Monday, June 25, 2012

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

Since the first episode was such a hit, a second was sure to follow, and Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode Two is a great one at that. It picks up from the ending of the last game, with the player character finally settling into a new home, only to have it demolished by Gabe and Tycho. The duo recruit you to help them track down the giant robot from the end of the first episode, and the journey toward slaying the elder god controlling it is filled with high hilarity and a keen sense of the webcomic's style. The adventure is very well written, with a dark and expansive world in 1920's New Arcadia. If there's one thing I've always enjoyed about these games, it's the plot and how it incorporates various ideas from across the entire history of the comic into the fold.

While the graphics may not be all that different, and the sound is still good, the most improvements come from the combat. It's easier to time blocking attacks, even on Insane mode where the "Block!" prompt doesn't even show up, and enemies feel more balanced, but this deteriorates toward the end of the final act. When you finally go to the fair, the enemies there are able to attack at least a couple of times before you can even charge the attack you want, balanced by having them deal a little less damage than they probably would have. That's not to say that combat is a cakewalk, but the improvements are very welcome to help keep a certain atmosphere. While I'm not sure how to feel about the fetch quests the game has to offer, it still holds an interesting combination of Adventure and RPG elements that create a new breed, and it isn't that bad at all.

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 2 is a very solid follow-up to the first episode, with plenty of laughs to help wipe away any feeling of tedium that may occur at times. There is also a small amount of replay value in the form of Insane mode, which has its own reward that makes it worth it. I would recommend this to anyone, especially fans; you'd get a kick out of it anyway even if you haven't been keeping up for the last decade-and-a-half.

Now, on to the long-awaited Episode 3!

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