Rainbow Skies is the follow-up to Rainbow Moon, an RPG that came out back in 2012 for the PS3, later coming out on the PS Vita and then the PS4. While I had high hopes that the problems surrounding Rainbow Moon were gone with this new release; unfortunately, they are still there and kills a bit of the overall experience.
The start of Rainbow Skies has you up in a floating city called Arca. You play as the dimwitted protagonist, Damion, who needs to prepare for his final test as a monster trainer. His buddy and your fellow teammate, Layne, helps you out with ‘getting started’ and this whole scenario plays out like a tutorial. What results is that you and your buddy end up falling through Arca and down to the world of Lunah, where you meet Ashly. This is where the journey really begins as the three of you are bonded together.
Exploring Lunah is a bit clunky, as moving through areas can be a bit complicated with the map being filled with fauna and other objects. The pace felt really slow and often I was backtracking and wishing I could move faster. Even with the movement skill, it felt like sludge moving around the map. While walking around outside of town, you will see monsters that you can fight or try to avoid. Further encounters can be initiated with invisible monsters that you must press X to engage with. It’s not mandatory to fight them but serves as an option to grind if need be or skip them in order to get back to town.
Combat is where my biggest problem was at. Engaging with monsters brings you to an isometric gridded map where all characters move based on their speed stats. Each action, be it moving or attacking, costs an action point, similar to the previous game. Many fights had me moving in the wrong direction as you use diagonals to move and sometimes it made no sense. It would result in having to move back to my spot and wasting my turn. Sometimes, just pressing once didn’t work either as I had to press the direction a few times before my character would even move. The whole process is very slow and for an RPG with a lot of grinding, slow fights really kill the experience.
Throughout Rainbow Skies, you are always levelling up something, be it your stats, weapons, armours, skills, etc. This is a cool feature which I really like as I have seen this in a few other games before and it’s one that needs to be more of a staple. You also have the choice to improve old gear and skills or obtain new stuff. I found myself wanting to constantly increase my stats for everything!
A nifty feature that’s also present is being able to cross-save. Being a game that is playable on PS3, PS Vita, and PS4, I can play the game for a bit on PS4 then kick back in bed or at work and continue my progress on my PS Vita. This helps with making the grind a little bit easier since I could focus on grinding while on my Vita and continue story progress on my PS4. Either or, the game looks equal on all three platforms with only the resolution being the difference here.
Rainbow Skies could have been much better if it made exploring the maps less clustered and the pace of the game (and movement) was a bit faster. The combat really needs an overhaul so that fights aren’t taking as long and have less probability of movement errors. Otherwise, it’s a decent game, just a bit too slow. This could be due to the game being available for various PlayStation platforms and by not focusing on more modern hardware, like the PS4 and PS Vita, it feels like it’s possibly been held back.
- Cross-buy and cross-save with all three formats
- Lots of customisation
- Easy story to pick up and follow
- Combat controls are a bit slow and clunky
- Exploration of the map is also a little clunky
- Possibly being held back technically by including PS3 as one of the cross-supported platforms