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PS4 / PS Vita Game Review

Rainbow Skies


Format: PS4 / PS Vita
Publisher: Eastasiasoft
Developer: SideQuest
RRP: £22.49
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Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 27 June 2018

Fantasy role playing games (RPG) continue to hold the attention of great swathes of the gaming community, myself included. A good game will eat up potentially hundreds of hours of your time, but the balance of elements must be right to make the experience rewarding and entertaining.

Review imageRainbow Skies (PS4, PS Vita) has much in common with Eastasiasoft and SideQuest’s previous game Rainbow Moon. The game runs for at least fifty hours of gameplay.

Both present you with an isometric open world to explore and both utilise turn-based battles for the encounters. The game supports cross play, so you transfer your saves between the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita making it an ideal game to play at home or on the go. There is no online multiplayer support. The game is built on the same engine as Rainbow Moon, hence the similarities between the games, but Skies presents a whole new world with new characters.

You start the game as Damion, a cocky young man who lives above the clouds, this portion of the story serves as a tutorial, as he quickly falls to earth with his friend Layne and they find themselves caught in a war between two superpowers. As the game progresses you add more people to your party. In truth the plot and characterisations are weak, well not so much weak as derivative of other tropes in the RGP market. The script can be somewhat lengthy, luckily you can skip most of these, so it’s difficult to care about the characters.

Review imageSkies has everything you would expect to see in an RPG. Levelling up is done by either fulfilling quests or fighting monsters. One of the things I most liked about the game is that a lot of the fights are optional which allows you to travel across the world unhindered. This is important as the number of potions you can carry is ridiculously small, unlike other RPG’s your stuff does not stack, so you will find yourself trudging back to town to heal up if you lose a fight.

Fighting also gains you points to level the character but compared to other games this is a very slow process. Win a fight and you will be rewarded with Rainbow Coins, the game's main currency, as well as the possibility of Skill Stones which are used to level up the character attributes. As you pass a level more attributes become available, but even this process felt time consuming. You can purchase arms and armour for the characters which can also be levelled up using materials. Find a blacksmith and he will imbue your arms and armour making them stronger.

Review imageNow this does sound like I’m being a bit of a downer on the game and in truth the beginning portion seemed to go slowly, but get into the game proper and Skies has a wealth of depth. You can create and train your own monsters, go fishing or even gamble a bit on the Wheel of Fortune.

The game has many towns which will hold item vendors, blacksmiths, possibly a tavern and any number of interesting shops. Later, in the game you can even purchase boats and airships, making travel and access to remote parts of the map easier.

To help you navigate there is a map, which becomes essential as the world view is quite tightly packed around your characters. The map can zoom out to give you an overview of the entire world or dungeons should you find yourself in one. The game has a day and night cycle as some of the monsters only come out at night.

Review imageFor any RPG player the game is mostly intuitive, the grid-based combat is not hard to work out, although I found that using the joystick on both the PS4 and Vita was not as responsive as it should have been, at least there is no penalty for spending unnecessary time planning your moves.

Overall it was a good, but not great RPG, more time should have been spent on more engaging narrative and characters.


Charles Packer

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