• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

Knights of Gordon Ramsay

Good morning!
here we are with another review for the series of games made during the 2022 event "Swap in 3 Middle With You". This time is the turn of The Golden Pan, created by CrazyBabi & JustAShyDoge, a game about battles and cooking, as you may guess from the title of this review!

We play as Zouve the battle chef... uhm ok you can name is as you want, so in my case was Raddikt the battle chef! Our hero wakes up with amnesia, but luckily he immediately meets his twin sister, Coellie, another battle chef that explains him the basics of cooking, hoping that he will get well soon, since they have to search for the legendary Golden Pan! And thus our adventure begins!

The game is a sort of mix between a linear adventure and dungeon delving rpg with the addition a sort of cooking puzzle game (whose basics are well described in the tutorial). Our protagonist, initially assisted only by his twin sister and later also by some friends, has to win a series of cooking battles that take places with a time limit, just like in MasterChef (yes, the reality show!).


Yes. But I do not cook human meat, especially mine, dear monster!

Anyway this is still a fantasy game, so if you played some games like Battle Chef Brigade you know what you have to do: our chef(s) has a time limit to collect the ingredients, and this can be just taking mushrooms and seaweed from the ground or fighting various animals and monsters and cook them. But please mind TWO things: first is that you can hold a limited number of ingredients, and second, ingredients aren't automatically looted but you will find them in a box on the ground where the defeated enemy (static or moving it is always visible) was standing. So do not forget to collect it before leaving the location because this will reset the map!

Ok, now cooking: in each duel you have to create one or more dishes using a particular ingredient, and with a particular dominant attribute between four: hearty (earth), cool (water), fiery (fire) or... poisonous (poison, of course)! And these are also basically the four elements related to the enemies: for example sea creatures are cool, the equivalent of water element, so they are weak to fire/fiery attacks, and used as ingredients they will usually add cool to the dish. Some ingredients may have different properties, like detracting points to other attributes, for example something that adds +2 hearty and -4 poison is useful if you are cooking poisonous things like a scorpion tail. All these characteristics are displayed in the items menu and the time stops when you are there, anyway do not worry because enemies are color coded: green for earthy, blue for cool, and so on.

Here is where I found a little problem with the game: enemies are represented by these colorful flames, and non-animated ingredients (mushrooms, herbs, etc) as blinking on the ground, BUT there are no other indications. So, when you are supposed to cook a Catoblepas leg... the first time will need to locate it, and even if usually the main objectives are placed in places where they somehow stand out, I'd have preferred ia different indication for them (like a bigger flame, to stress their importance).


Nice opinion, one small issue: they do not want to be cooked!

Another related problem is that you do not know what an ingredient does until you have it in your inventory, and since ingredients are different in every stage each time you first have to organize the ideas a find a plan to win.
Moreover for the ingredients that collect from the ground it's not even possible to see their dominant element, clearly you can drop those ingredients you do not need (because when fighting a group of mixed opponents you may need only some ingredients) BUT to do this you have to reach the bucket at the kitchen!
Time limit is never generous, so it's not and easy game at all (but never unfair)! I mean, maybe it's me but I had to repeat many (well except for the first two!) cooking battles more than once. On the other hand I think this is the real fun, creating the best dishes and beating the opponent chefs.

You can save anytime, but an automatic save before the battle of chefs starts would be welcomed, in order to avoid seeing the same dialogues again and again, but on the other hand you may save during the contest (save immediately as the it starts to avoid seeing the same cutscenes).

Graphics for the most part are nothing extremely original, classic standard rpgmaker assets, anyway there are also some custom portraits and sprites (like the beings of the dark forest, the monsters you battle, etc...) and the difference with the rest of the graphics is actually not excessively evident.
Mapping is pretty good, they're clearly functional to the cooking minigame, still they are competently made and sufficiently varied and detailed, and I also liked the use of larger busts to introduce the contestants during the duels.


Yeeeeah! Take this! What a bunch of amateurs!

Final Verdict
Well what can I say? Story is simple but good, characters are charming and the game idea is excellent, because it mixes something classic (party-based battles with the mechanic of exploiting elemental weaknesses) with something new (the timed cooking mini-game). Anyway the game is pretty challenging, time limits are always strict and some locations have additional obstacles like the dark forest enveloped in shadows! Moreover locating the ingredients the first time takes some time and so it's very unlikely that you'll triumph on your first try. But yes, no one said that the game should have been easy and finished in one sitting, basically it's a Dark Gourmet Souls, if they just added a shouting Gordon Ramsay when you lose it would have been a perfect addition. Heh.

Or maybe I just suck at this game (strict time limits are my weakness)! But I admit it's addictive and makes me try and re-try different strategies, and I also noticed that the opponents don't totalize always the same result... but you have to avoid making errors, in any case sometimes it's still possible to win (for example against Florrend I made a mistake with one of the two plates, still I got a score of about 120-124, still enough to beat her anyway!). I admit I'm still trying to finish the game, last battles are quite difficult (especially one that requires a precise strategy you will learn the first 1/2 times you face it, failing to apply that means instant death in the worse case, and a single party member oneshotted in the best one!) but the real challenge is making a good dish within the time limit. Oh yes, the last challenge is a real test of skills (both of combat and cooking)! Anyway it's a solid and cool concept.

Well there isn't anything bad I can mention, no bugs or errors, I'd just tone down the difficulty of the game since it's a bit unforgiving, but you know, being a chef is never easy!

Posts

Pages: 1
Well, I was motivated to make a challenging boss battle for the event, maybe I overdid it.
Anyway, thanks for the review!
author=CrazyBabi
Well, I was motivated to make a challenging boss battle for the event, maybe I overdid it.
Anyway, thanks for the review!

Weeeeell I won so it's definitely possible with an accurate strategy (anyway it's not bad having a hard time once in a while especially when the games are short, the idea of an event game should be as easy as a walk in a park is not a valid reason for a negative rating, I mean a good game is good even when challenging!), that battle is almost like a puzzle. Heh I'd like to see someone else playing it, I know that timed sections are my weakness. Lol.
JustAShyDoge
Still a dumb and shy doggo
8933
author=CrazyBabi
Well, I was motivated to make a challenging boss battle for the event, maybe I overdid it.
Anyway, thanks for the review!

Nonsense! If anything I'm still blown away by your evil strategy on diverging and maintaining the flow of the difficulty!

I'm the first half so dun judge me
Even I had some issues trying to find the optimal solution on the last challenge so the last challenge's difficulty was definitely good.

Crazybabi probably knows what I'm trying to do initially for later stages, but given how addict(and many players) had some issues starting from the third. It was honestly wise to diverge the difficulty to prevent lengthy game overs like the inspired game's weakness mentioned by addict. (Yes, the game's original idea was heavily inspired by the game addict mentioned!)

So crazybabi's perspective definitely broaden my perspective on game balancing and difficulty, thanks for being an amazing teacher, crazybabi :p

And of course, thank you so much for playing and thank you for the amazingly detailed review, addict!

I'm still half disappointed because crazybabi promised me they were going to continue my half as a horror game.
author=JustAShyDoge
!
I'm the first half so dun judge me
Even I had some issues trying to find the optimal solution on the last challenge so the last challenge's difficulty was definitely good.

Crazybabi probably knows what I'm trying to do initially for later stages, but given how addict(and many players) had some issues starting from the third. It was honestly wise to diverge the difficulty to prevent lengthy game overs like the inspired game's weakness mentioned by addict. (Yes, the game's original idea was heavily inspired by the game addict mentioned!)


Uhm did I mention Dark Souls? LOL
Heh jokes aside it's ok, I mean, no I had issue from the tutorial, I did it three times because I wanted to get the BEST result. All or nothing! Second battle was replayed only once... but the worst experience was the one against Florrend because I won, played until the battle in the dark woods and died.
And I FORGOT TO SAVE so I had to restart facing Florrend again! Waaaarghhhh!
Sigh

author=JustAShyDoge
And of course, thank you so much for playing and thank you for the amazingly detailed review, addict!


Oh well it was a cool idea indeed! Unexpected!
Pages: 1