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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Rainbow Islands Revolution' (NDS) - Screens

by Rainier on Dec. 13, 2005 @ 3:10 a.m. PST

Rainbow Islands endeared itself to an entire generation of gamers in the late 1980s with its playful mix of intense platforming challenges, a delightfully cute visual style and, of course, a heavy emphasis on rainbow-firing action. Rainbow Islands Revolution takes these core elements and transposes them onto the NDS.

The most significant adaptation is also the most revolutionary. The entire control method is now Touch Screen based, considerably altering the original's "run, rainbow, jump" gameplay. Bub or Bob now sit in an eternally floating bubble, moved around the levels by touching and dragging with the Nintendo DS stylus. The pacing and strategic possibilities afforded by such a radical change in the control system creates a re-interpretation that sits naturally on the two screened handheld and suits its unique hardware features perfectly - right down to the implementation of an all-new method for creating the game's signature rainbows.

Most excitingly, rainbows are now drawn directly onto the field of play, which brings an entirely new dynamic to the classic design. The freedom and power of this new rainbow method has been tempered by restricting the rainbow length, although this can be extended by picking up certain powerups that will be familiar to players of the original. Further alterations to the rainbow system include the ability to use rainbows to trap enemies – either individually or in groups, provided the player has enough rainbow power. There's even a special mode that when activated, allows the player to clear the screen of enemies for massive bonuses and easier progress.

Series fans will be glad to know that whilst the central gameplay has been radically altered to suit its new hardware, the overall look and feel of Rainbow Islands Revolution remains in the familiar classic Taito style, with new player sprites designed by Harvest Moon artist Igusa Matsuyama. The original's enemies and bosses also return in their vintage guises, as does the bonus-item frenzy of Rainbow Island's immensely satisfying "Goal In!" level endings.

Rainbow Islands Revolution is set to continue the progressive drive of Rising Star's revolution series with its daringly experimental re-interpretation of a much-loved arcade classic. An additional single-player mode and two multiplayer modes are to be announced in the run up to the game's release in February 2006.

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