Title: Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3
Genre: Indie, RPG
Penny Arcade, Inc.
Release Date: 25 Jun, 2012
Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 is a comedic RPG with some parody elements and convenient features. I can't tell you too much about the story, as I don't want to spoil the game. Also, I can't fill you in on the backstory because... I haven't played the first two games. The reason I started on this game, and the fourth, is because they were in a pack and I had played the previous two games the new developers had done before getting asked to do these, which were Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World. That's where my perspective is coming from, so keep it in mind. Basically, you're a company that investigates supernatural happenings, and supernatural things happen. So... you investigate them. That's really all I can tell you without getting into potential spoiler territory.
You can explore specific locations on a world map with well defined places to go. Inside these places, you can search for treasure, battles, and main plot points for going there. While there is some interesting story and dialogue, the battles are the meat and potatoes of the game. The battles are nice because they are not random. Instead, they are represented by monsters clearly visible on the map. You battle in a turn based fashion, however there's a meter on the top of the screen. This determines the order the combatants will attack. It will be initially set by speed stats and certain passives, but it can also be changed by using slows, stuns, and interruptions. A combatant can also move up their position on the command line by defending, although this will not allow them to attack on that turn. So why bother? Well, to reduce major damage from a major attack, or possibly to help utilize another interesting mechanic. In this game, you don't have a pool of MP to work with. Instead, you start battles with zero MP and gain 1 MP per turn. So if you want to build it up, you can use items, use certain abilities to boost it, or simply do something that does not require MP. This forces you to manage your health and position on the timeline much more carefully, rather than having magic users spam abilities right from the get go.
So what gives you your abilities? Well, each character starts with their own class. The classes dictate what abilities, passive or active, these characters have. This will affect how you use them. Beyond this, as the game goes on you will receive badges, each with their own additional classes. You get to add one, and eventually two, to each party memeber. This gives them a total of three classes, and many possibilities on how you can build them. However, badges can only be on one person at a time, so you can't use the same class on every character at once. All of the badges and characters level up as you win battles, although the ones you actively use will level up faster. Also, you can further customize your characters with equipment as well.
This game is full of conveniences, such as the aforementioned blanket leveling and visible battles. Whenever you finish a battle, all characters are revived and restored. If you lose a battle, you get to try it again. You can save or change badges at any point. Convenient traveling through an easy world map, with shops in fixed positions and a training area to grind if needed. The game does a lot to try and ease the burdens of RPGs while still being an RPG.
However, I found a few things a bit disappointing. One is that there are too many classes leveling up constantly. It seems that after every battle, at least one if not multiple classes gain levels and often new abilities, which is a lot to look at and manage. You'll be constantly checking your new abilities to see what they do and who they will be good for, depending on how you're trying to build characters. Plus, the fighting system is somewhat complex for newcomers, which detracts from the game's convenience factor a bit. Also, while the game tries to teach you one thing at a time to gradually get you familiar with the gameplay (which I like), it feels like once you finally understand how to fight and manage your badges and equipment and strategize, the game is basically done. It also ends on a cliffhanger story-wise. So, this whole game essentially feels like it is a buildup for the sequel, both in story and basic gameplay ideas. Although the sequel (which I will review once I finish) is rather different in some aspects. I guess I just felt like the game was getting me ready for the real adventure to start, and then it abruptly ended.
Overall, it's still a good game. Fun for people new to RPGs and looking for good value games. The characters and story have enough charm to carry some of the weight. Plus all the conveniences, well paced learning curve, and constant upgrades to manage, make for an entertaining experience throughout. I guess it's good that the game left me wanting more rather than being sick of it, and the extra mode recommended after you finish the main game gives it some more for you to play and satisfy your cravings. However, I'd say that if you're looking at this game, which is only 5 dollars alone, you might as well just pay the 8 bucks and get the two pack because you'll be well prepared to take on the fourth game after this. I got them both on sale for a dollar which was well worth the price. Judging this game on its own, I'd give Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 a solid 6 out of 10 for being an engaging RPG experience without the common headaches that befall so many other RPGs.. Zeboyd Games (of Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII and Molly the Were-Zompire fame) have done it again.
Penny Arcade is a web-comic that follows Tycho and Gabe through various scenarios. And they've been put into a game where Tycho is trying to end the universe before anyone else gets the opportunity.
Now, I haven't played the first two games but I don't feel that missing out on them is too big a worry for these, they're still highly enjoyable. It's an RPG, turn based combat. There's a load of classes atop the main class for each character. Tycho's a scholar, Moira's a Gumshoe, Jim is a Necromaster and Gabe is... well, Gabe (I forgot what his class is).
The story is humorous, the same humor that you get from Cthulhu Saves the World only not as meta (until the fourth one but that's another game review).
If you've played any old school RPG like Final Fantasy before it went 3D, or anything along similar lines, I recommend this to you.. Zeboyd takes the rain-slick series in a new direction, with outstanding results. Penny Arcade is more suited to this style of game than the first two installments. The battle system here is also an improvement. I consider this the apex of the series, since the battle system change in episode 4 isn't quite as good.. This is part 3 of the episodal penny arcade series of 4. NOTE: THIS IS NOT FOR KIDS. I PERSONALLY RATE THIS GAME AS "A" FOR ADULTS.
This game is quite different than the previous games in the series. First off, it is now more traditionally a rpg in this game..the comic book style in previous games are gone and have been replaced by rpg goodness. This may turn off people that played the 2 previous games, but i think it is much better this way. Also, if you wonder what happened to your character from the previous 2 games, there is short little side game that answers that question in the game. Note that you must be used to this game to try the extra mission.
I actually like the changes they did for this game. Anyways, i recommend playing the first 2 games because the storyline is required for this series. Recommended game for new rpg aspects in it and fun dialogue and humour.. Well-made oldschool style RPG. Does away with some of the genre's frustrations - random battles, has "running", and multiple difficulties; the hardest of which is borderline unfair (rng based) in some encounters.
The story and dialogue are pretty ridiculous. Each area brings new enemy types and no two encounters have the same configuration. There are many jobs to mix and match on your characters, but there are a few obviously strong and a few very weak.
Should be over 20 hours on insane, much shorter if you play on a lower difficulty and don't have to retry battles.. Great game, very humorous. One thing I really liked about this game was that the enemies were limited, instead of the usual random battle mechanic in a game like this. Also recharging items was a nice idea.
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