Unfortunately, the game is too fast in regard to combat and too slow in actual progression through the game. At times, it feels like trying to run through honey. It takes about 2 hours to get the first party companion, and it takes a few more hours after that to get out of the game’s first zone. And by then, you’ve killed more bees than colony collapse disorder. You swap out your character’s equipment every few hours, and new spells trickle in like glacial melt. And more than 20 hours into the game, you’ve just recruited your first magic-casting character and it’s still explaining important concepts.
Although Rainbow Moon promises six main characters,the game limits your active party to three at a time. Once you fill out your team for the first time, it's unlikely you'll throw additional characters into the mix. Additional team members are under-leveled when they join, and character progression is so slow and clunky that you probably won’t want to bother getting them up to speed.
The main road to character progression is by spending Pearls to advance character stats such as speed, defense and attack. Characters earn this currency by killing enemies, but they don’t share the credit for kills, thus each character hoards their own Pearls.
This system slows the game down even more and imbalances it so a strong character can hog all the Pearls. That means if you want your weaker characters to progress, you’ll have to idle your stronger characters during battle, leaving them with nothing to do but defend themselves. But for most battles there is a good mix of strong and weak enemies. So if you engage the opposing force well enough, each one will have a challenging and rewarding fight. But more often than not, there isn’t enough slaughter to go around.
The group does gain regular group experience that levels up surviving party members. But, as established regarding the game's slow execution, level progression won’t be breaking any speed records.
Rainbow Moon also has a habit of throwing in systems and then giving the player spells that makes those systems inconsequential. Each of your characters has a hunger bar, which it never really addresses, but then there’s a spell that gives you fruit to eat. You also can carry around torches for when it get dark, or you could just use the “Magic Light” spell you're offered an hour into the game. So ultimately, these systems translate into you schlepping more items around without making the game more fun.
Upon first glance, Rainbow Moon seems like a lot of game for a $15 downloadable title. And after sinking nearly 25 hours into it, it is a lot of game. Unfortunately, we can’t vouch for how fun all that game really is. SRPGs are an inherently slow genre, but this one's long for all the wrong reasons. Instead of deliberately paced combat, the level progression crawls. It's imbalanced. Its systems negate themselves. Ultimately, the game doesn’t do much to make itself standout with a vanilla fantasy environment, minimal story and flat characters with no real personality. The game starts out at a tortoise’s pace and never gains any speed. It’s a 20-hour game that’s stretched out twice as long as it should be. If you are really hungry for some strategy fantasy fun this summer, consider other superior battles of wit in the PlayStation Store.