Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Sep 24, 2004
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Slightly better than Bubble Bobble

The Good

Rainbow Islands is the sequel to Bubble Bobble. In this predecessor, if you got to watch the true ending to this game, then you would have seen Bud and Bob rescuing their girlfriends, and transform from dragons to cute little boys (I apologize for referring to them as dinosaurs before). You don’t get to see the last of them, in Rainbow Islands, where all people who inhabit the Rainbow Islands are turned in bubble dragons, and either Bub or Bob must turn them back, and save the islands.

You job, as Bub or Bob, must get through seven islands filled with wildlife that are hazardous to your health, and the only way to survive on each island is to get rid of it. You do this, not by blowing bubbles, but by simply shooting rainbows at them, or by dropping rainbows onto them. You can also climb rainbows, then when you do, you can shoot more rainbows. This makes it easier to reach platforms. And not only that, but when you feel that you shot enough rainbows, you can jump on them and the rainbows drop. This last technique helps defeat bosses at the end of each island. Some enemies become more aggressive when you get further into the game, and throw things like fireballs, arrows, thunderbolts, and even bombs.

You start the game off with one rainbow, but once you collect enough items scattered on each island, you’ll end up getting to shoot three rainbows and with maximum speed. Unfortunately, if you lose a life getting through each of the islands, you have to start all over again. Each island consists of four rounds, making it a total of 28 rounds. At the end of each island, a boss, a larger version of one of the enemies you meet in each round, will be there waiting to knock you out. Each round has a time limit, meaning if you spend too much time in a round, the words “Hurry Up!” will scroll across the screen. Shortly after, water will flood the entire round, and drowning will result in a loss of life. This also applies when you are trying to defeat the bosses.

If you do survive all 28 rounds, you’ll receive a bad ending because you can’t save the inhabitants and turn then into human again. To do this, you must collect seven big diamonds on each of the seven islands. Collecting these will reveal three more islands, each with four rounds also, bringing the total number of rounds to 40. Then on all three islands, you must collect 21 more small diamonds so that you can get the three mirrors needed to start up the machine capable of turning the bubble dragons to normal people. This will eventually lead to the good ending.

The NES version also has dialogue in between islands, telling you a part of your mission. The background music in the computer versions (C64, Amiga, Atari ST) has a slightly distorted version of Judy Garland's classic Somewhere Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, while the console versions (NES, Sega Master System) plays a different tune altogether. The graphics in the Amiga version comes close to the arcade's, since the graphics have more of a cartoon feel to it. Rainbow Islands is available on all computers and consoles three years after it hit the arcades. The music in the console versions is slightly different from what you’ll hear in the computer versions, apart from the version included in this remake.

The Bad

Nothing, apart from the fact that I didn’t like playing Rainbow Islands again just to get the good ending instead of the bad one.

The Bottom Line

This game can might as well be addictive if you keep playing the same game just to receive more than one ending like Rainbow Islands. This game is followed by a sequel called Parasol Stars, where the object of the game is to wipe out enemies by using an umbrella on them, not by shooting bubbles or rainbows.

Rating: ****