When Rainbow Moon first came out for PSN last year, I was thrilled to play a good SRPG in the classic vein of FF Tactics once again. The game wasn’t perfect by any means, but it more than satisfied my yearning for a modern, classic SRPG experience.
I had just gotten a PS Vita when Rainbow Moon launched on PSN and thought that it would make a perfect RPG for the then-young Vita system. Finally, after all that time, we are getting Rainbow Moon for the Vita. Better late than never, I say.
Since the game remains unchanged from the PSN version, I will not delve into the specifics in this review. This is meant to simply show the excellent value in getting Rainbow Moon for the Vita, whether or not you already own the game on PS3.
Rainbow Moon for Vita retains all of the gameplay elements and visuals from the PSN version, which makes it instantly one of the meatiest original RPGs you can get your hands on for the Vita (if you don’t take into account all the PS1 games you can play on it). The beautiful visuals translate wonderfully onto the Vita’s OLED screen, possibly even looking better than what you might find on your TV screen with the PS3 version. Colors are bright and vibrant and they pop of the screen. In fact, for lack of a better way to describe it, the visuals of RM for Vita look almost “wet,” like a watercolor painting that has yet to dry.
As far as gameplay goes, things translate over to the Vita’s controls quite nicely. Not being a game where excessive dexterity is needed, the Vita works out just fine where movement and battles are but a simple directional click away. In fact, a recent patch (Dec. 3rd) has also fixed some of the movement issues where analog stick movement sometimes resulted in facing the wrong direction.
Those who grew up on classic SRPGs like FF Tactics should feel right at home here, as RM does not hold your hand. You will face some pretty tough enemies pretty early on, and it’s clear that in order to progress through the game, you will need to grind. A lot. Pretty much the whole game. And you’ll have to listen to “HYAH!” pretty much the whole time.
Those that grew up with the golden age of JRPGs won’t bat an eye, but for those who aren’t that familiar with the formula, or perhaps grew up in the multiplayer lobbies of CoD, might find the game to be a tad too repetitive and overwhelming. Rainbow Moon is a classic SRPG in every sense of the genre, and SideQuest Studios is not interested in catering to the impatient. You’ll get the most out of RM if you stick with it; but with that being said, the game isn’t for everyone. With JRPGs being such a niche genre these days, that’s exactly what RM is; a game for a niche audience.
Rainbow Moon was one of the stronger indie offerings to come to PSN last year, and now Vita owners can join in on the fun. With Cross-Save enabled, you can now port your progress over to the handheld and continue your adventure on the go (though Cross Buy would have been nice, you DO get a 50% discount on the Vita version if you’re a PS3 version owner). You get an epic SRPG quest, a ton of customization options (via the in-game currency of Rainbow Coins and Rainbow Pearls), and of course, the gorgeous visuals bleeding off your Vita’s OLED screen (or LCD if you happen to get one of the new Vitas). For $15 (or $7.50 with the discount), the game is damn near highway robbery. 40+ hours of gameplay for less than a meal at a restaurant? Sounds good to me.
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