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Rainbow Skies review

rainbow skies

Back in 2012, the little-known Rainbow Moon was released. It was a more basic Strategy RPG compared to the likes of other games in the genre. But what Rainbow Moon brought to the table was unlimited charm and personality. Now 6 years later its sequel Rainbow Skies finally arrived, and as a fan of the original, I was excited to dive head-first into it.

rainbow skies

Rainbow Skies follows the same path as its predecessor. It remains a charming, silly game with grid-based and turn-based combat. If you did play Rainbow Moon, you’ll be able to easily slip into the new game.

The first big improvement of the sequel is the main story. Rainbow Moon’s story was a simple “escape from a foreign land” quest, whereas Rainbow Skies is definitely more interesting to follow.

The two main characters Damion and Layne fall from their airborne home of Arca, after an accident occurs, and they fall all the way down the world below.

rainbow skies

Upon falling, and having their fall broken by a squishy monster, the two just happen to get caught in the middle of a ‘binding spell’ cast by one of the world’s inhabitants- Ashly.

This causes the three of them to be bound together and are unable to leave each other’s side. So now they must set off to find someone who can help break the spell.

Yes, as expected with this series, it is a silly story. There’s a general silliness associated with the Rainbow games, and this sequel is no exception. But where the story improves over the original is all that they must go through in order to break the spell.

There’s some nice twists along the way, and there’s time travelling involved, which in my mind always improves a storyline.

rainbow skies

What I like about the way the story is set up, is the fact that the game focuses around these three main characters, whereas in the original, you could gather heaps of people in your party but could only use three of them.

In that instance I only focused on using three member the whole time because there was no point swapping them out, but in Rainbow Skies, you never recruited anyone else so you only needed to focus on strengthening Damion, Layne and Ashly.

Well it’s not actually completely true about not recruiting anyone else, as one of the major additions to this game is that you can raise monsters and have them fight with you on the battlefield. You’ll earn eggs as you play, and each egg type will hatch a new monster to recruit.

rainbow skies

While this may seem really cool, I never did like this feature. It’s hard enough training up your main characters to get them stronger, but having to use precious skill stones to strengthen the monsters up just felt like a waste. The cost of raising their stats was much lower than that of the main characters, but I’d still rather use it on them.

When it came time to use your monsters in battle, mine were always weak and were there just as decoys for my main characters. The battles were always over before they have a chance to fight anyway!

If there’s one main criticism about Rainbow Skies, it’s that there are plenty of new additions over the original, but a lot of them felt pointless and mostly unused.

rainbow skies

I’ve already mentioned the monster recruiting, but there’s plenty of other features added in that felt like they were there just for the sake of being there. It starts to get a bit overwhelming at times when another new feature is taught to you, even after 10+ hours of play.

One of the things I like best about the Rainbow games is how easy it is to get into. You can play it after weeks or months of ignoring it and slip right in and continue. You could just as easily play for 30 minutes or 5 hours. You just don’t have to be in the mood for this type of game and you can still enjoy it and have fun.

That’s why I wasn’t a fan of all this bombardment of additions. I liked to just relax and enjoy with this game because that’s just its style, and it’s the vibe it gives off.

rainbow skies

To be honest though, Rainbow Skies really just feels like Rainbow Moon 1.5. Even after 6 years of waiting for this sequel, it still feels like I’m playing the original. Not that that’s a bad thing, but a good sequel should improve majorly over the original, not throw in a bunch of unwanted features and still feel like the same game.

It’s funny just how similar it feels. From the music and sound effects, to the art style and controls. That’s not to say there weren’t any improvements at all. I feel one of the biggest improvements is the ability to increase your stats (using various skills stones) pretty much wherever you are!

I say it’s an improvement because in the original game you had to visit a Vagrant and trade in your pearls to upgrade your stats. In Rainbow Skies, you can upgrade whenever you like and I love it! The original was setup so it was a real grind in order to get you to buy pearls through micro-transactions, but it seemed like they learned their lesson with the sequel.

rainbow skies

Combat has mostly stayed the same, apart from the additional ability types and monsters you can recruit. For the uninitiated, you take it in turns of selecting actions for your characters to take, while all taking place on a grid-based battleground. Once you’ve defeated all your opponents, you win the battle.

Even throughout the battles, you’ll find the game’s humour injected throughout, usually in the enemies attacks. Whether they made me chuckle, or roll my eyes, this game doesn’t shy away from its weird sense of humour.

My biggest criticism with the battles is that some of the enemy attacks can take way too long. There are times where you’ll have to battle anywhere from 15-20 enemies, and you have to wait through all of their attacks before you can do you own. Some of the animations shown can really stretch out and gets pretty frustrating.

You can occasionally skip these attack scenes, but only if you remember to hold a certain button down beforehand, and even still sometimes the option to skip isn’t there.

rainbow skies

Fans of this genre might not even like Rainbow Skies because of its overall basic nature. A lot of games in the SRPG genre tend to take themselves very seriously, but for good reason. They require strategy and patience, and that can only come from the more serious gamer.

Rainbow Skies doesn’t do it like the others. There is some strategic play of course, but the rest of the game tends to joke around and have a bit of silly fun. That’s what appeals to me about this series. I can just jump in, chill out, and take my time with it.

It is a long game with plenty to do. If it’s anything like the original, it’ll easily be over 100 hours to complete. But this game doesn’t rush you, it’s the kind of game I’ll be happy to play over the course of a year and enjoy every session of it.

Score: 7.8

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