Rainbow Moon review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS3
Publisher: Eastasiasoft
Developer: SideQuest Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Cross Save

That’s it. I give up. Rainbow Moon, you have defeated me. You have ground me down into the dust, and I officially am declaring you the winner in the contest to break my spirit. I didn’t think such a thing was possible, but after playing you for several hours, I’m there, and I’m done, and I can take no more of you.

On the plus side: I now totally see where the term “grinding” comes from, and I have a new appreciation for how literally it can be taken.

rainbow moon vita 2

Seriously, I thought I knew what grinding was after playing the Atelier games, or playing Disgaea, or after any other number of games where you’re expected to do the same thing over and over and over again. None of those games, however, have anything on Rainbow Moon. This is the be-all and end-all of grinding. You get a snazzy intro, then next thing you know you’re on an island, and you can’t take more than a few steps without being challenged by one monster or another. Though, on reflection, the better way of putting it may be “one monster and another”, because you’ll most likely step into a new fight just seconds after the last one ends.

And once you’re in those fights, it’s another layer of grinding on top of the grinding. You can have up to three people in your party, and you can be fighting up to twenty enemies in a battle, and since it’s turn-based combat, you get to watch every single turn and subturn. Oh, and there’s no way of speeding things up either, so when I saw you watch every single turn and subturn, I really mean it. As you can imagine, things can take awhile, and the actions (your standard move/attack/defend/item/skill/etc.) aren’t particularly riveting, so unless you have an affinity for that sort of thing, it’ll start wearing you down awfully quickly. I mean, if you do have an affinity for it, good on you, because you’re clearly a better man than I, but, as I said, it wore me down.

rainbow moon vita

The fact I was able to suffer through Rainbow Moon for as long as I did can be attributed entirely to the fact that it looks so darn nice. The opening cutscene is on par with some TV cartoons in terms of production quality, and it was lovely enough that it actually got me excited to play the game…and then the grinding started, and that excitement got worn away. That said, even as I was feeling my will to live slowly drain away, I never failed to be impressed at how gorgeous the characters and the landscape looked. The game may adhere to the usual isometric look, but the developers never used that as an excuse to be lazy in the game’s look.

No matter how pretty it may look, however, I can’t imagine spending 100 hours with it — which is precisely the amount of time you have to spend with Rainbow Moon if you want to find everything/obtain all the trophies. It can be a slog, but in the game’s defense, I guess, it makes no effort to hide that fact. So, if you like games that make you grind endlessly, and you want something that could literally occupy your every waking hour for a week…here you go.

Grade: C-