Rainbow Moon, the highly addictive RPG from SideQuest Studios and eastasiasoft, is now available for the PSVita. If you have a PSVita and don’t have Rainbow Moon, stop reading this review, and go queue it up for download. Done? Good. Now good luck putting it down once the download is done.
As you might remember, I’ve reviewed Rainbow Moon before, as the version for PSVita is an identical port from the original PS3 version. As such, the PS3 version recently received an update to allow Cross-Save functionality with the PSVita. However, I decided to start a fresh game, in part because eastasiasoft was generous and provided a pre-release copy of Rainbow Moon for review, prior to the PS3 version receiving an update, but mainly because Rainbow Moon is so good, I wanted to start from the beginning again.
Now, perhaps this because I knew what to expect this time around, but it felt as if the PSVita version of Rainbow Moon has been retooled to be more balanced and easier to get going with than its PS3 counterpart. However, Rainbow Moon is still very much a game where you will need to do plenty of grinding in parts in order to progress. One issue that does still remain in Rainbow Moon on the PSVita is that bosses tend to be a good level or two higher than the rest of the enemies in the dungeon or other area. This isn’t true for all boss fights, but there are plenty where you’ll want to spend an hour or two grinding away with encounter battles (battles you can choose to enter or not). Also, even though collecting a massive amount of Rainbow Coins will get you a trophy, you’re better off spending them to the max before facing a boss. Load up on potions, because you won’t be able to revive fallen counterparts until a good hour or three(ish) later in the game.
Now, since I have previously reviewed Rainbow Moon, and there isn’t much of a difference between the PSVita version and the PS3 version, this time around I’ll be writing more of my thoughts on the game and some tips rather than a typical review. First off, Rainbow Moon on the PSVita is gorgeous. It looks exactly like the PS3 version, just portable. You will run into Loading… screens on the PSVita version, but they’re very short. The soundtrack is the same, which previously I said I wasn’t a fan of, but I’ve changed my mind on that. It’s grown on me, and some of the later tracks are great. Maybe not mind-blowing, but Rainbow Moon‘s soundtrack suits it well, even if a lot of tracks do get reused.
If you did previously take Rainbow Moon for a spin and weren’t a fan of it, I do suggest taking it for a spin again.While the beginning area is tiny and requires much more grinding than exploring, once you get off the starting island, the world of Rainbow Moon is huge. For the most part, you do have to progress through areas in order, but after you complete the first bit of the game, not one, but two areas actually become available to you for exploring. One of those areas is Stormlord’s Den.
Stormlord’s Den is kind of like the Pit of 100 Trials from Paper Mario and is a really good area grind in. In fact, I strongly recommend trying to get through part of it before continuing with the main quest. It will significantly level the playing field later on. It’s also a very good place to make money, which I again strongly suggest spending on new skills, armor, and weapons. There are a couple skills you will likely want to get and level up as soon as possible.
The first of those skills is X-Ray Review. It only costs 1MP, is stupidly easy to level up, and doesn’t cost a turn. Teach it to all of your party members. As you level it up, it reveals increasingly more useful information about the enemies you’re facing. The second is Earth Crusher, which has the power to deal damage to two enemies at a time and Bind them, a feature that will become extremely useful later on when battles get larger and require much more strategic planning. That said, later on, you will be grossly outnumbered in battles and planning does become key. Characters share experience points, but not Rainbow Pearls, which are required to level up skills. Plan battles carefully, and try to use both characters equally. The second character you acquire, Trisha (by default), is good at ranged attacks, which is very helpful in later battles, but that does mean that it becomes easy to use one character more than another. Trust me, bad idea.
So, yes, Rainbow Moon on PSVita is identical to Rainbow Moon on the PS3. But, you should still pick it up. It’s priced quite generously right now, which includes sale prices for PSPlus members and owners of Rainbow Moon on PS3. Even though it does now support Cross-Save, I would still recommend starting a fresh game as it’s much more fun that way (unless of course you’re new to the game, then by all means, Cross-Save away!) Rainbow Moon on the PSVita will keep you busy for hours, or at least until you run of out battery anyway. I was surprised to find the Vita’s touchscreens completely unused, but the button controls work well. Rainbow Moon on the Vita looks just like the PS3 version and runs just as smoothly. It’s an excellent game that requires plenty of strategy, has tons of side quests to explore, and trophies galore. It’s nearly the perfect game for the Vita, and easily one of the better downloadable ones.
Bottom line: Buy it. Even again. Rainbow Moon gets a 9/10 for its beautiful graphics, massive world, being a trophy hoarder’s paradise, and sheer hours of gameplay. After all, there are enemies that are level 150. Leveling up that high will take you hours, but the game generously rewards those who stick around.
Looks absolutely beautiful.
Huge replay value.
It’ll keep you busy for hours.
Would’ve liked to see the PSVita version take advantage of some of the features unique to the Vita, like the touchscreens and Near.