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A jam submission

The Last JourneyView game page

Five guards escort their King on his journey to Candle Point, but someone from their past moves against them...
Submitted by PVGames (@PVGames) — 17 hours, 50 minutes before the deadline
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The Last Journey's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
People's Choice Vote#533.5003.500

Ranked from 14 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Team Members
Jesse of PVGames

Engine
RPG Maker MV

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Comments

Submitted

The Last Journey

 

How do I begin with this entry? I know, I’ll start with the conclusion. This short title is better than some triple ‘A’ releases that I’ve played. While it is missing some polish, The Last Journey, has an ample amount of refinement for the short amount of time given. From the graphical details, a well paced story, and balanced combat “The Last Journey” delivers.

 

As someone who is in the RPGMaker community, I knew immediately who PVGames was. Personally, I would have dreaded to be in their shoes, since there is a certain amount of expectation when you’re a known quantity. I’m pleased to say, that this entry does not disappoint. There is detail on every map, use of diagonal movement, and a few animations in the background (running water, etc). Graphically, this game stands tall among indie games.

 

The yarn told is well paced, with enough action in between to keep interest in the game itself. Some of the transitions between scenes takes a little too much time, but that is due to the attention given to the graphical elements. ( Much like the in-game characters state about their situation, transitions are between a rock and a hard-place. ) This is not to say that there is zero narrative issues, just that, overall, the prose given is greater than the sum of it’s parts. That, my friends, is about as much of a compliment as anyone writing anything can ever get. I’m not saying PVGames should get the fantasy version of a HUGO, but the writing is solid.

 

The combat is what I was dreading about The Last Journey, as this art style just doesn’t “click” with turn based battles. This art style is more in line with point and click, or maybe action. However, PVGames made it work. With the clever use of buffs and debuffs as a core mechanic, the combat is interesting. Then there is itemization, an integral part to combat, which has the groundwork set into place. This is where I was really the most pleasantly surprised. I really was not expecting turn based combat with this art style to come across so cleanly. Well done.

 

The graphics are great, the story is well paced, and the combat works. One would think there is nothing to complain about. That would be a fair assessment too. The only issue, I’ve found in the game is that there is also nothing that jumps out and grabs the player and pulls them in from the start. That could easily be added as a final bit of polish after the fact. In a song, it’s called a “hook,” and that is the only thing this game is missing. The music is fitting, the sound effects are well done, the graphics are spectacular, the mechanics are there, and the story is good and well paced. I’ve not run into any bugs either. Seriously, even without a “hook,” The Last Journey is a title that is setting the bar for this years IGMC. It’s good enough that I feel comfortable stating what I did at the start, I’ve played lesser games from AAA titles.

 

In the words of Stan Lee, ‘nuff said.

Submitted

Review for The Last Journey by PVGames

You are Galathan, a captain of the King Alex's guard. Your quest is to gather a group of friends to escort the king to Candle Point (I keep thinking of Candlekeep from Baldur's Gate, maybe because of the graphical style). On your travels you will face a number of dangers, including spike traps in dungeons, kobolds, trolls, chimaera, undead and what have you. There's a variety of enemies to battle, each with their own skill sets that keep you engaged on your travels.

Each character has a unique set of skills available, and it becomes clear quite soon that you cannot fight only by spamming the Attack command which most RPG Maker games suffer from. The idea to balance the combat around buffs and debuffs seems ingenious, however it seems some skills are far more useful than others. Bosses quickly fall victim to Nathan's Mark and Strategist, while Alyssa's Finale sees little use. After the defense of the monster drops to 0, you can just pummel on other attacks instead of caring how much life the opponent has.

The combat is where this title shines, but also somewhat of a downfall. Both the characters and the enemies are beautifully rendered, and come with a variety of animations for waiting and acting. Each buff and debuff is clearly displayed over each character, along with a mouseover caption (which I haven't seen in another game so far). However, the combat tends to lag, and quite a bit, too. The FPS dropped to single digits very often when there were multiple enemies with active buffs, and this caused the game to either miss or lag on a lot of animations. I certainly hope this can be fixed later on, as there is a ton of promise on this game.

As mentioned, the graphics outshine most standard RPG Maker games. Jesse has an artistic style of his own, reminiscent of old Infinity Engine games. The game features those and a custom soundtrack that sets the mood of the game really well.

The difficulty seems to be a bit on the easier side when playing on Normal Difficulty. Not once did I have to stop to grind for EXP and Sovereign (currency unit) and I could purchase everything I needed the second I stepped into town. Granted, I only played the game up to Eoten Mountain Summit.

A quest journal on your current quest (as well as hints you may or may not have gotten from NPCs) would help. While folllowing the road is simple and pretty straightforward, I wonder if I took a break from the game and came back. Would I remember what I was about to do? Even though I think myself as an old-fashioned gamer, I recognize some QoL things from today's games that even I have come to like and want in an RPG.

There are two minor things I'd like to point out. First, is the "Total Saves" fact really necessary on the save screen? Especially since the game autosaves when changing areas, and these saves are added to the counter. I think someone could get confused. Also, Thomas's constant cussing gets on my nerves. It is somewhat hard to take him seriously when he keeps on cursing like that, reminding me of games like Grand Theft Auto. I understand that war can change a person dramatically, but perhaps you should tone down that dialogue a little bit?

Oh yes, and finally, before I forget. This is probably the first RPG Maker game where I find moving with the mouse almost necessary, as the featured 8-direction movement seemed not to register some of my keypresses. Sadly this shows that RPG Maker MV isn't really made out for that, but as mentioned, using the mouse alleviates movement quite a bit. I won't be blaming the lag on this, as I get a constant 90+ FPS on field maps.

Anyways, definitely one of the best games in the competition I've played so far. Thank you so much for making this game, and I certainly hope you continue to finetune it after the competition. Good luck on the contest!

P.S. And thanks for the very detailed review of my game, too!

Submitted (1 edit)

WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKK. The graphics man. SO medieval. And the fucken music!!! God I love it!!!

Ok review time and I'm doing it as I'm playing this.

Your battle system is very balanced. You know how to make a balanced battle. I've seen too many RPG makers that fail at this. Oh and..I like zombie game so you are already on a good start.

So now I'm thinking as a developer...Do you like medieval games? Or like making them? Cause your dialogue is on spot. You have a nack for this.

Fuck I love your music so much...It's very classical. Oh and that auto save...very nice touch. I think I'll steal your idea in my game or at least the next game I make. 

I really like how an icon shows up when you get near a chest, talk, or exit the map. Very very nice touch. Hmm..the chest are so fun to open. *creeeekkk* But as a rpg guy, hide a few :D This isn't a complaint, I'm just a bit jealous lol

So, I have a crappy computer, and my computer can barely handle that 5v5 battle...Graphics is too real...literally lol

Your battles when the monsters get really low on hp transition to a new sprite. Very very very nice touch.

Custom rain too? The details man the details!

Found the key to the gate. I really like how simple the map is. You tell give a little problem and it's solved quickly. Like finding a key on a dead man's body when they were out patrolling or something. God dam, too many people make finding a god dam key like an hour long quest. Giant ass maps that tell nothing  about the story through the art - tooooo many blank maps!!! From just getting the key, I already knew what happened. Guards went out, they got killed. Easy, fast, and you didn't even have to tell it in words. Good.

Alright, my first random encounter...too laggy...I don't blame you...It's my pc.

OHHHHH you fucker...You added spikes to the dungeon. Didn't even notice it...Very very nice touch. Now it's a dungeon!

Boss music is very lovely...But one comment....This feels like a sad love song in one section....I would recommend that song for a fight where you have to kill your own ally or something sad and you just have to do it.

Oh, wtf...that manicore wasn't the boss? Holy shit that took forever to beat. Yeah..You need to adjust that difficulty...

Oh...when that horn guy has his flashback and after its done. Stop the SE cause the river noise is still flowing once his flashbacks r over.

Ohhhh upgrading your abilities and not leveling it up. I like that a lot.

Very very very good warning on that treasure chest. I just wanted to touch it :) i was a fool!

Very very very good at that hidden town map where there was a single treasure chest. That's what I like in a RPG lol

Hmmm dungeon number 2...you should be a little more creative in placing chest. This chest finding feels like ff13 where it's just too linear.

God, i forgot how much i hate random encounters....This laggy battle isn't helping my game experience either...

That boss battle with esther...tat was hard...and with that lag on top of that...nop!

Second time fighting esther...a lot better with 5 people fighting instead of 6...

ok...so that ending...I'm sorta ok with it. I get the story, but it just didn't give me that twist. I was confused the first second. It would've been better if you hinted out the king's peril or something.  Well, medieval games aren't my thing, but you put so much time into this!!!

I was a bit lit down in the end. I wanted some serious twist like esther killing his beloved or something...But the story was well rounded and no complaints too much, just not my cup of tea story.

5/5

Just because you put so much time into this game 0.0

Oh, I spent about 3 hour into this game...I hated the laggy battle...

Submitted

Ok, here comes the review.

1. If this game doesn't win one of the prizes and get picked to be worked on by the big folks in charge I may actually cry. I honestly thought it was that good.

2. Usually the tilsets and character art  i this style makes me cringe, it's normally too dark and I can't get into any game with it, but You've made it amazing and I have to say, the light and airy way you've used the tilesets was actually very good for putting me at ease. and because of that I could properly get into the story.

3. Which brings me to the story, which was excellent, the flashbacks didn't give too much away, while building the story further and making me more and mre interested in what was going on and why. Good subversion on the King, I was expecting a young, vibrant king and was shocked with what I found! All the characters were well rounded and interesting, and their speeches were very good and I liked all of them (also, HOW COULD YOU GIVE ME FALSE HOPE LIKE THAT! I THOUGHT I HAD A CHANCE AND THEN YOU STOLE IT AWAY!!!!! *SOB*).

4. The King should not be calling the main character Sir. It should also be Sir Galathan or the Galathan. That was quite jarring during any conversations with the King, it got better towards the end, the last few conversatins had him refered to Sir Galathan, not Sir, which was excellent.

5. Levels were short and easy to navigate, and I never felt overwhelmed or annoyed to be travelling through places.

6. Battles were good, I chose the easy setting as I don't play games for the battle, but the story, so it was nice to have the option not to be stuck in hard battles. However I would like to mention that the area with the trolls (where they first show up) the random encounters suddenly increaesed massively, which I found very irritating, but that was the only part where battles annoyed me.

7. I'm not 100% sure where you can go with the story after the ending, but I'll sign up to play more, happily and completely!

Overall I have to stand by my first point, if it doesn't win I don't know what's wrong with people!

Submitted

Wow. That story. I have to be honest that I was a bit skeptical at first, it seemed like a generic high fantasy story, but I could not have been more wrong. In barely over an hour I got to know the members of the King's Guard and even the King himself, and developed a great respect for each member. The story was very touching, and even though short, did not leave much out. The atmosphere and the graphics really were used extremely well to develop this well written story, it felt like I was playing the works of R.A. Salvatore or Margret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.

On the technical side of things, I felt there were a few hiccups. The battles were not much of a challenge, which is a shame, because the strategy and skills presented were beautiful. There was an option to change into 3 classes each, but I never touched this as most battles I simply spammed attack, even a few boss fights.  

The graphics of the system really bogged down my poor little laptop and made the fights take far longer than they really should have. That combined with far too much hp on the enemies really made some of the fights a drag. I feel there was a lot of potential in the combat system, but lack of any challenge really shot it in the foot.

I would say my only either complaint is that Dame Alyssa is not really fleshed out, she doesn't have any sort of real personality, aside from being a crab to Nathan. Each of the others had time to shine and really show who they were, but it felt a bit like Alyssa was just there to do a ton of damage, and man did she do a ton of damage.

The counter-attack system seemed a bit broken, at least for what I understand it should be to do. The enemies always counter attack Thomas, who always had taunt on, regardless of how hit them.

Overall, I still rated this game 5 stars. You can tell that a lot of thought and effort went into this game, and it is a borderline short story masterpiece.