Penny Arcade Game Impressions

Illustration for article titled Penny Arcade Game Impressions

After finishing up playing a bit of Too Human coop yesterday, I noticed a demo station of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness sitting all by itself, tucked away next to the Ninja Gaiden II stations.


Since the game wasn't getting official demos, I decided to take our 30 minute break between games to sit down with the Penny Arcade game and take it for a test drive.

The game starts off by letting you customize your character's look and clothing. The selection isn't as robust as I would have liked to see (no luxuriously long hair guys? I'm hurt) but there's still more than enough to make the character feel like one of your own.


The game itself unwinds slowly through an amalgam of comic panel and full motion cut scenes that are both narrated by a... um... narrator. This voice is actually the only one you'll ever hear in the game. I'm told that this is because fans of the web comic have their own and wildly varied ideas of how the characters should sound. For example, my Gabe and Tycho sound like Asterix and Obelix.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed playing what I did of the game. It felt very much like a blending of some of the best bits of different types of games. It has, for instance, a distinct role-playing flavor to it, but there's also a point-and-click adventure and action element to the game.

I don't want to give away any of the plot, because as fun as the gameplay is, it's the plot that will most certainly attract most to this game.

I can say that my first brush with combat involved a clutch of mini-Fruit Fuckers who, during the turn-based combat sequence, never stopped hip-thrusting—a disturbing sight to say the least. Combat itself was interesting. I had to use a button to select my attack, (swiping with a rake initially) and also watch out for FF attacks so I could do a timed defense. This combination of turn-based and real-time actions was kinda neat.


There is also, of course, plenty of humor. For instance, later on I found an orange and was able to "distract" the fruit fuckers with it. Watching the Fruit Fuckers delight in their new found plaything made me wonder what the meeting with the ESRB was like when the game was getting its Mature rating. I mean, who had to go explain this to the panel?

Penny Arcade Adventures also includes quite a bit of dialog trees and meandering. I only spent about 20 minutes with the game, so it's hard to offer a truly informed opinion, but I can say I was gratified with the experience. I suspect it's going to be a game I enjoy making my way through, if for no other reason that to feed oranges to the Fruit Fuckers.

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I think the comic is hilarious, but I do agree $20 seems steep. How many hours of gameplay is this? And how many episodes are going to be released at $20 a pop? I'd hate to see this turn out to be a 12 hour game costing $100 by the time it's done. Episodic downloadable content was supposed to save gamers money as publishers save a ton by cutting out the middleman, cutting out delivery costs, cutting out disc manufacturing, manual making and case creating. But whatever. I'm sure someone will call me a "troll" for wondering about prices and game length as apparently wanting to pay the most for the least and paying for advertising without so much as a whimper is the hip thing to do all of a sudden. Yay for big business!