Pandora's Tower

Fri, May 18, 2012, 01:00

GAME OF THE WEEK:12 cert, Nintendo, Wii ****

The Wii may be facing replacement as Nintendo’s main console, but there are still games out there worth investing in. Pandora’s Tower is one of them; absorbing in its storyline, great to look at, it keeps reeling you back in for just one more shot.

The story revolves around the relationship between Elena and Aeron. Elena has been cursed, facing a hideous transformation into a beast unless Aeron can find a way to break the curse. That involves taking on beasts and gathering flesh from them to try to combat the curse and stop Elena’s transformation.

Temporary reprieve can be gained from the flesh of lesser beasts, but it will take the “master flesh” from the main beasts to permanently reverse the effects. It will take brains as well as brawn to win the day, as, armed with a sword and the Oraclos chain, you scour towers to find the master beasts.

Pandora’s Tower ticks all the right boxes, blending combat and puzzles in an atmospheric, at times gory, environment. The puzzle elements are challenging without inducing hair-tearing frustration, and the combat, while not perfect, is satisfying for the most part.

Your relationship with Elena is equally important; there are multiple endings, and yours is determined according to your interactions with her and your actions within the game. Staving off the transformation from beauty to beast will require you to return regularly with new supplies, and it’s something you have to keep a close eye on.

Pandora’s Tower suffers from comparisons to other RPGs, and there are elements to it that don’t help its case. The camera, for example, can be a little frustrating at times. And while the chain is a valuable and brutal weapon, the combat becomes a little repetitive.

Despite its flaws, Pandora’s Tower is an intriguing addition to the Wii line-up.