Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two Review
Xbox 360 | PC
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two box art
System: X360 (XBLA), PC, MAC 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: Oct. 29, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The crux of Episode 2’s gameplay is largely unchanged. Its point-and-click exploration aspect have some very minor puzzle elements and fetch quests to dabble in – much of the fun still comes from clicking on anything not bolted down to pick up the expansive medley of humorous tidbits and comments littering the game. The series’ RPG elements – you’ll level-up, gain experience, upgrade your equipment, and learn new attacks – are essentially the same this time around, but they’ve somehow managed to grow on me more in this episode.

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

Combat encounters crop up frequently, whenever you venture too close to foes on the map. Being able to see the battle coming is handy at times and irritating at others. Further along in the game, there are moments when you’ll have fought through an entire area only to backtrack your way out and have to face more of the same opponents. The strategic, turn-based combat has you rolling for initiative and taking turns selecting attacks to unleash on the unruly bunch of enemies you’ll face. This too is the same, but a few minor adjustments actually go a long way towards making combat a little less tedious.

For starters, each character’s choice of weaponry is different. Your old garden rake has been replaced with a hoe, Gabe’s knuckles are now adorned with blades, and Tycho wields a shotgun. Each can be upgraded to more badass variants. The revamped mini-games required to pull off special attacks are definitely improved. They’re similar to the original in last game, but a slight redesign makes them less unwieldy. Support characters from the comic and a few new to the game provide helpful assistance in the form of unique and sometimes disturbing assaults.

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The different gameplay components in and of themselves are reasonably good, but their value and enjoyment multiplies greatly when considered as a whole package wrapped in the entertainingly warped alternative reality the PA duo and Hothead have concocted. The series premiere set the ball rolling nicely, but Episode Two picks up the uproarious humor and killer story and runs with it. Fans will find plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and the masterfully implemented battle at the end of this installment tops everything we’ve seen in the series so far. Penny Arcade Adventures continues to grow and improve, and we can’t wait to see what comes next. Two gods down; two more to go.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
The game excellently captures the style of the comic, while taking on its own dark vibe that’s quite pleasing.
3.9
Control
Subtle improvements to the combat system make it less unwieldy.
4.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Plenty of atmospheric music and sound effects to help drive the mood of the adventure.
3.8
Play Value
This episode is superior in ways. A reasonably short length keeps things from dragging on past their welcome, and the top-notch comedic delivery and storytelling propels the game forward.
4.3
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 gameplay.
  • 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 Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two screenshot - click to enlarge

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