While the whole world seems to be enjoying Halo 3 on their pretty Xbox 360 consoles, I'm still stuck playing 8- and 16-bit games. I made myself think this was pure out of nostalgia, but the true is that I'm too poor to afford any next-gen console, let alone all the games you have to buy with it. If you're a fellow graduate in Literature Studies you probably know what I mean: you will be doomed to stay unemployed, get depressed and one day you'll find yourself living like a tramp in a box beneath a bridge.
Luckily, I'm not living beneath a bridge yet, which means I can still - for the time being -review an ancient game for our nostalgic readers and educate the teen gamers something about the world's game history - the main purpose of your beloved site, Defunct Games.
Anyhow, today I'm going to talk about Rainbow Islands, one of the most disappointing and overrated games in video game history. Rainbow Islands full title is 'Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2', because it is, as you'd expect, the sequel to one of the best games ever: Bubble Bobble. In Bubble Bobble the player assumed the role of two little bubble-blowing dragons who were actually two little boys, but changed by some nasty witch who also kidnapped their girlfriends. In Rainbow Islands you've been changed back to the ginger kid again and instead of bubbles they're creating rainbows out of their bodies (outch!) in with which you can trap or take out enemies.
You also have to walk on the rainbows, because the levels are vertical and you've to go up. They're some bosses, power-ups and stuff like that, but overall nothing exciting. Biggest letdown is that this Sega Master System version of Rainbow Islands doesn't have a 2-player simultaneous mode, which diminishes most of the fun compared with Bubble Bobble. I find the gameplay becomes tedious rather quickly, the variation is too little and there isn't even one catchy tune to be heard (unlike the original Bubble Bobble).
The original Amiga edition of Rainbow Islands was very colorful (maybe a little too colorful at times, because the screen could become a real mess of colors and enemies which made it sometimes pretty hard), but the graphics of this Master System port are below quality. The whole game just looks shallow and grey, even the rainbows, which also tend to flicker a lot. I'm sure the Master System could have handled a better quality port.
Overall, Rainbow Islands is just an average game and this Master System port is way below quality. It does in no way live up to the fun and quality of Bubble Bobble - a game everybody should experience at least once in their life. Or I'm just saying that out of nostalgia, after all?