Captain Rainbow (Wii) Review

By Rudy Lavaux 15.08.2010 9

Review for Captain Rainbow on Wii

Skip Ltd., the studio behind Captain Rainbow, sure likes to produce games that defy genre classification. They are behind the Chibi Robo series as well as Japan exclusive GameCube title GiFTPiA. These games don't fall into one particular genre, but mix elements from several. GiFTPiA was a game that relied heavily on communicating with other characters in your village. Captain Rainbow plays similarly in that sense, so you could say that it's its spiritual successor. That's where the similarity ends though because the setting is much different...

Nick is a young man who lives in Mameruka, the ‘Land of the Free’. He also was a famous super hero, so famous he even had his own TV show. Unfortunately his fame died down due to another hero's popularity. Nick hears about a place called Mimin Island, where wishes are said to be granted. His only desire being to regain his lost popularity, he sets off to Mimin Island on a raft. On his way he crosses path with a small rabbit-like creature drowning in the ocean; a Mimin, actually. He transforms into Captain Rainbow and dives to save it, forgetting that his powers don’t work when he's in the water. He loses consciousness, and ends up being washed ashore on Mimin Island with no way to leave it, as is the case for all the other inhabitants.

On the island are other people who came here for the same reason as Nick. The peculiarity of those people is that they are all ‘forgotten’ characters from past Nintendo games, including some from Nintendo console-exclusive Skip Ltd. games. Tracy from The Legend of Zelda : Link's Awakening, Birdo from Super Mario Bros. 2 (known in-game as Catherine from Super Mario Bros. USA and Yume Kôjô Doki Doki Panic in Japan), or Little Mac from Mike Tyson's Punch Out are among the best known to western gamers, the rest of the cast being composed almost entirely of characters from Japan-exclusive titles.

The main goal is quite simple. Make friends with the inhabitants of Mimin Island by helping to grant their own wishes, achieving a true friendship bond with that character. Once you have achieved the highest level of friendship with a character, Nick (or Captain Rainbow) will be able to send them off the island through the Mimin Shrine.

Screenshot for Captain Rainbow on Wii

To do so, you have to collect star-shaped objects called Kirarin (Twinklies) which can be found throughout the island, either in plain sight, hidden in objects that you can break or simply hidden behind some vegetation. Some inhabitants also give you stars they found themselves after you help them. Once you collect 20 of these stars, the sky of Mimin Island turns red, and a shooting star falls down on the island, at a random spot.

What you have to do is pick up the star, go and talk to one of the inhabitants whom you have achieved the highest friendship level with, take him or her with you to the Mimin Shrine, and send them off the island... or choose to leave the island yourself, leaving the other people behind. You'll want to save everyone before yourself, though, to achieve the best ending of the game. After all, if you’re supposed to be a superhero, surely you should help solve problems rather than look out for yourself? Granted, they’re not the sort of issues that superheroes usually deal with - you’d expect heroic things rather than, for example, helping someone regain their talent at playing golf. That's all part of the silliness and humour of the game, though.

As soon as you pick up a fallen star, enemies that look like black slime start appearing on the island, trying to steal your star. If they succeed and manage to take it back to their rallying point, they send the star off the island, and the game's over. You need to fight them off with your yo-yo, or if they manage to snatch the star from you, you must tackle them to trigger a mini game that tests your reflexes. If you're fast enough, you can take back the star and continue your way to the Mimin Shrine. Which characters you want to save first is up to your choice, but know that you won't be able to achieve the highest friendship level with certain characters before completing certain tasks for others, since their lives are all linked to one another in a certain way. The ending of the game will also end up being slightly different depending on who you choose to save last.

Screenshot for Captain Rainbow on Wii

To do all that, you will have to explore Mimin Island, but not all areas will be accessible from the start. Some require that you complete certain tasks beforehand, or that you get an upgrade for your rainbow belt, which is the source of your super powers. Speaking of which, you can't stay transformed as Captain Rainbow for as long as you want. When you're Captain Rainbow, a gauge located in the upper left corner of the screen will start depleting, and when it's empty, you revert to your normal self. As Captain Rainbow, you can use your super yo-yo to break things. There are several levels to your super attacks, depending on which ‘panel’ you equip on your rainbow belt. Each panel has its own purpose; one such function is for attacking with a double yo-yo to break the biggest rocks that block access to certain parts of the island. Attacking with the yo-yo is as simple as pointing at your target with the Wii Remote and pressing a button. Some super attacks require that you charge up power by waggling the Nunchuk and Wii Remote.

Don't expect the quest of helping out people to be overly epic. Rather, it's a peaceful and wacky adventure that awaits you. As you wander around the island, you can see the inhabitants going over their daily (or nightly) duties. In that sense, the game is a little like The Legend of Zelda : Majora's Mask, though nowhere near as deep. Nothing exceptional happens, aside from the overly funny and nonsensical situations the characters find themselves in, as well as their dialogues (from the little Japanese that your servitor understands at least).

That's the whole point of the game. It's plain fun and judging it just from the simple adventure that it has to offer, while ignoring completely the goofiness behind the main gameplay elements, is certainly not doing it justice. The quest to prove that Birdo is indeed a female made quite a lot of noise around the Internet when the game came out. In order to prove Birdo is actually a ‘she’, the player must find one of Birdo’s very personal...accessories. When you discover it, you understand immediately why the game wasn't localized outside Japan. Times may have changed and Nintendo may not be the strict company it was during the days of the NES and Super NES anymore, but yet it seems there are some crude topics which still have a hard time crossing the Japanese borders on Nintendo's consoles.

Screenshot for Captain Rainbow on Wii

The main adventure isn't all there is to the game though. You can just explore the island, trying to uncover the story behind the Mimin creatures, and the island itself, by gathering artifacts. You can also go fishing (trying to collect all the fish species in the game à la Zelda and Okami) and discover all the animal species in the game. These extras all add a bit more to the game's value.

On the graphical side of things, it's clear from the beginning that the developers weren't trying to make a realistic looking game, nor even a very technically advanced game, but don't be fooled; it still looks very nice. The cel-shaded look of the game, while similar to GiFTPiA, is still a bit different. The 3D models have a really angular look, but it is voluntary and part of the art style. The whole game has a charm of its own, though some characters' design could arguably have been a bit more refined, like Hikari's (she's the most important of the inhabitants and yet her design is among the weakest, in my opinion at least).

The soundtrack of the game mixes a lot of genres. Tropical tunes will accompany you as you walk around the island, epic tunes akin to openings from some old Tokusatsu TV-drama resound in your ears as you run to the Mimin Shrine, Kirarin in hand, and tracks that fit the game genre each character is from. There's no dubbing for the characters, only gibberish. The sound part of the game is not exceptional, but it fits the game pretty well and won't make you want to turn off the sound while you're playing.

Screenshot for Captain Rainbow on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The sole fact that it's full of long lost or forgotten Nintendo characters, all in goofy roles and humorous situations should be enough to tease any long time Nintendo fan, especially if you played Nintendo games in the mid 80's to mid 90's, or like to play games from those eras. Unfortunately it's necessary to understand Japanese at least a little bit to really appreciate the story, humour, and most of all to understand what you have to do in the game. Luckily walkthroughs exist on the Internet to help you know what to do if you're stuck, and a fan group has taken on the task of translating the game in English and Italian, providing gamers a patch to be used with an original copy of the game when work on it is done. If you're up for an uncommon gaming experience, Captain Rainbow is sure to deliver this and leave you with a good feeling after playing it.

Developer

Skip

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  1/10 (1 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   

Comments

Too bad this will never get released over here. Nintendo should just localize Captain Rainbow, Fatal Frame 4 and Disaster: Day of Crisis, release them as collector's editions with an artbook and soundtrack and charge $40-50 each with a limited 200k run and they'll make a nice profit and we can get to play these good games.

The US STILL doesn't have Disaster: Day of Crisis?

( Edited 15.08.2010 20:36 by Mush123 )

Disaster: Reggie hated it, and openly said so on record.

Fatal Frame: was lined up for May last year, but Tecmo didn't fix a bug, so Nintendo pulled it from release at the last minute and refused to let any Third Parties bring it over instead.

Captain Rainbow: Numerous Third Parties have asked about bringing it over...but Nintendo has expressly said 'No' on several occasions, which is very odd indeed. Could it be lined up for an eventual European release? Considering we didn't get the last DS Chibi-robo or the New Play Control! version of Chibi-robo either, sadly Skip's efforts are being sidelined to DSiWare releases Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Great review, I really want to try this out! I hope that the ENG patch comes out soon.

Skip Fan (guest) 19.08.2010#5

I can't wait for the English patch for both this and Graces.

Sad thing is that Skip was desperate for GiFTPiAa to get released and 3rd Party publishers want Rainbow, but Nintendo keeps blocking it!

After everything I have seen, he some what reminds me of a poor man's Viewtiful Joe. I really hope Nintendo can do better than "Rainbow man...."

I want to see them find a character with originality and has never been done before. Remember when Rayman first came out? I thought he had one of the coolest designs to a video game character at that time. It was the fact that he had no arms.


Mario, Mega Man and Rayman FTW!!!
Our member of the week

For anyone still interested in the game, here's a little sample of the upcoming translation patch :


 

 

For those wondering, the blonde chick seen in there is Tracy from Link's Awakening XD.

( Edited 03.12.2011 10:45 by Kafei2006 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Great! I might have a look into this eventually, then.

( Edited 23.04.2013 20:30 by Azuardo )

Our member of the week

Seeing as this was linked to in the review for Pandora's Tower, thought I'd check on Kirameki's website about their fan translation. A recent update informs that the english translation is now 100% complete! Testing may now begin.

Looking good! I hope to finally be able to go back and play it more thoroughly, being able to fully understabd the story.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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