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A jam submission

The Last Panderling IIView game page

Cute Zelda-style action/adventure RPG with optional local co-op.
Submitted by Slyonics, Alrunia — 1 day, 2 hours before the deadline

Play game

The Last Panderling II's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Best Narrative#1n/an/a
Community Choice#74.4044.583

Ranked from 12 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous.

  • I love games that pander to me, and hey, this has it right in the title!  Slyonics and Alrunia's the Last Panderling 2 explores a world where you've already seen the near-extinction of your entire race, been a hero, saved the day, and just need to tie up a few loose ends. 

    The Last Panderling 2 does a really spectacular job of feeling like a robust, well-polished vertical slice or intro demo of a very solid zelda-y action rpg. The team obviously used their time wisely, ending up with an impressive as heck submission that hits some sweet highs.

    Sword swipes and dodges are a nice baseline for combat and generally feel tight and responsive. They could maybe use a bit of tweaking with hitboxes, and I'd have loved to see a bit more variety in player ability (say Lenny using a ranged attack, some sort of differentiation there), but given the time span of this jam what's there is already quite solid.  Kudos for supporting two players well, and also having surprisingly decent AI control for the second party member.  Neither of those are simple features to implement, and I was repeatedly impressed with Lenny's AI behavior, so great work!

    The spritework is really, really excellent, and it brings the Last Panderling 2's inhabitants to life.  The mossy lion in particular is just great, as is its side quest that helps give a nice extra bit of depth to traversing the world. Portraits are fantastically rendered, even including subtle bits of animation to help sell the characters.  Though the tiles are mostly outside assets (which is totally fine in this jam), I think you did a fantastic job of tweaking them and their palettes to create pleasing areas. There's an excellent level of cohesiveness ya were able to attain, everything fitting within a beautiful aesthetic, which is not an easy thing to pull off at all.

    Last Panderling 2's music is phenomenal, super pleasant and listenable.  I found myself just letting the title screen play a few times, and honestly? That's stronger than a lotta retail games, its recurring leit motif that reappears through pinecone town and the final boss tracks is just so so good.  A+ job here, ya should be proud of your tracks!

    The narrative and character dialogue really nicely hits the theme of unnecessary sequel: this feels like a hero and world that has run their course, and they're surprised themselves things are continuing on at this point.  But I like that it doesn't beleagur that conceit and manages to have a fun narrative throughline with nods to the previous events.

    There's definitely a few small-but-pretty-annoying issues in the judging build.  The two that jumped out the most to me were enemy invincibility frames making it a bit unpleasant to repeatedly whack enemies, and a tight camera-follow rectangle which makes seeing what's ahead often pretty difficult.  This restrictive camera is also a bit unwieldy in 2p, often cutting off dodges which can be a pain.  But these minor grievances don't do much to detract from the overall experience.

    I think this concept could readily be expanded upon, since what's here is a really tempting slice of gameplay that naturally leads into a larger experience.  Heck, I'd love to see you straight up make an actual the Last Panderling 1, or maybe use this world and its characters for another storyline with tightened gameplay.  You've really nailed a compelling experience with a lot of possibility for expansion, so if ya have any desire for that I say go for it!

Elevator pitch
Cute, short action-RPG inspired by Secret of Mana and Legend of Zelda.

Describe how your game adheres to the theme
When I hear "unnecessary sequel", I think of a movie with a neat, self-contained plot that turns out to be a surprise hit and gets milked for multiple sequels as part of a soulless corporate cash-grab. That's why I'm making a short action-RPG named "The Last Panderling 2" based on the premise that the original game was tragic and bittersweet, and then the sequel walks all of that back to give the consumers exactly what the executives think they want: more panderlings panderlinging it up all over the place. I imagine that The Last Panderling V will eventually have an entire village of panderlings living happily in a Smurf village and foiling the plans of an ineffectual villain every week within 20 minutes, including commercial breaks.

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Comments

Submitted(+1)
Pros:
  • Beautiful aurally and visually
  • Nice writing for the characters
  • Fun and enjoyable idea and experience
Cons:
  • Camera is quite loose
  • I-frames for enemies are significantly longer duration than the player
  • Very short range attack
Here & There:

It's all been said before, but this looks wonderful, you did a great job on the character portraits and making the tileset cohesive with everything else. The characters read like JRPG characters, the music sounds like JRPG music, etc. It's all very nicely put together. The range of the attack is woefully short though, and in conjunction with the stopping on each attack it feels both stilted and inefficient. The enemies also have such long periods of invincibility that at some points, especially with the slimes, you feel like you're just waiting until you can kill them. On the other hand, in the final fight, you can take damage from every round of attacks from Pretzel, even twice in one combo with the lightning and fireballs which feels unfair to some degree. I forgot that on the Gong Show Jon went back to the shop and we saw that you could buy a lantern, so I also went into the cave not remembering that that item existed, and the game doesn't let you know about a shop which fits with the narrative but also leaves the player in the lurch. The ending got me to chuckle and overall this game is really very well done. Great work you two!

Submitted

Cool gameplay, and the art is great! Really nice job. 

I wish enemies had less of an invincibility frame after being hit. It felt like I had to hit them... Wait a few beats... Hit them again... I think it would be snappier if you could be more slash slashy and then just have more of an emphasis on the dodging. 

I think there should be a checkpoint during the last level after you fall into the basement area. I died in the last fight and it was a bummer having to go from the start of the sand palace again. 

Looks like other people have said this, but I want to echo the camera edge of the screen annoyance. It definitely felt like it needed to scroll a lot earlier. I have a feeling it was trying too hard to keep the other NPC character in view, maybe it needs to give more precedence to the main character. Also the NPC seemed to get stuck a lot and stop me from moving foward. Happened to me a few times and I had to walk back to him for him to unstick. 

The music is amazing, really bright. Video game music is tricky, though, because the looping is important. There were a few tracks where the loop was really abrupt. 

Awesome job! Loved it overall!

Submitted(+1)

Super cute art and wonderful music. I had fun the whole way through, though I'd like to see how well the co-op thing works.

Collision on attacking felt a little wonky, especially for large enemies. I had to get really close to hit, but often ended up taking damage. The complete motion stop during the attack might have something to do with it.

Also I agree with the previous commenter that you have to be too close to the edge of the screen to move it. There were a number of times where I rolled right into a enemy I didn't know was there.

On the whole though, a super impressive entry!

Developer

Thanks for the feedback! Currently enemies use the same hitbox for detecting hits from and against the player, and for large enemies this hitbox is a little smaller than their actual sprite. This is probably what makes their collision detection feel wonky, so I'll try giving large enemies a separate hitbox for detecting player attacks and make it match their sprite more closely.

(+1)

How did you make this much in a month?? Almost everything was pretty much perfect, my only major complaint is that you have to be uncomfortably close to the edge of a screen in order to make it move. 

Gameplay felt like the Stardew Valley dungeons. c:

Developer

Thank you! SDV is one of my faves and definitely a huge inspiration for the visual style :D

Submitted(+1)

Nice art, sound and music. Interesting take on the theme, I like it. I couldn't get very far, but I'm bad at this type of game.

Developer

Thanks for taking a look! I intended the difficulty level to be pretty accessible so let me know where you got stuck and I can patch in some more upgrade options to ease the difficulty curve. Also have you tried talking to the Moss Lion? If you grind moss balls you can get an upgrade to destroy non-boss enemies with a single hit.