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Quick Review - Penny Arcade Game

OK, here's my quick review of the first episode of Penny Arcade's new game, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. First off, let me say that I have only played this game for about half an hour. That's all I really needed/wanted to play. Needless to say, I did not enjoy this game. At all. And here's why.

Firstly, there are a lot of shortcuts taken in the game. Cutscenes are just static images moving across the screen. There's very little effort put into these, and they seem cheap. Secondly, no voice-overs (except for the extremely unfunny British guy that slowly introduces you to the game). For witty dialogue, you have to read the tiny text coming from the not-moving images of people's faces. Then once you get to the graphics, they suck. Some of the worst 3D imaging work ever seems to have been done in this game. It's pixelated, and not stylized at all. It looks like crap most of the time. Seriously, a little effort would have been good.

Then the combat system is so boring and stupid. Turn based combat is pretty much never good to me (with the exception of the Pokemon games). Click a button and it's all done for you. It was not immersive nor interesting enough to make me enjoy the combat system.

Now, I like to play the Sam and Max games, and since they're both episodic games, I can't help but compare the two. Sam and Max is everything the Penny Arcade game isn't: funny, fun, looks good, has a decent story line, and controls well. While I will keep playing the new Sam and Max games, I will not be playing any of the new Penny Arcade episodes (unless it drastically changes).

Super-Penny Arcade fans will like this, as will turn-based combat fans. Unfortunately, I really didn't enjoy this game, or the short amount of time I played it. The gameplay was boring, the graphics lazy, and the music forgettable. In the end, most of the game seemed like a chore, and I didn't think it was worth my time to play the rest of it.


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