Pandora’s Tower

Nintendo Wii - Rating: 8/10

It’s been quite some time since I’ve played through a game on the Wii. Pandora’s Tower is certainly one of the best looking games on the platform. It follows the standard console action/adventure game formula: a series of areas to explore, a new ability added in each area, and a boss at the end of the section that requires mastery of that ability to be defeated. Wrapped around this is a sappy story of the girl who has been cursed and must now be fed monster guts in order to cure herself. I’m really not one for the Japanese anime-style of story telling, but it wasn’t as horrible and convoluted as the genre can be. I especially liked the scenes of Elena gobbling up gore… well, at least I did the first dozen times I watched that cut scene. The 39th time… not so much.

The unique game play mechanic is your chain weapon. It’s a little bit like Link’s hookshot in that you can use it to grapple around the environments, but its primary function is to bind up monsters and rip them apart. As you do so, you collect more and more chunks of beast-flesh to feed to Elena. The weapon is well-suited for the Wii-mote control scheme: point at a target then jerk the controller back to extract meat and cause damage. The longer you pull against the chain before jerking, the more damage you cause. Ahem, phrasing?

One the key threads of the game’s narrative is your relationship with Elena. There’s a meter running up the side of the screen which gauges her affinity towards you. The way to build your relationship is to keep giving her gifts, chatting with her, and, most importantly, not letting her become a cursed monster by dawdling too long in each castle. I’m sure otaku anime fanboys will love this, but I couldn’t be bothered with what essentially is a dating sim. Because of this, I got a mediocre ending despite all my work ridding the world of end bosses. Now, I should feel challenged to play through again and get the best ending, right? Hell, no! That’s what YouTube is for.

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