Although this 2006 adventure game wears its 1999 point-and-click predecessor ‘The Longest Journey’ proudly, I think it’s important to remember that they are fundamentally very different beasts with separate goals and intentions. The point and click gameplay is gone, replaced with a rather bland walk and touch mechanic. The main character April Ryan is gone, relegated to a supporting role, although in her place we have a brand new intriguing heroine. The full bodied adventure in which the main character discovers herself in a fulfilling journey that culminates with the saving of the world is replaced by something much darker, more twisted and spiritual. Thankfully they have retained the brilliantly paced storytelling, superb voice acting and multiple interwoven intricately plotted threads that drag you through a narrative heavy game that offers little besides its heart and soul.
Billed in Europe as the third in a trilogy of Japanese RPGs imported (or the fourth as some adverts decided to awkwardly cram in Skyward Sword to make a quartet) Pandora’s Tower is certainly the oddball of the group.
It feels a little unfair to constantly compare ‘Last Story’ to ‘Xenoblade Chronicles’ which was without a doubt the seminal RPG of the Wii last year. The games have a lot in common; but set themselves fundamentally different goals. Whilst ‘Xenoblade’ told a story epic on scope and depth, ‘Last Story’ contents itself with a much smaller, more personal setting, yet one with just as many shocking revelations as it’s predecessor.
Sadly the Longest Journey, released over a decade ago in 1999, is an old game now. The Developer Funcom has moved on to larger action adventure titles and large MMORPGs but in many ways ‘The Longest Journey’ is still as relevant now as it was when released. Sure it looks dated, with Playstation 1 level graphics, and despite a talented vocal group the dialogue is stilted compared with some of the more dramatic modern games released today, but there’s no denying this is an adventure with a heart and soul eager to be unleashed.