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Pandora's Tower, The Third Operation Rainfall Game, Is Coming To America

Illustration for article titled emPandoras Tower/em, The Third Operation Rainfall Game, Is Coming To America

Wow! Pandora's Tower is coming to the U.S. this spring, courtesy Xseed Games, the small publisher that brings all sorts of niche Japanese games to North America.

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Pandora's Tower is an action-RPG for Wii, and the third member of the three games requested by Operation Rainfall, a fan campaign designed to get Japanese Wii RPGs to America. The other two games: Xenoblade, released by Nintendo last year, and The Last Story, also released by Xseed last year.

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That makes Op Rainfall three for three.

"It's fantastic to be bringing such a highly-anticipated title like Pandora's Tower to such a vocal fan base," Xseed CEO Shinichi Suzuki said in a press release. "North American gamers have been very patient in waiting for this game to be released, and we're confident they will be pleased when they get their hands on the title."

Here's Xseed describing the game:

A tale of unfortunate circumstances, Pandora's Tower opens in the Kingdom of Elyria, where an unassuming singer named Elena succumbs to a wretched curse during a festival performance. Bearing an arcane mark on her back, she starts transforming into a savage monster, causing the town guards to attempt to kill her in order to prevent it. A young ex-mercenary named Aeron, whose heart has forever been pledged to Elena, whisks her away in the nick of time – and with the help of a mysterious witch named Mavda, he learns what must be done to avert her wretched fate. He must descend into The Scar, a massive chasm tied down by twelve chains connected to a floating island in its center, atop which sit thirteen interconnected towers. There, he must use his sword and a sacred chain to battle his way through each tower and extract the flesh of the boss "masters" that dwell within, which Elena must consume in order to reverse her ongoing transformation. But the clock is ticking! The longer Aeron takes to vanquish each beast, the less human Elena becomes, affecting her character and the game's final outcome in a profound manner. Time is of the essence...

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DISCUSSION

According to VGCharts, Xenoblade has sold 820,000 units worlwide, and out of those, 390k were sold in North America, 210k in Europe, and 160k were sold in Japan.

I find it funny... one would think that such a good JRPG should sell much, much better on its homeland than overseas.

The Last Story has supposedly sold 480,000 units worldwide, and out of those, NA sold 160k, Europe 100k, and Japan 180k. On this one Japan has the edge, but not by much when compared to NA.

Anyway, I think I can see now why Nintendo didn't want to bring these games themselves. Maybe 480,000 copies sold is good for a small publisher like Xseed, but Nintendo is used to break the 5-10 million sales mark with their games, (New Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart Wii, Zelda games, Wii Fit, Nintendogs, etc etc etc)... with their most successful IPs often breaking the 20 million sales mark. So, for Nintendo, maybe 500k just isn't enough for them.

To be honest, I find it surprising that they supported the Metroid franchise so much with the Wii (Metroid Prime 3, Metroid Other M and Metroid Prime Trilogy), because that IP just doesn't sell as much. It's somewhat popular in North America, but it's almost irrelevant in Japan.