Following the release of The Last Story and Xenoblade, the third and final long awaited JRPG is finally out in the US. With some big shoes to fill, Pandora’s Tower promises a heart-warming story but also includes solid action gameplay. However, is this enough to make it stand out next to the other titles or was it hyped up to be more than it was?
Let’s take a look on what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Pandora’s Tower.
A Heart-Warming Love Story
Pandora’s Tower revolves around the two main characters in the game: Elena and Aeron. At the beginning, you are immediately placed into a scene where Elena needs to eat some flesh meat to prevent her from turning into a beast. There’s no background story whatsoever at the very start but as you progress through the game, the bond between two characters will grow stronger, and more story about them will be slowly revealed. The story isn’t the most unique that is available this generation but those who are fond of a very emotional love story, Pandora’s Tower will be enough for you.
Forming a bond with Elena is very important in the game. Through the ten or so hours that you will spend, one of the key things that you will be doing is to grow that bond that you build with Elena by doing certain tasks. Since one of the ways to keep Elena from turning into a cursed beast is to give her a flesh of the ‘masters’, you must guide Aeron through the thirteen towers and unlock the chains from the thirteen tower doors that holds the lair of the ‘masters’. In addition to the love story, Aeron must race through time as he makes sure Elena gets the flesh in time. Aside from giving her flesh, Aeron can further improve the bond with her by giving her gifts. The more bond and conversations you make with her, the more segments of the story will be unveiled.
Well Designed Dungeons and Presentation
There will be no towns or areas to explore in Pandora’s Tower except for dungeons. As you go through the thirteen towers, all you will see are dungeons. While it may sound tedious as dungeon crawling game environment can get repetitive, the game succeeds by adding variety into it. Every dungeon that you get into are well designed. Puzzles are here and there and every time you get to it, you can expect to see something new.
Since there are no towns to be found and only just dungeons, there is one area where it acts as a sanctuary to both characters. In there, Elena and the shopkeeper named Mavda will be residing in that sanctuary called Observatory. From there, you can do all sorts of things like saving your progress, buy items, and many more. Think of the Observatory as your town, though the only people you can expect to see are those two.
Great Use of Oraclos Chain
In order to scour through the dungeons, Aeron will rely on his grappling hook like arsenal called Oraclos Chain. By using the Nintendo Wii Remote, you can point at your screen and aim towards the targeted area where you want to use the Oraclos Chain. The chains have many uses; you can use it to extract items from enemies after defeating them in battle, use it to get from one area to the next by flipping switches, and last, take down the boss with it. The variety of things that you can do with the Oraclos Chain is amazing and it’s great that its use is not limited to only one. Most of the time, the Oraclos Chain will be used in solving puzzles.
Impressive Boss Fights
One of the main highlights of Pandora’s Tower are the boss fights. In the thirteen towers, you will fight one at the very end. The boss fights have their own theme like how the first boss has a forest theme. As with all bosses, each always holds a pattern and it’s up for you to figure it out. Aside from using the Oraclos Chain in solving puzzles, using them in boss fights will play a pivotal role as well.
Simplistic Combat System
Mastering how the combat works within the game is easy. Think of Pandora’s Tower gameplay like a hack and slash game. Most of the time, you will simply just spam attacks and do finishing moves using the Oraclos at any given time. Combos are there but there’s nothing exciting about them. If the Oraclos Chain wasn’t there, I would consider the combat system of Pandora’s Tower to be tedious, but alas, Oraclos Chain is there to add flavor into it.