GAME NAME: Pandora’s Tower
GENRE(S): Action role-playing/JRPG
RELEASE DATE(S): 13 April 2012
Throughout this generation the Wii’s popularity has been unrivalled. Among the masses that is. Traditional gamers on the other hand have a different opinion of the Wii and the various Party/Family/Kiddie titles that ooze from its seams. In the last few months these monotonous titles seem to have taken a back seat and games such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Xenoblade: Chronicles and The Last Story have graced the platform, much to core gamer’s delight. The latest addition to this RPG line-up is Pandora’s Tower, a game that has many shortfalls but at the same time can’t be faulted for its attempt to bring something different to the platform.
Imagine a classic Walt Disney princess tale, only with various gruesome horror elements. Elina is a singer with some serious issues, one of which is a large curse etched into her back. If that wasn’t a dead giveaway the occasional purple tentacles emerging from her might give you more of a clue. Not to worry though because the protagonist, Aeron, has arrived to save the purple, mutating, flesh-eating love of his life. Really tugs at the heartstrings doesn’t it?
Aeron and Elena go into hiding and, to prevent Elena from mutating any more, Aeron needs to battle though 13 towers and bring his love flesh from the slain beasts at the end of each mission. The game start off well but the hack’n'slash gameplay doesn’t offer much more that just that. A limited time mechanism adds a bit more tension as you often feel under pressure to complete the Zelda-like puzzles contained within the various towers. If you do run out of time Aeron will need to return to Elena and restart the section. The boss battles are at best a nice break from the tedious build-up preceding them but, regardless of these flaws, there is still a feeling of fulfillment as the storyline goes some way to make up for what is essentially very repetitive gameplay.
Pandora’s Tower boasts six possible ending based on your rank. This encourages you play the towers over again with some new sections unlocked but replaying the towers feels like a chore. The voice acting is terrible but this is kind of what we’ve come to expect from translated RPGs over the years. If the voice acting was on par with even half of the game’s outstanding soundtrack it would have improved matters considerably. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even come close.
Pandora’s Tower brings a much-needed uniqueness to the now nearly dead library of Wii titles but at the same time isn’t near the quality and depth of other Wii RPGs such as Xenoblade. All of its downfalls aside the story, music score and atmosphere add a certain ‘magic’ to the game. Pandora’s Tower is by no means game of the year material but is still a worthwhile experience if you are willing to forgive its weaknesses, average completion time and at least half of the tedious towers.