Title: Rainbow Skies
Developer: SideQuest Studios
Publisher: SideQuest Studios
Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita
Audience: E for Everyone
Release Date: 26/6/2018
Price: £21.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Rainbow Skies is a fantasy RPG with turn-based battles and a humorous story. Immerse yourself in a colorful and vibrant world, filled to the brim with friends and foes, murky dungeons, turn-based battles, towns, shops, and everything else your role-playing heart desires.
Developer Sidequest Studios brought us, Rainbow Moon, back in 2012 and their follow-up, Rainbow Skies, looks to combine an RPG overworld, turn-based strategy combat, fourth wall breaking dialogue and monster taming for a unique indie style game which seems to have all the elements for a retro-style take on the genre.
Looks and Sounds
Rainbow Skies is a strategy-RPG that looks and plays similarly to its predecessor Rainbow Moon. It’s not a direct sequel but is more of a spiritual successor. If you’ve played and liked Rainbow Moon, especially its gameplay and aesthetic, you’re going to enjoy Rainbow Skies. The overworld map consists of plenty of treasures, side quests, caves with extra treasures and hidden treasures, so exploration does have its merits. Towns are minimalistic as is story, and dialogue attempts to be light and full of humour, with the intent of being a parody of the ragtag group of heroes we’ve seen executed better in other RPG’s.
The characters and story of Rainbow Skies are decent at best, and there’s not much in terms of real twists or turns. It is your typical RPG story, featuring tons of cliches you’ve seen many other times in similar titles, so I never became truly invested in what was going on. You can name all the characters that join you along your journey, and this helps in providing that customisation and personal feel to everything, but for the most part, the narrative never goes above an average JRPG story.
Gameplay and Replayability
While wandering the world of Rainbow Skies, you’re able to explore quite a bit more than in a typical strategy or tactical RPG. You don’t just have one big map, selecting where you want to go next and automatically transporting there. There are towns to explore with different and secret areas, and you have two types of battles: random and forced battles, with forced being where you have the monster on the map itself, and you can see it before running into them to initiate a fight.
At any point though, while running around these maps, you may get a notification that allows you to open up a random battle if you would like to. It’s a nice little touch, and if you take advantage and use many of these random battles, you can be overpowered rather quickly. However, if you decide to take on the battles that you absolutely must do, you may end up being underpowered for the dangers that await. There is eventually a great selection of spells, gear and enemies which means variety in how you handle situations and will frequently turn encounters in your favour.
Rainbow Skies seems to emphasise that you can go at your own pace and you don’t have to focus on side-quests. Unfortunately, when it comes to levelling up and making sure your characters are powerful enough, you may have to do even more battling and grinding to take on the challenges that wait and lie. Thankfully, to cut down on a some of the tedium and repetition of battle, I highly recommend you take advantage of a certain NPC that will end up being able to increase or decrease the difficulty of battles and bosses.
By increasing the difficulty, you’ll be giving yourself better rewards early on and allow you to get through some areas somewhat quicker. Using the baseline experience and items, you may end up getting bored with the premise of Rainbow Skies, and not end up seeing it through to the end. Combat is straightforward but done well with elevation not being a factor and only obstacles being sparsely used. It boils down to your party versus the enemy party and who is more levelled up.
The characters and monsters that you’re able to gain and raise throughout your adventure all have their abilities and can be customised. You will be able to obtain items that will increase certain stats over others, so you can have the characters the way you want them to be.
One thing I thought was convenient was that you also have inventory systems for each different type of item for every character. You’ll have to individually increase all of these inventory sizes, and I appreciated the nice little touch of adding this and gives you another gameplay system to allow for raising and upgrading yourself and equipment. Unfortunately, the first part of Rainbow Skies is still tedious as you don’t have as many places to hold anything in your inventory.
There is a fair amount of content within the main story, as well as plenty of side-quests to partake in. Being that this is an RPG, there will be many hours of gameplay when it comes to combat and amount of customisation and RPG mechanics to take part in. Increasing or decreasing the difficulty of battles will make it last longer or shorter depending on your play style.
Overall, Rainbow Skies is a solid strategy-RPG that won’t blow you away in the presentation or execution of combat. However, there is nothing blatantly negative about Rainbow Skies in any department as well, and I enjoyed and had fun with my experience. The music is enjoyable, and I liked the monster raising components, even if it became somewhat tedious. I did expect more of an update from Rainbow Moon, but if you enjoyed the first title, Rainbow Skies still comes recommended.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Rainbow Skies on the PlayStation Store at the following link, https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP2005-CUSA03437_00-RAINBOWSKIESBNDL?emcid=se-pi-147509%24%24