When Rainbow Moon appeared on the PS3 last year, we had a chance to review this tactical RPG. The game has made the jump to the PS Vita, so it’s time to see what changed between this version of the game, and its larger-screened twin.
If you’re too lazy to read my older reviews, then you’re also probably the same type of person who believes that history has no important role in our lives. If so, let me give a quick reminder of what Rainbow Moon is all about. Rainbow Moon is a tactical RPG that follows the adventures of Baldren through the world of Rainbow Moon as he tries to get back home. It’s a beautiful, bright game with an insane amount of playtime and just about as much annoying level grinding. You can ease the load of the grinding by buying upgrades for your characters, but that’s entirely optional. There…that’s the last review in a proverbial nutshell.
Between last year and now, Sidequest Studios has had time to not only push out the PS Vita version of Rainbow Moon, but also make a decent number of improvements to the game. Obviously, the biggest problems with the game, such as story, grinding, character depth, and pacing can’t be fixed, but other far subtler things have been added to both the PS3 and Vita versions. The biggest change you’ll notice is that the games are cross-save compatible, although you’ll need to grab a 7MB update for the PS3 version of the game. Furthermore, cloud saves are built into the core of the game now, allowing you to select the cloud or local device when saving, instead of having the wait for the game to sync. If you already own Rainbow Moon on PS3, you’ll be moderately happy to know that the Vita version, while not cross-purchase, is at a lower price for prior owners.
Other changes, while minor, are a drastic improvement nonetheless. For example, you’re now able to use stuff straight from treasure chests without having to move them to your inventory first; a brilliant change because your inventory is severely limited. Or that savants now allow you to upgrade your characters in batches. Or that, one of my biggest gripes with the game—the control system—has been improved immensely.
While a perfectly decent port, Rainbow Moon doesn’t make full use of the Vita’s abilities such as the front and reach touch. It would be nice to be able to point to a square on the battlefield, for example, and have the character move there without first selecting “Move”. But I hope this sort of thing is fully implemented into the Vita version of Rainbow Skies, Rainbow Moon‘s spiritual successor.
The nice thing about Rainbow Moon on the Vita is that the screen makes an already gorgeous game look a lot better, and that’s actually saying something. The Vita’s OLED screen is just so perfectly suited for graphics like Rainbow Moon’s. The game seems more perfectly at home on the Vita than it ever was on the PS3. It’s ideally the kind of thing that needs to be played in short bouts, especially given the grindy nature of the game; take it to the mall, have a quick battle while the significant other goes Christmas shopping, or run around the map a few times while waiting for your food to arrive from Nando’s. Or play a quick battle while waiting for a YouTube video to buffer. That sort of thing.
So, verdict. The game’s going to get an extra half-point above what I originally gave it, because of the cross-save and the portability of it. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s still a lot of fun, and even better in smaller doses. The changes and bug fixes have made the game a lot more manageable, and honestly, if you’re a fan of Tactical RPGs (as I obviously am!), you’ll probably already be picking this game up. If you’re not sure, you can do worse than at least trying the 90 minute free demo and seeing if it’s your kind of thing.
Final Score: 8.5 more rainbow prawns out of 10
Developer: Sidequest Studios
Platform: PS Vita (Reviewed), PS3 (cross-save compatible)