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Reviewed: Penny Arcade Episode 3
Author:Michael Ahlf
Ok, so I probably should write out the full title of this once.

Penny Arcade: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 3.

Got that? Good. Let's just agree to call it PA Ep3 from now on, before I develop carpal tunnel.

So here we are, years after the first two episodes. Hothead Games is long gone; they made the first two, then made "Deathspank", a game that nobody seems to have cared about. Sigh. Then we got a resurrection from the grave; a developer named Zeboyd Games that does old indie-type 16-bit titles came forward, talked to Tycho and Gabe, and poof, the series was resurrected.

And nerds around the world rejoiced.

So, first things off: this is not like the first two games. Even the musical theme's missing; not sure if that was a deliberate choice, or if there was some sort of IP entanglement with Hothead, but there it is. There's also zero voice acting, since it's a 16-bit game, so no more Mr. Narrator.

This is also not your old game in one more sense: no player-generated character. Apparently after defeating the menace of Fruit F****er Prime, your character finally retired from adventuring. Roll with it.

On with the good stuff!
Storyline-wise, we pick up more or less where things left off. Dr. Blood raids places for art pieces, Startling Developments Detective Agency called in, a brief cameo by Anne-Claire, and then the real game begins. Plenty of new enemies to fight, plenty of new storyline to explore.

But the real kicker here's the new system. Sure, it's not entirely "timing based" any more, it's much more classic and turn-based. On the other hand, Zeboyd came up with a real gem. Characters eventually get to have three - count 'em, THREE - character classes, one base that can't be changed and two that can be switched out at a whim. And the classes are as goofy as the series might ever have, though it is kind of a letdown not to see, visually, some of the attacking effects that might have come from them.

If you're still waiting on why to buy this game; trust me, buy it. It's well worth it, and the price point - 5 bucks - is in the category of "oh yes please."

Added:  Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf


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