Yes, I know I’ve been away again, but graduation/real life will do that I guess, those seeking an explanation may skip to the bottom, but I want to talk about the new game from Penny-Arcade. On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness, or RSPD as it is often abbreviated, came on the market last week, for a pricey 1,600 Microsoft points (roughly ~20 American dollars for anyone keeping score). A high pricetag for an xbox live arcade game, however alternatively it can be bought for $20 USD for personal computers, either mac or PC. The game, which marks the first videogame review on this dedicated comic blog, which runs somewhere between 5 and 10 hours on the first complete playthrough is pretty spectacular. It is fairly obvious that Jerry and Mike, the creators of Penny-Arcade had a decisive role in the creation on this game, and that they were not willing to settle for anything less than perfection when it came to faithfully recreating the atmosphere portrayed by the webcomic. This is something that their readers take very seriously, and their work shows through with great clarity. The best way I could describe the game is, you know that feeling when you’ve been away for a week or two, and get like 6 comics to read at once? Well, its like that but multiplied by a year or so. This is a whole lot of PA condensed into one place, and to me, that’s just what I was looking for. The game chronicles the story of your character, gabe, and tycho as they chase the giant robot with a great desire for fruit. During the course of your adventure, you will battle fruit loving robots, mimes, hobos, living garbage, clowns, babershop quartets, and even possibly a dark god. If this does not grab you, I’m not sure what will. The battle system is a little tricky to work out at first, and the blocking can be troublesome, but once you get the the timing down properly, the game gets much easier.
Overall I would absolutely recommend this game to any fan of Penny-Arcade, as well as to any fan of RPG video games. The art is what one might expect from a webcomic gone animated, and is very similar to what LFGcomic did, as well as Ctrl-Alt-Del in their animated endeavors. As good as the art is, the dialog is where the fun is at. I would probably play this game even if the rest of it were terrible, just to see what they say next. It’s that good, but not with too much over the top language of the blog posts that accompany each comic posting, and in the case that there is, it is either not important, not all that verbose, or Gabe translates for the player in his own indignant way. I am eagerly awaiting the next episode of RSPD, and although I feel that it was worth the price, I hope it may be a little cheaper, it probably won’t be. Gabe/Tycho explained their pricing, and it makes perfect sense. Achievements on the 360 are well assigned, and are not overly taxing without being incredibly simple. I am generally adverse to providing an out of ten rating in my reviews, but there is such a convention for it in the video game industry that I will; I give Penny-Arcade’s On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness a 8.5 out of 10.
Ok, as promised, here’s my excuse: I’ve been busy. I spent the last 4 weeks of college working on paper after paper, not having time to read comics, and now having graduated, I’m stuck job hunting, working, and running errands for my family while I try and save enough money to move out. This is coupled with studying for the GRE’s so that I can go to gradschool to get my Ph.D, because a base level degree in science won’t get me where I want to go. I will do my best to return to a normal posting schedule, and am still working through reading well over 200 comics to be caught up in what’s going on. Also, must to my chagrin, I have been failing to read other blogs because I don’t want to expose myself to unnecessary spoilers. This said, I know I missed Ebay week, and it is still on, just postponed to start next Monday (for real this time I promise). Mike, if you could email me your article at email@example.com along with any preamble you would like me to attach that would be awesome. Anyone else looking to contribute should contact me there or via comment.