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"Until I Return To Your Side"

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In the last couple years, the Wii is losing sales due to focusing on the casual market instead of the hardcore market. People are losing interest on the Wii switch to other consoles for more choices. While there are very few games left on the Wii's lifespan. There are three that have alot of potential to be good while each one very different. In last year, Nintendo of Europe wanted to show one of the three but Nintendo of America say they have no interest in releasing that one and the other two. It went to the point that some fans even created Operation Rainfall. They did as much as they could to convince Nintendo to reconsider their decision. In this year, two out of the three is released or releasing soon. The first is Xenoblade Chronicles which is called one of the best RPGs of this generation and released last April. The second one coming out in July 10th The Last Story made by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. The third one however is only released in Europe so far with no word of its release in the US. This third one is Pandora's Tower.

The plot is that Elena is singing for the kingdom of Elyria's Havest festival but however an monster attacked the festival. Our somewhat silent hero Aeron go's and find Elena and escapes with her from the army. They ran into the mysterious merchant named Mavda that takes them to the wastelands near an Observatory. Aeron finds out that Elena has a curse that turns her into a monster as time go by. Mavda gives him the Oraclos Chain and tells him to head to the Thirteen Towers. Each tower has an master he must beat, if he beat each one. He has to take the flesh out of them and Elena has to eat each one to remove the curse forever.

The gameplay is similar to Zelda that you have to solve puzzles to get around places and some cases defeating enemies to get by. To get to the master’s room, you have to destroy parts of it's chain in different rooms to unlock the door. You have the sword to attack at the beginning and if you hold the A button, you can do a special attack for more damage. However the gameplay is more about the chain than the sword and the other weapons you get during the game. You use the chain for puzzles, getting to places, and attacking/blinding enemies. However this is not a game to be exploring a lot, you have to watch the gauge that show you how much Elena has left before she turns into an monster. She starts turning when it’s at purple and that happen to me while in the tower, and you have to leave the tower to give her meat to set the gauge back to the beginning. This may sound annoying at first but this game makes backtracking very convenient that the puzzles you done are still done and you can go shortcuts to get back where you there at. Not to mention there is an item to sends you back to Elena so you don’t have to rush back to the beginning part of the tower. When you face a master, you have to watch its movements to find the weakness to take advantage of the fight.

While not in the towers, you can talk to Elena, give her gifts that she will like, and requests to translate books for you. This you have to do a lot since this increases the bond between Aeron and Elena and this will be important for getting one of the five endings depending on how much you increase it. You can also talk to Mavda that has a shop opened for materials, healing items, and gifts. You can give her flesh, and papers you not using to get money. You can create items that you don’t get in the towers like armor from materials. Lastly you can upgrade your weapons for more attack power from using materials.

I really like the concept of this game that is pretty well thought out with tons of background information to keep you interested. This game did really well in making you feel bad for Elena. The one time the gauge goes down to purple and I went back. I saw Elena has transformed abit and I felt bad for letting it happen. Since that I always make sure I leave the towers when the gauge is halfway so she doesn’t transform. The time limit system works really well, when you in the towers, they will be shortcuts to find/make to make exploring not annoying. I have to say using the chain is pretty fun with the controls good and the difficultly being fair. The boss fights are pretty fun to do finding out what works and what doesn’t work to your advantage. The music is really good fitting with the themes of this game. However I wish they made Aeron more interesting as he is kind of bland and you don’t learn much about him besides a few cutscenes. Also the second half of the towers can be tiring due to it being the same as the first half with the exception of the last two.

Overall with some flaws, Pandora’s Tower is a good game with an interesting concept, fun gameplay, good music, and good use of the time limit. I recommend trying this out and I really hope Nintendo release this to the US.

Added by LordDarkrai
6 years ago on 4 June 2012 20:51


Posted: 6 years, 1 month ago at Jun 5 13:58
Excellent review! I have heard many people say it is similar to Zelda's gameplay, though I haven't played any games in that series. Sounds like there are some minor flaws, like character depth (like you say Aeron is kind of bland) but it still has something fresh to offer. :)
Posted: 6 years, 1 month ago at Jun 8 18:58
Nintendo of America is also holding out on Project Zero II Wii Edition, also coming out this summer in Europe. Great review.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Oct 15 22:43
You know, unlike Xenoblade and The Last Story, Pandora's Tower's was largely ignored over here in the US for some reason. Personally I picked it up because it looked interesting... but you can find copies of it everywhere you go over here because of that. It's probably going to end up being one of those games that will only be appreciated once the Wii is dead and gone. Still, I more than thank Xseed games for bringing stuff like this and the Last Story over to the US. I know console RPGs aren't the in things anymore... but do we really got to regress back to the days before the 32-bit era when many of these games were relegated to Japan?

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