Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness – 360 – Review

For years many people have been
visiting Penny Arcade to read the thrice weekly comic about the various
adventures of Tycho and Gabe. One of the main reasons this comic is so popular
is not because of the intricate art style by Mike “Gabe” Krahulik, or even the
witty writing by Jerry “Tycho” Holkins – it is the circumstances the characters
find themselves in which many gamers can relate to, or have even day-dreamed
about. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness (Episode
1) has finally been released on Xbox Live, and the question remains will this
game cater only to fans of this comic or will all audiences enjoy it.

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the
Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a diverse mixture of assorted genres. First
off, there are classic RPG elements such as turn-based battles and leveling up
the characters. Next is the adventure element; a throwback to point-and-click
games, such as Kings Quest, where many objects users can interact with and get
humorous responses. Finally, this game adds in small puzzle/quest elements that
players go through to push the story forward. The combination of these gaming
elements makes the game attention-grabbing and fun to play. 


Watch out for the crazy mimes.

The real gem is the story for this
game. A giant fruit-loving device has crushed the player’s home and mimes are
flooding the streets. The only people capable of handing such a menace are the
dynamic duo of the Startling Developers Detective Agency: Gabe and Tycho. Once
players load the game they will be able to create a customizable character.
Options include various facial expressions, features, and your choice of outfit.

After the creation process is done,
players are immediately thrown into the fray with their first battle. The combat
commences in a turn-base battles all in real time. At first this will prove to
be overwhelming, but eventually players will become more accustomed resulting in
enjoyment. As always, there is no shortage of humor to be found during battles
from the vast array of enemies that players will face, to the attacks that they
must endure. Mostly, players will enjoy the action commands which help prevent
the battles from becoming too mundane. When an enemy is attacking, players can
strike the right trigger before an enemy attacks, and if timed right they will
block or counterattack the foe. On offense, players will be able to add some
additional power to their attacks. This adds more layers and depth to the game
which keeps players active and helps prevent repetition. 


The cut scenes are hilarious!

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the
Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is one of the finest looking Xbox Live Arcade
games currently out. Fans of the comic will be pleased because this game stays
true to the comic’s art style and direction. This is really a feat accomplished
since the game takes place in a 3D world, with cel-shaded characters. Players
will absolutely be attracted to the unique cut scenes, which look exactly like
the Web-based comic strips. While the environments are a tad static, they are
oozing with detail. This encourages players to anxiously inspect every inch of
their surroundings in order to see what surprises lay in store for them. The
character animations and special effects are impressive and make the world feel
alive.

The developers at Hothead Games
really captured the essence of the 1920s with the choice of music and various
sound effects. Players will enjoy hearing the various musical elements in the
game as it helps create the illusion that the game really takes place in this
time period. While the game relies mostly on text bubbles, there are a few
nicely done voiceovers. The only criticism is that they are not put to better
use.  It is a shame that the narrator is not utilized more. His dialogue is
fresh, witty, and really helps with the story pacing.

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the
Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is rated Mature.


Review Scoring Details for

Penny Arcade Adventures: On
the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness

Gameplay: 8.3
Players will enjoy the mash-up of various
genres as it works very well.

Graphics: 9.1
Fans of the web comics will love the fact that this game retains the same look
and art direction. The game is oozing with gorgeous animation that makes the
game feel alive.

Sound: 8.4
The music for this game really fits with the time period the game is
set in. While the voiceovers are not overly abundant, the ones that are present
are witty and full of life.

Difficulty: Easy
It is a shame that players cannot change difficulty levels of this game
as it is really easy. Since there are no multiplayer modes, allowing the players
to try the game on a harder difficulty would have increased its replay value.

Concept: 7.1
This game really doesn’t add anything new to the table. Instead it
really brings back some fond memories of older games.

Overall: 8.4
Many people might find the twisted sense of humor too brash for them
and others will simply be turned off by the high price tag ($20). The truth is
that even though this game does have a few quirks, it will provide a few hours
of entertainment that is hard to find anywhere else. For fans of Penny Arcade,
purchasing this game will be a no brainer. The only real problem is the wait
time till the next episode is released.