Sunday, May 25, 2008

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1

Guest review by Sharp.

I bought On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1 for the PC. It cost $20, so I figured I didn't have much to lose. I spend more than that on one trip to Applebee's.

Anyway, I played through the tutorial this morning, and I'm convinced I made the right decision. I laughed out loud more then once in the introductory level alone. The combat is mostly Final Fantasy-style "active time". Each character's attacks charge up, then you click the attack, then the target (if necessary). When an enemy attacks one of your characters, you can hit the space bar when the enemy's lifebar flashes to block some of the damage. A successful block has a chance to cause you to counterattack. Special attacks charge after your regular attack charges. That is, you wait for your regular attack to charge all the way, then the special attack starts charging. Every special attack has a minigame associated with it. If you perform well in the minigame, you'll do maximum damage. Also, if multiple characters have special attacks ready, you can do a devastating team attack. So, if you are confident in your ability to block, you could theoretically go with just special attacks, it seems. However, since they require a bit more time to do, you might not want to do them that often, or only when you really need the extra damage.

The writing is ... well, it's Penny Arcade. If you laugh at Penny Arcade, you'll laugh at the game. It's pretty much that simple. I admit to liking it a little more because of the appearance of favorite characters from the strip. It's kinda like Smash Bros. Part of the appeal is the characters involved. If you don't like the characters, or don't care, your opinion will diminish slightly.

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