It’s the Legend of Pandora and it’s not really rad…
For better or worse, Legend of Pandora makes no bones about what it is: A Zelda clone. That in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a brush with the greatness that is Zelda helped pave the way for such fare as Secret of Mana, Illusion of Gaia, and more recently, 3D Dot Game Heroes. Unfortunately, however, Legend of Pandora is none of these, nor does it approach them.
It isn’t a bad game, necessarily, but it wears its inspirations on its sleeve. The graphics look like a color version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, albeit with a slight hint of Earthbound mixed in there somewhere; yet at the same time, something just feels off about it all. Almost like a blander version of either.
The inspiration goes beyond mere visuals and playstyle as well. The way the player character attacks with his sword echoes the broad swings of Link in the aforementioned Zelda title, but without the effectiveness, as it only hurts an enemy right in front of you at the end of the attack. Enemies, such as the suspiciously Octorok-like rock-spitting octopuses and snakes, look like modified versions of enemies from the other game as well.
Speaking of the enemies, they feel rather overpowered early on in the game; not so much in that they will overwhelm you, as you’d still have to really try to be killed by them. Rather, they just take too many hits to kill, making the process tedious in the early going. It takes seven strikes to kill an Octorok (just calling it what it is), and a whopping 20 for a snake.
These are rough figures, though, as the weapon does an inconsistent amount of damage, which is actually one of the game’s more interesting points. The strikes vary in damage, and you can see how much they are doing as the numbered values float away and you watch the enemy’s life bar diminish. A nice touch which spices things up a bit, particularly in conjunction with the ability to level up various skills and attributes, but it’s really not likely to change any minds about the overall product.
Musically, the game isn’t much to speak of. It has an 8-bit sounding tune which neither offends nor excites, which is actually a pretty good allegory for the game as a whole. It isn’t really bad, but nor does it excel. It’s just sort of there, existing.
Legend of Pandora is a modest enough substitute if you don’t have a system which plays Zelda, Secret of Mana, or other such titles. But really, the more we play of Legend of Pandora, the more we would rather just be playing The Legend of Zelda.