and you’re up against 8+ enemies per fight, with a nice mix of high level/low level enemies as to not completely overwhelm you.

Speaking of battles, Rainbow Moon does things differently. In order to initiate combat, you have to run into an enemy in the overworld map, and you are then taken into a separate arena-like area where you battle until the end. This is great because you can actually tell what type of enemy you’ll be facing, as well as the number of total members in the opposite monster party, and plan accordingly. You can also run from all fights. Yes, you read that right. You can run from all fights, and your only loss will be the Experience points and pearls you could have earned from the fight itself. Another novel idea is including random encounters in the game, but you actually have to hit X to enter combat, thus eliminating the problem with random encounters in the 21st century (that is, walking 5 steps and entering one).

All the coins, experience and pearls you earn after each battle will allow you to improve your characters, especially once you make some progress and unlock merchants that specialize in weapons and armors since, for example, you can go from a weapon that has 4 Strength to one that has 20 Strength, if you have enough money for it. In case you’re in a hurry, and you want to speed up the process, there are several boosting DLC packs available on the PSN store. Rainbow Moon has been the first game were I’ve bought DLC at launch, and the Rainbow Coins pack, and the Pearls Packs I’ve bought have helped me cut roughly 10 hours of grinding. You don’t HAVE to buy the DLC, as the game can be completed without spending any extra money, but I decided to do so in order to make the most of my time.

Now, lets talk about how you can improve your character’s stats. Basically, when you level up, your stats go up, but you’re also rewarded with “Extra Stat Increase” opportunities, which can be used to improve your character. Each point (or points) you improve costs a certain amount of pearls, and you can’t just create a death machine after one level (even with the DLC), since the increases ARE level capped. Still means I could have the 1st character go from dealing 5 in damage, to dealing 25 just from using the pearls to boost his Strength stat as much as possible, and I liked it. Pearls are awarded to each character after every battle, depending on how many enemies they defeated, and thus they do not share said pearls as a party.

Your skills increase after several uses since every time you use one of your skills you can gain experience points which are separate from the ones that count to level up your character. After leveling up a skill, you’ll notice they do more damage or provide more effective buffs, thus rewarding you for always using skills instead of just choosing to attack, which is a great reason to spend your Rainbow Coins at healers, as well as to buy recovery items when possible. Your inventory is caped and you must buy or find scrolls that provide you with extra slots, so you must always plan accordingly.

Some of the extra content you can purchase in the PSN store are amulets, each separately or in a bundle (which makes more sense since save you some money), and each amulet comes with a license you need to activate in order to allow your character to them (same deal goes for rings). Buying licenses in game is expensive and time consuming as you must grind for gold or sell materials you don’t need, and buying the amulet bundle at the PSN store gives you 3 amulets and 3 licenses, thus speeding things up. But what is really special about these DLC amulets is that they each have 99 slots for crafting. What is crafting you said? Glad you asked!

By finding a crafter you can improve the stats off your weapons, armor or other equipment, thus allowing you to use them to their full potential when you apply one of the materials you can find either in bags or chests in the overworld, or from the treasure bags that some enemies leave in the battlefield after being defeated. By crafting these materials into your equipment, you increase their stats which in turns increases yours when equipped. A weapon with 2 slots and 10 strength might be nice, but a weapon with 4 slots and 5 strength can be even better, if you have strength boosting materials to apply. Now, can you picture what you can do with an amulet with 99 slots for crafting? Yeah, I thought you’d like that.

The world in Rainbow Moon is filled with color and energy on the outside, and with dark hues and shadows in the dungeons you find deep down, and the art style helps make everything come to life. The enemy variety is great as well, even if you do run into palette swaps of some of the enemies, but that is a given in any RPG. The music from composer Rafael Dyll complements the action and the exploration, and is one of the best game soundtracks I have listened to in a while.

The game can take well over 80+ hours to complete if you do every side quest, and there is also extra things to do after the “end-game” has been reached and the world has been saved (or has it?). There are several trophies to help you keep coming back for more (full set, including a platinum!), and you will definitely get a lot out of this $14.99 purchase.

Rainbow Moon is an excellent game from East Asia Soft that really shines on PSN. The vibrant colors, the deep fighting system, the crafting and all the quests you’ll run into make this a very fun release. The music by Rafael Dyll elevates the game to a whole new level, and you can actually buy a copy of the soundtrack if you go here (which I already did!).

[review pros=”Colorful art style.
Deep combat system.
Full trophy list
Low price” cons=”Slow start” score=94]

This review is based on a PS3 copy of Rainbow Moon provided by eastasiasoft.