Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #2: Rainbow Islands (PC Engine CD-ROM2)


Game: Rainbow Islands
Genre: Platformer
System: PC Engine CD-ROM2
Developer: NEC Avenue
Publisher: NEC Avenue
Release date: 1993

Most platformers follow in Super Mario Bros' hugely successful footsteps and scroll horizontally. Well, Fukio Mitsuji's arcade classic--technically the first sequel to Bubble Bobble--turns that tried-and-true tradition on its head and scrolls vertically, much like those odd overworld sections of Kid Icarus that caused you to pull out your hair by the handful. (Or was that just me?) As much as I like that mythological Famicom Disk System title, though, it has nothing on Rainbow Islands, what with its titular arcs of light--which can be used as weapons and as platforms--shimmering, Wizard of Oz-esque soundtrack (i.e., the main theme sounds an awful lot like "Over the Rainbow") and varied assortment of enemies and environments.


See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

12 comments:

Linnea said...

Wow, I never realized how similar the main theme song is to Over the rainbow. The cover and the graphics in this game are sooooooo wonderful. Too sweet!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

It's one of the most colorful games I've seen in a long time, and it's interesting to me that the colors play a part in gameplay, too.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Linnea: Yeah, apparently the tune is so similar that Taito has since had to change it. As such, I believe the version on the PS2 'Taito Legends' disc features a different background tune.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Justin: It's definitely one of the most colorful games *ever*, IMO. And one of the cutest, too. (Bubble Bobble might beat it, though.)

Color doesn't play a *huge* role in the gameplay, but it is a factor, esp. if you want to obtain the seven rainbow-colored diamonds (which have to be collected if you want to play all of the game's levels and reach the 'real' final ending).

Have you ever played the game? If not, you should -- I think you'd really like it.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Oh, definitely. I have an NES rom of the game, and I really enjoy it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, good. If you ever get a chance to play this version or, more likely, the arcade version (it's on the Taito Legends PS2 disc), do it, as those versions are much better than the NES version.

Starfighter said...

I really like this kind of coverart, when I saw a small preview in my blogfeed I thought "this needs a closer look" and sure enough it was scanned, both front and back. Sweet! Like candy for both my eyes and soul. :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Thanks, Starfighter! Glad you like the scans :) I knew that scans of the front and back of each game (esp. the rarer ones) could be a draw to some folks since there aren't a lot of scans/photos of some of these games out there.

Starfighter said...

You have a keen eye for gamers needs, sir! :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ha! Well, to be honest, I'm came up with the idea while thinking of my own needs. I get so frustrated when I can't find box art or screenshots for certain games!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I might pick that up for PS2.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yep, look for the first Taito Legends release for PS2. (There are two of them.) The first one has the arcade versions of both Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands. Highly recommended!