Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One Review
Xbox 360 | PC
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One box art
System: X360 (XBLA), PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Hothead Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Hothead Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 21, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

A few other layers of complexity are thrown in for good measure. Initiating special attacks triggers a mini-game unique to each character which determines how effective their attack is. These special maneuvers are a pain to pull off - particularly Gabe's, which requires some hardcore hammering of the space bar followed by a precisely timed gentle tap - and their effect on the battle isn't always as helpful as they could be. Additionally, support characters offer added humor and helpful firepower in battle, and some foes have inexplicable immunities or weaknesses to certain attacks. The game never really gets particularly tough, and you likely won't need most of the special items until towards the end of the episode.

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

Episode One's other RPG elements are fairly light; you'll level-up with experience from battles, gain robot parts to upgrade your weapons, and earn special attacks for reaching certain level benchmarks. These additions are much appreciated, even if they aren't quite robust enough to fully satisfy an RPG enthusiast's hunger for stats, saving throws, and character progression micromanagement. This also raises the question of how all of this will carry-over and play out in subsequent episodes, since you're party is pretty tanked-up and powerful by the time the credits roll on Episode One.

Advertisement

The deliciously twisted, outlandish sense of humor pervading all reaches of the game is easily one of its major selling points. The reams of dialogue you'll click through are creatively witty and stay true to the vibe of the source material, but funny gags and obscure references appear at nearly every twist and turn. Also, humor frequently pops-up in battle. You'll face clowns that bleed rainbow-colored blood, give you the finger, and actually bite your balls; mini-Fruit F*ckers that hump your leg and are easily distracted by tossing a ripe orange in their direction; drunken hobos that stagger at you and throw beer bottles; and mimes with attacks like "pretend I'm a fencer" and "pretend I have a lasso," among other ridiculous adversaries.

The short-length and other minor nitpickings aside, Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One is absolutely worth every cent of its $20 price tag. By the end of the first installment the game will bore a hole of anticipation in your skull that yearns to be filled by future episodes. Indeed, fans of the comic will not be disappointed.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
The artistic style of the game is simply excellent. Character models are a little rough, but the game excels in every other visual area.
3.7
Control
Real-time combat is a bit chaotic, but it works.
4.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Epic music and funny sound effects. Voice work is great but severely limited to a minute or two.
3.8
Play Value
The short length and occasionally tiresome combat can be a downer. The great humor and other entertaining aspects will keep you sticking with episode one to the end.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Hilarious, over-the-top dialogue written by Jerry Holkins in a style that will be familiar to Penny Arcade fans.
  • Progressively unravel the game's mysteries through classic adventure game play.
  • Battle an array of zany enemies with the RPG combat system.
  • An interactive Penny Arcade comic: customize the look and dress of your character, and explore the unusual world of New Arcadia.
  • Gabe, Tycho, Annarchy, The Fruit F*cker 2000 and many favorite Penny Arcade characters, plus new characters designed by Mike Krahulik.
  • Set in a steam-punk meets pulp horror meets H.P. Lovecraft alternate Penny Arcade universe.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook