Some thoughts on the PlayStation Vita version of Rainbow Moon
Last year when I reviewed Rainbow Moon I gave the game a two out of five stating that “Rainbow Moon’s slow pace and continuous line of fetch quests makes for what has been one of the most boring sixty hours I’ve ever spent with a game”. I know very well that I ended up in the minority among most reviewers but I do stand by my review. I had a lot of issues with many of the core mechanics within Rainbow Moon that just made it really difficult to enjoy. It’s honestly too bad because I really was genuinely excited to play Rainbow Moon originally. I should also note that the following mainly covers what’s changed in the Vita version. If you’re unfamiliar with Rainbow Moon I’d recommend checking out my review which is linked above.
With the Vita port announced earlier this year I knew that a return trip to Rainbow Moon would be necessary. I want to be clear that I went into Rainbow Moon on the Vita with an open mind. There are things that I didn’t like about Rainbow Moon that would be impossible to change but I at least went in hoping that maybe some small additions might help overall. I think in the end the Vita version is better not just due to a few cool fixes but also because Rainbow Moon works well on a handheld.
Rainbow Moon Vita represents version 2.0 of the game, a patch that is now available for the PS3 version, and features a number of additions, bug fixes, and control adjustments. The following represents the patch notes you’ll see when updating the PS3 version of the game and is reflective of what you’ll see on the Vita.
- Cross-Save implemented.
- Items can be used directly once picked up.
- Skip XP counters on victory screen.
- Savant lets you increase stats in single and multiple units.
- Improved handling with the left analog stick.
- Can adjust character name after naming characters the first time.
- Several bugs fixed and minor improvements added.
On the Vita I started up a new game and played for the first handful of hours and then imported my completed game save and fiddled around with some of the post game content. Immediately I noticed quite a few UI adjustments that just made things faster and easier. Most notable is the ability to use items immediately from treasure chests, shops, or at the end of battle. All this does is just allow you to skip a few extra steps when using potions, eating food, or using torches. However considering the amount of time you’ll spend with the game it’s a pretty big deal. With limited item slots this allows you to use items immediately for healing or hunger without having to deal with managing your inventory. It’s just a really nice change to have.
Being able to skip steps to do specific actions proved to be a theme. The second addition I liked quite a bit was the way in which Rainbow Moon handles cloud saving. Normally among the many PS3/Vita games that support this you’d need to save your game and then go and upload the save to the cloud. Rainbow Moon lets you save directly to the cloud without even needing to save to the system storage. (If any other games do this let me know as Rainbow Moon is the first I’ve run into.) It’s a minor thing but something I appreciated.
Unfortunately for someone like me or anyone else who didn’t enjoy Rainbow Moon the first time around I don’t think there’s really anything new here that’s going to change your mind. However if you did like the game before I think you’ll likely be a fan of the new additions. Even though my Vita/PS3 review copies were from different regions I was easily able to import my save data without any sort of hassle. As I’ve mentioned with Disgaea in the past these types of games are really great for handheld devices. So while there’s no new content if you’re itching to play the game again there’s probably no better place than the Vita. That said Rainbow Moon doesn’t support cross-buy so you will need to purchase the game again. (Though it sounds like eastasiasoft is trying to get a 50% discount for people who already own the game.)
Rainbow Moon to me will always be a game that suffered from pacing issues tied to micro-transactions, too many fetch quests, and lack of an actual story. That said I think the updates for the Vita port will make fans happy and while there’s nothing major that’s different with this release I think it’s a step in the right direction. If nothing else this leaves me optimistic for Rainbow Skies which is pretty high praise considering my review from last year.
Rainbow Moon will be available on the Vita next week.