Rainbow Islands review - Nintendo Entertainment System
Bub and Bob are heroes! After rescuing their girlfriends from the evil clutches of The Boss of Shadow in Bubble Bobble, the lads returned to their home town in the Rainbow Islands and as the Japanese scenario puts it, got "Super-Drunk". The aftermath wasn't a near-fatal hangover as we might expect, but now the bubble blowing dinosaurs have changed back into human form.
But the lads' celebrations are short-lived. The evil Boss of Shadow has returned to enslave to Rainbow Islands and their inhabitants, and not only are our heroes trapped amongst this carnage but the Islands are sinking as well! But there is one hope. If seven huge crystals are collected the Rainbow Islands and their human inhabitants will return to normal, and why not give that Boss of Shadow something to think about at the same time?
Our heroes have one cunning trick up their sleeves. Their parents gave them the magic of the Rainbow, which generally means they can sling rainbows anywhere they want and jolly useful they are too. But the Boss of Shadow has to be stopped - and quick, so it's a case of scaling all four vertically scrolling levels of all seven islands, dealing rainbow death to any minions or end end-of-island guardians that stand in the way.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
I'm one of the biggest Rainbow Islands fans in the cosmos and expected great things of this conversion. Rather unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this lacking effort. As you can tell from the screenshots, it looks like the arcade machine, but there are a number of highly irritating factors that combine to make the game very annoying to play. First of all, the collision detection is awfully odd. Sometimes you just don't climb the rainbows when you should. Other times your rainbows don't kill the enemy sprites on contact. Another irritating aspect of the game is the speed, or rather the lack of it. The smooth, fast gameplay of the original has been replaced with plodding, unresponsive action that soon grows quite boring. Just about every other version of Rainbow Islands I've played is great, but even fans of the coin-op will feel let down by this - I know I was.
I was really looking forward to Rainbow Islands, but sadly my expectations were dashed once I started to play. The graphics are quite poor and there's a lock of the bright colours which gave the arcade game its unique style. The sound is particularly bad, with only a couple of effects which start to give you a headache after about three minutes. Even worse is the gameplay. The collision detection is laughably inaccurate and accounts for many an unjust and frustrating death. Not only this, but the controls are also unresponsive, leaving you plummeting to your doom because you couldn't walk up a newly-formed rainbow. Even Rainbow Islands fanatics will tire of this after a few plays.