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Penny Arcade Adventures: Bla Bla Bla of Darkness: Ep. 1 (360, PC, Mac, Linux)

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Penny Arcade Adventures: Bla Bla Bla of Darkness: Ep. 1 (360, PC, Mac, Linux)

Old 05-21-08, 01:37 PM
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Penny Arcade Adventures: Bla Bla Bla of Darkness: Ep. 1 (360, PC, Mac, Linux)

Sorry for the title, but the length of the name alone nearly exceeded characters available.

Well it's finally here!

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

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is an episodic RPG-adventure game series set in a deranged comic-book meets-pulp-horror 1920s universe. Armed with unconventional weaponry and witty repartee, you join forces with the Gabe and Tycho, the crime-solving team of the Startling Developments Detective Agency to make war on bizarre enemies and solve the mysteries hidden deep in the sinister heart of New Arcadia.

From the hilarious and twisted minds of Penny Arcade creators Mike "Gabe" Krahulik and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins, legendary game designer Ron Gilbert and veteran producers at Hothead Games comes a 100% authentic and hilarious Penny Arcade experience.
Check out the demo on Windows, Mac, and Linux here. Check out the demo for the 360 XBLA version on your local XBox 360.

The game is available for purchase on all platforms for a paltry $19.95.

Trailer:
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I just played the demo for my Mac and, although I wasn't anticipating much, I really enjoyed it. I'm not a big fan of turn-based RPGs but the game makes it really easy to get into, and all the Penny Arcade humor is intact, as well as many inside jokes.
Old 05-21-08, 01:50 PM
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Ugh. This game already had an uphill battle before I would even consider shelling out $20 for an XBL game. But then I started playing it. After it took 20 minutes (only a slight exagerration), to get into any actual gameplay it turned into a turn-base RPG!

My review:

I wouldn't play this game for free.
Old 05-21-08, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dan30oly
Ugh. This game already had an uphill battle before I would even consider shelling out $20 for an XBL game. But then I started playing it. After it took 20 minutes (only a slight exagerration), to get into any actual gameplay it turned into a turn-base RPG!

My review:

I wouldn't play this game for free.
Turn based RPGs might not be your thing, but 20 dollars for a full length game (roughly 10-15 hours of gameplay) is a pretty good deal. The Penny Arcade guys just prefer digital distribution rather than pushing out an over-priced disc.
Old 05-21-08, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CKMorpheus
Turn based RPGs might not be your thing, but 20 dollars for a full length game (roughly 10-15 hours of gameplay) is a pretty good deal.
Everything I've read says 6-8 hours, and that this is just the first episode in a multi-part game.

Compare to Blue Dragon, a multi-disc turn-based RPG which I bought last week at the same price.
Old 05-21-08, 02:02 PM
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Doesn't matter if it's an entertaining 6 - 8 hours (which is admittingly longer than several games I've bought in the last three years for twice the price.)

I passed on Blue Dragon at $14.98, after playing some of my friends copy, I just don't think I could handle it. Plus, you're comparing a brand new game to one that has been out long enough to be put on clearance.
Old 05-21-08, 02:06 PM
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FYI, just completed it in about 4 to 4.5 hours. That includes finding all the robots and finishing all the side quests; which there are very few. It's a very short game. Entertaining if you enjoy PA's style of humor though.

Overpriced? Absolutely. More to come in the review.

Last edited by Flay; 05-21-08 at 02:09 PM.
Old 05-21-08, 02:13 PM
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Haha, word.
Old 05-21-08, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Flay
FYI, just completed it in about 4 to 4.5 hours. That includes finding all the robots and finishing all the side quests; which there are very few. It's a very short game. Entertaining if you enjoy PA's style of humor though.

Overpriced? Absolutely. More to come in the review.
Damn, that's disappointing. I think I'm still gonna buy it though, for my Mac. Something to play while I'm on my flight to New York next month.
Old 05-21-08, 02:28 PM
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I don't care much for Penny Arcade, but the pricing seems normal to me. $20 for 5 hours isn't too bad to me, but maybe because it's an RPG people expect 40+ hour epics?

I guess I don't really care what genre it is, when other games are $60 for 10 hours of gameplay.
Old 05-21-08, 02:56 PM
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Demo thoughts:

The gameplay and graphics are pretty good.

Most of the jokes fell flat. Really, really flat.
Old 05-21-08, 02:59 PM
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Damn on the shortness. I'm still leaning towards a purchase due to the style of game on XBLA and the fact that Target is all but giving away XBL points this week and next.
Old 05-21-08, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by lordwow
Most of the jokes fell flat. Really, really flat.
Would you expect anything else from Penny Arcade? Hopefully the gameplay is good enough to keep me interested.
Old 05-21-08, 04:08 PM
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4.5 hrs? Really? That's just not acceptable for a $20 DL game. I know people blast the Assault Heroes games for being short, but they're enherently replayable. When you think about it, Pac-Man CE is 5 min long, but of course that doesn't tell the real story. If PA is really 4-5 hrs tops with minimal replayability, then it's way overpriced at least in my book.
Old 05-21-08, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Decker
If PA is really 4-5 hrs tops with minimal replayability, then it's way overpriced at least in my book.
The main problem is lack of difficulty. The only challenging portion is the final boss and the rest is a cakewalk. Items like speed boosts or attack modifiers that should have expanded strategic options in battle sections go completely unused because 95% of the fights can be won without them.

The only reason to replay the game would be for achievement purposes or for boosting kills to rise on the leaderboard.
Old 05-21-08, 04:46 PM
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$20 is still $20. For slightly more I could buy Assassin's Creed, Lost Planet, etc. I hope it's on sale in the future.

Although I may get it if I can get cheap MS Points at Target this weekend.
Old 05-21-08, 04:49 PM
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I think they may have a problem here. There's been a lot of scuttlebutt about the cost vs. play time, which is scaring people away. And because this is a digital download, it's not like it'll be on the clearance rack or for sale used in a couple months.

Now, if further episodes are much cheaper (but depend on the player to own the first game), they could redeem themselves in the long run.

Last edited by Groucho; 05-21-08 at 04:51 PM.
Old 05-22-08, 07:59 AM
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For anyone that gives a hoot, VGT's review is live.

Short Version:


Amazing, Stylish production for an arcade title
Writing is solid and entertaining.
Combat is turn based, but in real time; leads to more frantic fights early on
Art direction is top notch


Difficulty is far too easy, no way to change it
Game lasts 4 to 5 hours, (including all side quests, conversation options, hidden items, etc...)
The first title price gouges Penny Arcade's core fanbase
Old 05-22-08, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Flay
For anyone that gives a hoot, VGT's review is live.

Short Version:


Amazing, Stylish production for an arcade title
Writing is solid and entertaining.
Combat is turn based, but in real time; leads to more frantic fights early on
Art direction is top notch


Difficulty is far too easy, no way to change it
Game lasts 4 to 5 hours, (including all side quests, conversation options, hidden items, etc...)
The first title price gouges Penny Arcade's core fanbase
"Rent it"
Old 05-22-08, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Flay
For anyone that gives a hoot, VGT's review is live.
Hey, your review is now part of Metacritic. They interpret "Rent It" to be equal to 70% or 7.0. I would have thought it meant a lower score. Congrats on the stamp of legitimacy!
Old 05-22-08, 09:41 AM
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They went off the Overall score (3.5 = 7).

I will say a 3.5 seems high for just a rent it.
Old 05-22-08, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Now, if further episodes are much cheaper (but depend on the player to own the first game), they could redeem themselves in the long run.
I haven't heard anything regarding pricing of the future episodes, but I heard an interview with the PA guys where they said that you could choose to play individual episodes without having the previous episodes. If you have the previous episodes, your character and his or her stats will carry over, otherwise you just create a character and it starts you at a reasonable level given the level of the enemies you'll be fighting in that episode.
Old 05-22-08, 10:01 AM
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We probably need to add a Demo it option sometime. It was either 'Rent it' or 'Recommended'. The latter would have gone against the closing statement and the Metacritic quote for that matter.

Metacritic added us a couple months ago. Very cool for our little site.
Old 05-22-08, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
They went off the Overall score (3.5 = 7).
Oops. Too early in the morning for me to start thinking yet.
Old 05-22-08, 11:39 AM
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Well I beat it in about 5.5 - 6 hours yesterday on my Mac. A lot of fun, I'll probably play through it once or twice more. Kemper the cat really surprised me when he scored a 1 out of 200,000 shot of getting a 999 damage attack. Really cool kitty. I love how Anne-Claire's robots explosion gets larger every time you use it.

For those who got it on their computer, you can use your key for multiple copies of the game. I have this installed on my Mac and my PC, and I gave the key to my girlfriend so she could play it on her Mac as well.
Old 05-22-08, 12:37 PM
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I tried the demo. While I like the core gameplay (read: combat system), I'm not sure it was challenging enough (especially reading the shortness/easiness of the game) to keep me interested.

I'll probably eventually get it, but I think I might wait for episode 2 to see how the future pricing is, how long the next episode is, what exactly happens if you transfer a character, etc.

It seems the future episodes will either have to be harder or have a scaled difficulty depending on how your character is transferred. I mean, if you take a level 15 guy into episode 2, are the enemies going to be tougher or in greater numbers or are your stats going to be nullified to keep a baseline with new players? Will you be able to be level 60 by the end of episode 4 or just level 15 4 times over? Because if the only thing you keep by transferring is your top hat and eyebrows, there isn't much value there...

I did like the style of the game, but wish it was more satisfactory of an experience (per reviews of fine folks like you, dear reader).

Multiplayer would have been sweet.

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