Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lair of the Seamstress (DLC)

With Penny Arcade's On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 4 finally on its way, we thought it would be a good idea to finally go over the DLC for Episode 3. While we did get them automatically as they came out, we either never really had the time to play them or we forgot while trying to review something else. Regardless, there are two pieces of DLC which contribute to the game, Lair of the Seamstress and The Beginning of the End. While I might not have very much to say, this review will still cover the first piece, Lair of the Seamstress.

During the events of Episode 3, the party acquires Class Pins, a gameplay system that factors heavily into the overall combat through their various active and passive abilities. It is also revealed early on that these pins were created by the Seamstress using various beings that represent each class, ranging from a Crabomancer or Cordwainer to a Hobo or a Dinosorceror. At the top floor of the temple housing the statues of each class is a circle of torches, each representing a class, that light up one by one as you raise each one to Level 40. Once all of them become lit, a mysterious portal appears in the back of the room, one which the shrine maidens have never encountered before. Wishing to find out where it leads, Gabe, Tycho, Jim and Moira enter the portal to a previously unseen section of the temple, one in which they feel all of their power has been drained. At this point, the only way to leave is to conquer the dungeon ahead.

The gameplay of Lair of the Seamstress is no different from the rest of the game in terms of functionality, but the twist here is that every pin is reset to Level 1 and each victory awards two levels back, though items remain untouched. This made the dungeon a bit difficult to get through at first, though the challenge got easier as I went on and rearranged some of my pins to develop a different strategy altogether with handling each wave of class-based enemies. However, all momentum becomes halted when you encounter the final boss, the Seamstress herself. Against her, I lost a few times after repeatedly getting to a certain point, which prompted me to eventually lower the difficulty level just to stand a chance against her. When she still proved to be seemingly insurmountable, I rearranged my pins again and began to form a concrete strategy for taking her down. After a couple tries with my new setup, I eventually managed to beat her due to careful execution of a long-running plan. Reveling in my glory, I claimed my prize and left.

While the music is still the same, and still very catchy, the architecture of the dungeon is fairly straightforward. There are a couple of branching pathways leading to chests containing some pretty good items for each character, but other than that it's very easy to navigate. The battle environments still look pretty good in the 16-bit representation and act as a good backdrop for the action. New enemies were also pretty easy to interpret based on their appearance, particularly the Seamstress.

Lair of the Seamstress is an expansion worth playing. The extra challenge is interesting in itself and although there's nothing much in the way of story, the journey becomes worth the time put in, between two to four hours depending on how well you do in the enemy encounters, to feel the rush of finally taking down the Seamstress. The prize for beating her may or not seem worth it, though it depends on if you really want it as part of your setup. If you have Rain-Slick 3 already, since that's the only way to play it, there's no reason for you not to attempt this challenging dungeon.

No comments:

Post a Comment