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.
Last year Nintendo revealed their next console, the Wii U, which garnered mixed reactions from many a gamer. Rumors have circulated over the specs of the console. Some developers have said that the console is just as powerful as the 360 and PS3. Other have said it even more powerful than both. Then come the leaked picture of the updated Wii U Tablet Controller. On the games side, we got Xenoblade! And we’re getting The Last Story later this month courtesy of XSEED. What of the fate of Pandora’s Tower? What will Pikmin 3 look like? Will there be a Starfox game by Platinum Games? Will there be a crossover of Starfox and Metroid by Retro Studios? All will be known today.
Liveblog and Press Conference start at 12 Noon EDT.
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.
Ahoy fellow fishes. Another episode has arrived! Despite battery issues, we have a full episode for you today. First up, the 3DS: What happened and what will its future be. Next, Gamescom and the games we’re looking out for. And finally, we talk about the games we’re playing now.
P.S.: in the intro, I wanted to say Tuesday but had Thursday on the mind. There is no day called Tursday. I meant to say Tuesday.
The Fallout and Future of 3DS………………………………….0:57
Gamescom: Skyward Sword…………………………………18:51
Gamescom: Redesigned Wii………………………………….20:30
Gamescom: Non-Wi-Fi PSP…………………………………..22:05
Gamescom: The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower……….23:06
Gamescom: BlazBlue CSII update………………………….26:16
Gamescom: Ultimate MvC3………………………………….30:40
Gamescom: Street Fighter X Tekken……………………….43:20
Gamescom: Kombatant Freddy Krueger………………….44:45
Games that we’re playing now…………………………….53:06
This is part of the second campaign they have prepared in trying to convince Nintendo to bring over Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. As mentioned almost two weeks ago, Operation Rainfall was going to ready another mailing campaign in which they’ll send letters to Nintendo again the day Xenoblade is released in Europe. Since then, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said that they’ll “be watching very closely what happens in Europe… Certainly if there are business opportunities and positive consumer uptake from some of those titles, that will be great data for us to consider as we look at what to do with these titles.” It somewhat falls in line with what Operation Rainfall wanted to do in their second phase in regards to increasing awareness of Xenoblade in Europe to make it a success.
So what of Final Fantasy? Well, Operation Rainfall is telling its supporters to go and buy the original Final Fantasy on the Wii Virtual Console, which costs 500 Wii Points. This is to show Nintendo that there is still a market for JRPGs. I can see their logic in telling its supporters to buy Final Fantasy as it’s one of the most well known J-RPGs out there. However, the one main flaw I see in that is that Final Fantasy, as a franchise, is pretty popular based on brand recognition alone and is not very niche like the Rainfall titles. Plus, the first Final Fantasy has been on so many platforms already, people are bound to already have it on one of them (I have it on PS1). In a sense, Final Fantasy has that somewhat Mario-like transcendence of genre to the point that those who don’t normally play JRPGs still play Final Fantasy (either that or they have no idea that Final Fantasy is a JRPG). A better idea would’ve been to tell supporters to buy a JRPG from the Virtual console rather than a specific one. Maybe compile a list of what is considered a JRPG, like Breath of Fire II or Ys Book 1 & 2 for example, and let supporters choose. Now it may be problematic as numbers would be sporadic amongst many titles rather than it being condensed into one title, thus having those sales be attributed to regular run-of-the-mill sales. If they really needed to choose one title, Final Fantasy wasn’t the answer.
Fan movement Operation Rainfall has completed their initial three mailing campaign, which targeted Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower for NTSC localization. The last expected day that Nintendo would have received their letter was on July 27 (the campaign for Pandora’s Tower). Since then, Nintendo has released their release calendar(,pdf, pg 6) for the rest of the year, and still none of the above mentioned games were found on that list. To make matters worse, Nintendo has reported a massive financial loss in the last fiscal year due in part to poor sales of the 3DS and Wii (plus the massive drought occurring on the Wii). This might make the localizing of the Rainfall titles even more of a risk as now Nintendo is going to play in the safest of ways possible. Maybe that huge price cut on the 3DS might turn the tables, but for now, things are looking very gloomy.
Oh god you have no idea how much I want to believe this. But alas, it is only a rumor. According to Operation Rainfall, an anonymous source within Nintendo is stating that the localization of Xenoblade is complete and that The Last Story is up next for localization. No word yet on Pandora’s Tower. However, it seems even Operation Rainfall is suspicious about the news. It does beg the question though. Say it really did get localized. Are they using the British accent localization, or a more American English sounding localizing? You can read more about this on Operation Rainfall’s blog.
Ahoy Fellow Fishes! We have returned with an All-New episode of The Wired Fish Podcast. We have video this time (woohoo!), and there will now be a rundown with every podcast we make. But do mind the lame title sequence. We haven’t made a new one yet. And we need more mics. But regardless, we have a variety of topics covered today. So grab your drinks, your snacks, and your ears, and enjoy the show.
On a sidenote: We do record every Thursday. As for release times, well that depends on how much editing needs to be done. But rest assured, these get released within the week.
Also, I forgot to mention. The Beyond Good and Evil HD trailer was obtained from Machinima.com.
And do support Operation Rainfall’s effort to persuade Nintendo of America to release Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower.
Supreme Court Decision – 2:09
Operation Rainfall – 10:27
Review Fallout of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D – 17:50
Capcom Nickel & Diming and DRM – 23:23
Beyond Good & Evil HD and Ocarina of Time 3D – 29:20
Games like The Legend of Zelda – 37:28
Release methods between SEGA and Nintendo – 49:31
Wrap Up – 58:06
Credits – 59:03
Looking at my games library, I see more white cases (and a red one) than I see clear or green cases. There’s no mistaking it, my Wii has gotten the most attention this generation than my PS3 (which I got 2 years after the I got my Wii near launch). A Nintendo Customer Service rep (long story) even looked through my Wii account and said it was the largest account he’d ever seen. “Points redeemed, points redeemed, points redeemed…” is all I heard for about a minute. So yes, you can say that I’m a satisfied customer. I like the Wii, and thank god it came out when it did (the world would be a browner, grayer place if it didn’t). But still, there’s always this niggling feeling that I get; that the Wii is capable of something more. Maybe the Wii does have that “something more.” But with so many problems plaguing the Wii now, and with Project Cafe potentially being revealed at E3, the Wii may never reach that “something more.” And that’s a damn shame.