The story of how my gamer's path crossed Rainbow Moon's one is quite a convoluted one. It is actually twofold, and here's how it goes:
On one hand, I've been unsuccessfully looking for a certain type of RPG for quite some time now. Said RPG would have to be brutally grindy and to revolve solely around building up my characters' strength, preferably slowly and on the very long run. It would also have to sport a simple interface and unfussy gameplay while still boasting a modicum of depth. Gorgeous graphics and bright colours would obviously be much appreciated, if only to caress and soothe my retinas while I'm grinding like a beast. Grandblue Fantasy as described by Kina seemed to be a perfect match; but alas, it's a browser game, and a Japanese one to boot, and I rather wanted to play that super-grindy game alone with myself on one of my portable consoles. Some mobile games could have been adequate candidates, if not for the fact that they were always too simplistic, too ugly or required constant internet connexion to even be played, which is something I loathe. So I kept looking and pinning for that ideal grindy RPG, hoping to encounter it one day.
On the other hand, I recently discover an amazing website: Limited Run Games, a.k.a. A Collector's Wet Dream. This North Carolina-based team of distributors had the most amazing idea of printing and releasing physical copies of digital games, in small batches to keep the hype up and the ball rolling. Cherry on the cake, I was lucky enough to discover them just as they were about to unleash a slew of RPGs. Or nearly so: as a matter of fact, I missed the release of Rainbow Moon by a mere couple of days (which could as well have been centuries, given how their games are usually sold out in a matter of minutes, if not seconds). Undeterred, I jumped on Ebay and unearthed a fairly priced copy of Rainbow Moon; but before pressing the Buy button, I wanted to make sure that this game was really worth a physical purchase. Fortunately, I had bought it on a PSN sale a couple of months before; so I dug up the memory card that contained it, booted my Vita and started a test playthrough.
That's where the two parts of my story beautifully merge together. Not only did I love Rainbow Moon enough to warrant an immediate and frantic purchase, but that game also turned out to be the massively grindy RPG I had desperately been seeking for so long. If this is not serendipity at its most glorious, I don't know what is.
Astonishia Story or Popolocrois. This SRPG overtone is a double-edged sword: while it brings some welcome variety and complexity to all things fighting, it also drags the game down by making battles overly long and drawn-out. The combination of brutal grindiness and slow battles is a potent and deadly one indeed; and while I adore Rainbow Moon, I'm not shy to admit that playing this game exhausts me. I invariably end up drained after a mere hour of play, no matter how pumped up I am when I boot my Vita. And I'm usually very pumped up.
Mind you, I wouldn't want to have Rainbow Moon any other way. The initial piece of gear sported by hero Baldren is called "Daily Grind Armor", and this name brilliantly sums up the ethos of Rainbow Moon. This is a very long game that requires patience and endurance, a game that's better played in small doses on the very long run. And heck, that's exactly how I intend to play it. Mind you, I am under no illusion that I will manage to finish Rainbow Moon in one go. Things will probably unfold that way: I'll play it a couple more hours until I get bored, then I'll play something else, then I'll come back to it until I'm bored again, and so on until I either finish it or drop it.
But hey, let's not put the cart before the horse. Finishing or dropping Rainbow Moon is but a distant prospect for the time being, as I'm relishing every second spent playing and making my slow but determined way through the game world. There are still many places to discover, many levels to grind, many foes to slaughter and many hours of enjoyment to savour. I'm not done talking about Rainbow Moon and you're not done reading about it, dear fellow gamers. See you soon for more musings about that new crush of mine! Thanks for reading, and be my guest anytime!