Better than it looks! – Super Panda Adventures
Everyone has heard the phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover.” Most of us fully believe that statement and have probably said it to others multiple times. Yet we all do it. Time and time again we will say something’s terrible without giving it a chance and time and time again we will be proven wrong. We then vow to always give things a chance from that moment on!… and then we don’t. Super Panda Adventures is another example of exactly why we shouldn’t judge a book… or in this case, a game by it’s cover.
Super Panda Adventures is an action platformer where you play as Fu, a Samurai Knight who also happens to be a panda. Kickass! At the beginning of the game you complete your training. Awesome! Then robots take over the world, steal the princess and kill your sensei. Not so awesome. As you’d expect you have to travel about the world kicking much Robot butt and saving the princess along the way. It’s not going to win a story of the year award but hey, the focus isn’t on story, it’s on gameplay and fortunately that’s where Super Panda Adventures shines.
The game is split into many different levels which can be accessed through an overworld at the players leisure. We were surprised at the sheer size of the levels and the amount of exploration to be done on each. At the beginning of the game you can jump, swing a sword and block. It very quickly becomes obvious that some platforms are too high to reach and require other abilities to get to. As you progress through the game you pick up the required abilities (such as ledge grabbing and swimming) and the whole level gradually opens up to you, making exploring even more entertaining. Other than these necessary upgrades there is a leveling system with powers such as magic, shurikens and stat boosts. There are loads to choose from which can vastly alter your playing style. This coupled with controls that are as tight as a Scotsman’s wallet makes for a highly enjoyable experience.
While the music isn’t a massive orchestral score, each area had its own unique theme tune and they were always catchy.We never found ourselves becoming bored or annoyed with the music and in a game where you might end up spending hours on one level that’s an important feature to have!
Despite the fun gameplay, cheery tunes and adorable warrior pandas the game does have it’s problems. The graphics are a big turn off right away as they make it look like an old flash game. Don’t get us wrong they are functional and create the perfect, childish atmosphere but at first glance they look cheap and we’ve heard that they actually discouraged many from buying the game. Graphics weren’t the only thing that bugged us with this one though. The dialogue was lackluster and for the most part felt like it had been translated on google translate.
Super Panda Adventures is a title that we’re sure slipped over a lot of peoples heads and it really shouldn’t have. It may have a few big flaws but it’s well worth it to overlook them and give it a play. Especially given the negligible £2.79 price tag. Action platformer and metroidvania fans will love it’s tight gameplay and exploration potential. Plus… its about a panda with a sword… if that doesn’t interest you then you have no soul.
Super PAnda Adventures is available to purchase on Steam.