You already beat BioShock Infinite
If youve already played through BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Judgment, DmC: Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and the other big-name console releases that hit in Q1 2013, dont despair! XSEED is here with Pandoras Tower to ensure that you dont go into video game withdrawal this April.
Of course, Pandoras Tower isnt the only game being released this month, but its probably the only one coming out as a result of the heartfelt pleas of thousands of fans of Japanese gaming. Like fellow Wii titles Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story, Pandoras Tower was ignored by Nintendo of America, and it looked like it wasnt going to make it stateside until the fans intervened and made their voices heard.
It provides relationship advice
One of the strengths of Pandoras Tower is the relationship is establishes between the main character, ex-soldier Aeron, and his silver-haired girlfriend, Elena. When Elena becomes cursed and starts transforming into a hideous monster in the middle of the Harvest Festival, Aeron doesnt flee in terror; on the contrary, he protects Elena and tries to find a way to free her from her curse. Alas, this isnt enough to form an everlasting bond between the two--thats up to you.
During the course of Pandoras Tower youll need to converse with Elena and give her gifts in order for her affection for you to rise, and shell often give you useful items and translate old texts in return. Just like in real life, though, its a slow process, and if you give her the wrong gift or say the wrong thing, your relationship may deteriorate. The bond between the two characters often feels convincing, and youll probably soon find yourself becoming protective of Elena and wanting to ensure that she doesnt come to any harm.
Because there was no Bionic Commando on Wii
Hey, Capcom? Why was there no Bionic Commando on Wii? We guess it doesnt really matter, though--Pandoras Tower is the next-best thing (or maybe even better). Aside from melee weapons such as swords and a scythe, the main tool in the Pandoras Tower arsenal is the Oraclos Chain, a grappling-hook-like device thats used for all kinds of gameplay purposes. You can use it to swing across gaps, grab distant items, ensnare enemies, pull yourself to out-of-reach ledges, swing foes overhead (and throw them in to other enemies), activate machines, unlock doors, and more.
Furthermore, the chain works amazingly well with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk--you simply point at the screen with the Wii Remote to aim, and then hit the B button to fire. You can play using a Classic Controller instead (in which case you aim the chain with the right stick), but this is one of the few cases where the game mechanics truly feel built from the ground up for Wii and are superior to more-traditional controls.
Killer dungeon designs
The gameplay in Pandoras Tower focuses primarily on exploring 13 mysterious towers and destroying the huge chains that seal the door leading to each towers Master. Though there is a central hub, theres no overworld to explore or towns to visit--the dungeon-like towers are where the actions at. Good thing, then, that the elementally themed towers are very well designed, each featuring excellent layouts, clever puzzles, and cool interactive elements that make them stand apart from one another.
In Treetop Tower, for example, youll have to destroy giant flowers to eliminate thorn bushes that block your path; in Sheerdrop Spire youll have to grab pieces of ore and throw them into the wall to create grapple points; and in Wellspring Steeple youll manipulate giant water wheels.
Monster Flesh... its whats for dinner
If you thought your school cafeterias cooking was questionable, just wait til you get a load of whats being served up in Pandoras Tower. Your mission in the game isnt just to enter each dungeon and defeat the boss. Oh, no--your goal is to use the Oraclos Chain to tear out the bosses central organ--known as Master Flesh--and take it back to Elena so she can feast on the pulsating purple meat. Gross? Twisted? Unsettling? You bet! However, its also the only way to free Elena from her monster-transformation curse, so despite the fact that shes a vegetarian, Elenas going to force down every chunk of juicy Master Flesh you can send her way.
And its not just Master Flesh thats on the menu. Lesser enemies also give up their meat as you cut them down to size, and youll have to feed it to Elena as well unless you want to see her become a slimy, tentacled, cyst-covered freak. Strangely, though, the more flesh you feed Elena, the more she seems to like it. Disturbing!
The boss battles are epic
Think the Masters of each tower are just sitting around, waiting to become dinner? Think again. If you want to take their Master Flesh, youre going to have to earn it. And its not just a matter of hacking and slashing--most boss fights have a puzzle element, too, and youll have to use both your wits and the Oraclos Chain to obliterate each behemoth boss.
Though early boss battles involve little more than dodging attacks and countering at opportune moments, youll quickly find the fights becoming much more involved; youll have to extinguish flames to expose weak spots, tear off armor to get to the Master Flesh, tether bosses to the environment to prevent them from moving, and more. Theres even one boss battle in which youre forced to climb onto the creatures back, Shadow of the Colossus-style.
So youll never be late again
Theres one more important part of the Pandoras Tower formula: the entire time that youre trying to conquer dungeons and swipe Master Flesh, the clock is ticking. A gauge in the lower-left corner of the screen indicates how much time is left before Elena transforms into a monster. Youll either learn to be on time, or learn to get really familiar with the Game Over screen.
To prevent that from happening, youll need to periodically return to your makeshift home and feed Elena the most delectable piece of flesh youve collected. (Fortunately, the gauge doesnt deplete while youre at home.) Naturally, the time restriction adds a unique element of tension, not unlike that provided by the falling moon in The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask. Time management at its finest!
Your Wii is just collecting dust
Admit it--you just havent gotten much use out of your Wii console lately. Its not your fault; these things just sorta happen. The system had a decent run, but its fallen by the wayside, with only a trickle of noteworthy releases in recent years. Pandoras Tower gives you a great excuse to take the poor thing out of mothballs, clean it off, and embark on one last gamer-oriented exclusive adventure for the aging Wii hardware.
Your Wii U is just collecting dust too
Oh, this is embarrassing. It seems that the Wii U hasnt had many new releases either. Sure, there was Lego City Undercover and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate recently, but new titles on the system have been few and far between. So if you cant find where you stored your Wii or you threw it out after performing the system transfer or your little brother stuffed the disc drive full of smashed-up Ritz crackers, just fire up your Wii U and take advantage of the systems backwards compatibility.
The climb continues...
Weve listed the biggest reasons to play Pandoras Tower, but there are others, too--such as its item-crafting system, its mystery-filled story, and the fact that the game features five different endings. Or maybe you just want to see what all the fuss is about amongst the die-hard Nintendo fans. Whatever the case, North American players will have their chance when the game rolls out on April 16.