Dubbed the black sheep of the Rainfall titles, Pandora’s Tower may very well be the last big release on the Wii. The company making the game, Ganbarion, doesn’t have the pedigree of Monolithsoft or Mistwalker, didn’t have stellar sales like Xenoblade and The Last Story, and critical reception was pretty average. However its premise and association with Operation Rainfall might make it a cult hit.
The story follows a girl, Elena, who has been cursed and is slowly turning into a monster. A soldier for the kingdom Athos, Aeron, takes Elena away from the festival they were in so that the townsfolk don’t kill her. In the trailer, we hear what Aeron has to do to lift the curse from Elena. We also get a glimpse of the relationship focus the game has with Elena questioning Aeron’s acceptance and love for her.
Pandora’s Tower was originally set to release on March 26th. However, according to Amazon, it’s been delayed to some time between April 22nd-April 26th. A pretty far delay, but makes sense considering what’sgettingreleased this month. It hurts a bit, but a wise move nonetheless.
Just when you thought all hope was lost for Pandora’s Tower after the release of the Wii U, XSEED comes in to save the day. Previously, XSEED brought over The Last Story. Pandora’s Tower is an action RPG with heavy puzzle elements. The story follows a woman named Elena who, during a festival, succumbs to a curse that slowly starts turning her into a monster. Aeron, Elena’s love interest, takes her away to avoid being killed by the town guards. Mavda, a witch, takes them to a place called The Scar, with contains different towers attached by large chains. It’s here where they are toled that Elena must eat the hearts of the monsters Aeron kills to keep the transformation at bay. And yes, you see her eat the hearts, which rest assured look none too appetizing.
Pandora’s Tower is the third and final game left in the Operation Rainfall campaign to bring Nintendo’s JRPGs stateside. Of the three titles (the other two being Xenoblade and The Last Story), Pandora’s Tower was the black sheep of the bunch, receiving Average reviews and selling the least worldwide. Not having the acclaim of the the other two, begging for a U.S. release of this one looked hopeless. Even OpRainfall was caught by surprise. With the release of the Wii U, Nintendo had pretty much stopped support of the original Wii, making a U.S. release of this game even less likely. And now? Well what can I say? XSEED gained a whole boatload of respect from JRPG fans. And OpRainfall? Mission Accomplished.
Yesterday I got dressed and was ready to haul ass to Gamestop in the Hub of South Bronx to pick up The Last Story. I called the Gamestop to make sure it was there. As soon as I asked the question, I was immediately responded with “It should be here tomorrow.” And I mean he immediately answered me, like he was asked that already by someone else. Considering how pompous I feel, being a gamer of such refined taste as I in a neighborhood such as this, I thought I was the only one in the neighborhood to preorder the game. I mean, I was the only one that preordered Xenoblade here and I had to make a second trip some days later for the artbook. I also preordered The Last Story that first day too. Certainly I deduced that I was remembered.
But I digress. I equated this to Gamestop being up to their old shenanigans again. But just out of curiosity I checked to see if other gamers were having this issue. And lo and behold, I wasn’t the only one. In fact, this was affecting many Gamestops and other stores in the U.S. Confirmation of shipping delays came straight from XSEED’s Twitter. Even Canada was having issues. So if you didn’t get The Last Story yesterday, check today. But do call ahead to make sure. Looks like Gamestop’s off the hook… for now.
Before the mayhem of E3, Amazon customers who pre-ordered The Last Story were sent emails informing them that the game would not be released on the expected date. In the email, it stated that “the release date for the video game listed below has been changed by the publisher…” It goes on to state that the estimated release date would be August 6th, which is a little over 5 weeks from the original release date of June 20th. So we’ll have to wait a little longer to enjoy what may be the Wii’s Last Story.
But on the heels of this delay comes some good news. XSEED has revealed that a special Limited Edition will come with all first run copies of the game. The game will come with a 44-page artbook (way more pages that Xenoblade’s), with both the game and artbook coming in a box. If this is the reason for the delay, then I welcome it. I’m a sucker for collector’s items that are standard with the game (like Ar Tonelico, Devil Summoner 2, and Persona 2). I just finished Xenoblade, so I’m more than ready to play this. Not sure if those who pre-ordered have a better chance of getting the artbook, nor if it can be picked up without a pre-order. I’ll update you when I find out.
I want to cry. So… so much. While Nintendo of Europe has shown how awesome they are by being the bigger man by localizing the three games and giving them awesome collectors editions, they went one step further and created this. Exclusive to HMV, the box came with an artbook depicting concept art for all three games and left extra room to store your three games, Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. Note that the box does not come with the actual games themselves, nor is this the Limited Edition box for Pandora’s Tower (it has its own LE).
You got this if you pre-ordered any version of Pandora’s Tower. Prota tipped me on this during a Spring Break hangout at the ol’ campus. I couldn’t believe it. Then he showed me it on Facebook. My jaw dropped into the pits of Tartarus. For a while, both links lead to missing pages on HMV. But the Limited Edition on has since returned (though whether or not you get the box with the game is still a mystery). While I thought that image you see up there was fake, this video proves that it does exists and that NoE are the kings of trolling the hell out of us American gamers. But hey, if you got the disposable income to get the box somehow, you can still put your NTSC games in there. I probably would.
I wondered about this since the beginning of March if people would be able to buy Xenoblade without having to Preorder. I already preordered the game, but I’m just curious since since Nintendo’s lack of faith in the game selling made it seem like one of those preorder exclusive deals. Thankfully GoNintendo had the answer, and the official word from Nintendo is that they “…can confirm the Xenoblade Chronicles will be available exclusively for purchase through U.S. Gamestop retail locations…Nintendo never stated that it will only be available to those who preorder it.” So going by their word, you don’t necessarily need to preorder to score a copy of the game. But then again, it’s best to preorder anyways to make the numbers look good ahead of time.
Now The Last Story, that’s a different… err story. While you can probably get away with not pre-ordering Xenoblade and pick up on-the-spot, XSEED will be practicing the Niche Publisher Limited Run scheme that has been successful so far for publishers like NIS America, Atlus, and XSEED themselves. In other words, The Last Story will have a limited run in the U.S. and XSEED will print copies close to the number of pre-orders that they get. So if you want to score yourself a copy of The Last Story, you’re better off preordering. Thankfully the game will be stocked “at any retailer that wishes to stock it.” So if you hate Gamestop, you can get it at another store, like Game Champ!
Looks like it. A User by the name of Conegamer at gamrConnect noticed that The Last Story‘s Metacritic page has posted a release date of June 19, 2012. Conegamer does point out that Metacritic has been wrong before, but with many signs pointing to an ambiguous Summer release for the game, Metacritic may not be too far off.
Remember kiddos, Xenoblade gets release on April 6, a Friday. Those that pre-ordered get a snazzy artbook. Though I’ll have to confirm with Gamestop if those artbooks apply to those that preodered before or after they said it. And to U.K. gamers, GAME doesn’t have The Last Story in stock. So you might have to look elsewhere for your TLS fix.
And finally there’s a trailer for Mistwalker’s The Last Story with English voices. Since the primary market for the PAL release is European (obviously), the voices here are British, just like Xenoblade. Of course I have no problem with it, at all. And they seem to fit even more too, especially for the Lowell character (uh, no offense), even though we don’t hear his voice. Regardless, The Last Story is scheduled for release in Europe on February 24, with Australia getting it a day before. And remember, Xenoblade graces our shores on April 6th.
I Stand On My Soapbox is a series of editorials that cover more specific topics in the games industry and community. These articles are a little more extreme than normal editorials published here, and could just degenerate to outright ranting. Have fun and enjoy the show!
Over the weekend, the Wii community, and JRPGs as a whole, have been celebrating the confirmation of Xenoblade finally making it to the U.S. I’ve been listening to the music all weekend and have added some songs to my daily playlist. I’ve seen the trailer a lot, saw some gameplay footage, and watched a couple of early cutscenes in the game. I’m ready to preorder this baby this week (even though I really hate Gamestop, it’s my only choice. And no I have no means to pre-order from Nintendo). But in the back of my mind, I fear that this game may not sell well in the U.S. But this time, it cannot happen. It mustn’t happen! Continue reading →