Wed. May 29th, 2024

[Review] Rainbow Moon – Nintendo Switch

By Richard Heaton Mar15,2024
Developed By: SideQuest Studios
Published By: eastasiasoft
Categories: RPG
Release Date: 03.15.24
Price: $14.99
*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review.

When the Switch version of Rainbow Moon was announced, I wasn’t too excited about it because of its status as a grid based strategy RPG. Two of my most favorite games of all time are SRPG’s but I’m still not a huge fan of the genre because battles tend to be pretty long. But when I found out that Rainbow Moon features very frequent battles, I became curious about how long battles would be. I figured that battles wouldn’t be too long and convoluted if they were super frequent, so I gave the game a chance.

Before I even began the game, the first aspect that really stood out to me was the sound design. The game as a whole sounded like it was straight out of the 90’s, it just screams retro RPG and I love that. The music was great too as the complete soundtrack featured more than 30 songs and many of them were fantastic.

The next two aspects to jump out at me were the visuals and the world. When you first exit from the portal, you’re immediately placed in a little tutorial area but it’s part of a large world that’s very open. It’s pretty linear in the sense that trees, water, and other structures will stop you from going where you shouldn’t, but the world is big and there’s a lot of area to explore. I really liked this aspect because a cheap game having this big of an area to explore with full textures and models is always going to be impressive to me. 

I also liked how the environments looked for the most part, there’s a lot of detail and color and each area seems to be brought to life. I do think that many of the textures are outdated but the game looks really good for what it is. For me the visuals were the weakest point of the game while still looking really good.

The strongest point of Rainbow Moon is definitely the combat. There are two ways for you to fight enemies, the first of which is to run into an enemy that you see on the overworld which immediately triggers a battle. This is your standard RPG mechanic, but there are also random battles that you can choose to enter or avoid. As you run around the map, you’ll see a notification showing you what type of enemy is near you and how many of them there are. You can choose to battle them but if you just keep running, the encounter ends and they disappear.

I really liked this aspect because it let you balance efficiency and grinding as much as you liked. You can do as many battles as you want to gain EXP, pearls, and items, or you could try to avoid all of them to do a quick playthrough. As for the actual combat, it’s straightforward, quick, and pretty addicting. It’s nothing like Fire Emblem or Disgaea with its complicated movement or skill systems. You’re placed on a grid that resembles the area you’re in and all the enemies you’re fighting will be placed randomly. 

There are a bunch of different options you can choose from to create the perfect strategy but the only ones you really need to know are move and attack. You move one space at a time and you can attack when in range. Later on you’ll unlock the ability to do sub moves which allows extra actions. As you advance further into the game, you unlock more abilities, characters, and features but the combat loop stays relatively simple and quick. After playing for a few hours, I reached the point where some battles would take only 30 seconds or so.

Some people might say this is too easy but I felt it was fine considering how frequent encounters were. If the battles were simple but longer, I think I would have lost interest pretty quickly. Combat might also start feeling a bit redundant after a while but the stats cap helps with this, and allows for the battles to feel more necessary the more you play. Your stats don’t go up the same way that they do in traditional RPG’s. There are items called pearls that drop whenever you defeat an enemy, and these are like a currency for stats. You use a set amount to increase things like HP and strength.

But for each stat, you’re only able to increase to a certain point and then your character will have to level up in order to increase the cap for that stat. So if you put all your pearls into strength and max it out right away, you won’t be able to boost strength again until your character level goes up. I think this was a good mechanic that kept grinding relevant throughout the game. Boosting stats aren’t the only thing you’ll be able to do as the game will supply you with an impressive arsenal of items, weapons, armor, and skills. 

When it comes to story, there isn’t too much to say. Your character, Baldren is sent through a portal to another world but the portal stays open after you arrive, allowing for all sorts of monsters to invade the other world. The overall story is decent and there are a ton of side quests that tell you about the world, but they take a backseat to the gameplay, customization, and overall grind.

Rainbow Moon is a perfect example of an old-school RPG that deserves to be played on the Switch. It’s a really solid game but the combination of price and content puts it over the edge. It will be easy for you to get more than 60 hours out of the game and it only costs $15 in the eshop. That’s a steal and a great reason for you to check it out.


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