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Role Playing (Games) Media Entertainment Games

Quick Review of Penny Arcade Game 68

Now that it has been in general circulation for a while, Kotaku has a nice simple review of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the new Penny Arcade game, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. "When you've been making fun of the video game industry as long as Penny Arcade's Jerry 'Tycho' Holkins and Mike 'Gabe' Krahulik have been, deciding to create your own game is one ballsy move. You have to know that every review site you've ever trashed and every developer you've viciously sodomized with your barbed wit is watching your every move, desperate to see you stumble so they can get in a few licks."
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Quick Review of Penny Arcade Game

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  • The Review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jack9 ( 11421 ) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @05:20PM (#23674481)
    Decent review. A little harsh on the environments, given the engine. Still nothing about the crappy writing given there was so little of it.

    see my review (after finishing the game): []

    see my previous vapid comment: []

    //for some reason criticizing PA writing always garners troll mods
  • by Skrapion ( 955066 ) <{skorpion} {at} {}> on Thursday June 05, 2008 @05:32PM (#23674685) Homepage
    Let me be the first to say it's not for you [].

    The game isn't going to rank as one of my favourites, but I enjoyed it. For $20, I find it really difficult to complain about anything. They even managed to make JRPG combat fun for me again, and I've been jaded with JRPGs for years.
  • Re:The Review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Thursday June 05, 2008 @05:32PM (#23674687) Journal
    From your review:

    Fruit Fuckers are over-represented. Why did they keep coming up after you wiped out the source?
    I think this was mostly for the collection aspect. Where else are you going to get parts? Not an excuse, just an observation.

    As my roommate asked, why is Tycho ALWAYS reading a book?
    That seems realistic, and part of the humor. Tycho is, in fact, always reading a book. []

    The toilet humor.
    Fair enough. I don't think there's disproportionately more in the game than in the comic, though.
  • Re:The Review (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TrekkieGod ( 627867 ) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @09:38PM (#23677305) Homepage Journal

    see my review (after finishing the game): []

    I thought your review was pretty interesting. It does highlight that the game attracted gamers of really different tastes. As a result, everyone liked some aspects of it, and were displeased by others.

    Personally, I loved the story and the writing. I see you had issues with a lot of the humor, (" in poop?"), but that's pretty classic Penny-Arcade style humor. Especially for Gabe dialog. So, at least, it was expected. I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just a matter of taste and it's perfectly fine that you're not into it, but PA fans should like it.

    I do agree with you that I enjoyed the fact that the fights were easy. A lot of other people got annoyed by this (like the reviewer of the article). Personally, I disliked the fact that there were any fights at all. I was expecting something more adventure game oriented. You know, find items, figure out where to use the items, solve puzzles, enjoy the story. And that's where I was disappointed.

    The game has just enough of an adventure feel to make those of us who enjoy the genre to judge it as such. You walk around an environment, collect items, the emphasis isn't in the action. However, it's also too darn linear. There are no puzzles. There's no thought involved. You're told where you should go at every point. if you walk everywhere in the environment, kill everything, and talk to everyone, you've finished the game. I would have loved the game if it had bigger environments, more puzzles, less fights and mini-games. It would have been perfect.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @01:38AM (#23678837)
    Anyone can gripe about what makes a game good or bad, but who is going to listen?

    Aren't there enough "surprise, you're NOT at the end and you have 2 more boss fights to go with NO chance to save" games out there?

    You'd think Capcom would learn, but not only does Mega Man not overcome this, it makes its way to Zack and Wiki.

    There's a tendency to auto-dismiss the opinions of the consumers, after all, if they knew what they were talking about, they would be showing their point instead of speaking it, putting their (development) money where there mouth is.

    Also, how broken is a game if it still sells millions? There's a lot of bad gameplay in good games that gets ignored because when the good game is in its element, it blows you away. (Zelda, awesome dungeon, annoying minigame, repeat)

    Also, while I may despise minigames (I payed $60 for Zelda's HACK AND SLASH and puzzles! Why do I have to put up with [insert random minigame here] before being allowed to go back to the game proper?!) there's a number of people who happily bought Mario Party. Now if I can just convince Nintendo that the two DON'T need to intersect...
    For that matter, why was typing (other than the main character's name) EVER a part of Paper Mario? What did it add besides annoyance?

    PA, having made a game, has shown how seriously they take their opinions on what makes a game good or bad. Even if other designers don't care about PA's opinions, if listening to feedback causes better reviews for later episodes, producers will see that changes X, Y and Z made the difference between a 7 and an 8, or between X thousand sales and 1.5 * X thousand sales, then strongly suggest similar improvements in their own games. There's plenty of griping about how the industry is hamstrung by its focus on the bottom line, this is a golden opportunity (through throwing feedback about EXACTLY what's good and bad about the game) to use that to our advantage.

    This also begs the question on repetitive series like Mega Man, is a large part of their reason for so little change per iteration to isolate individual tweaks (greater focus on movement MM2, slide in MM3, Charging gun in MM4, independent Helper attack animal (Beat) in MM5, Movement / charge tweak (rush adapters) MM6) and compare sales to see exactly what affects sales and how much?

    The choice of format for the game was great as well. Standard JRPG style games tend to be easy for anyone willing to put in enough time to over-level as needed. It's easier for a person used to Street Fighter to beat an JRPG than an JRPG lover to beat Street Fighter. To get away with low difficulty on an action game you tend to need incredible humor.

    Now that "gaming common sense" has some money behind it, and will try 3 more tweaked versions coming up to lend some hard evidence to what's most sensible perhaps it will be heard a little better across the industry.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak