Penny Arcade: On The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 Review
Zeboyd Games, makers of Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World, are taking over the reigns of the Penny Arcade game series and things are going to change. On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 will bring you back to the good old days of the 16 bit RPG and will, of course, give you a huge dose of Penny Arcade’s unique brand of comedy. Put away your rake and step directly into the shoes of Tycho and Gabe for a new chapter in the tale of the Startling Developments Detective Agency.
If you haven’t played either of the first two Rain Slick games, developed by Hothead Games, the style change between part two and three likely won’t phase you. For those of you who have been following the series, you may notice a marked difference in the graphical presentation. The change to a retro, 16-bit graphic style may turn some of you off but the folks at Zeboyd are good at doing this sort of thing in a loving way so Gabe and Tycho’s new adventure never feels primitive.
On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness is an old-school style RPG that will remind you of the later SNES RPG titles like Final Fantasy III(or VI). The story features versions of all of your favorite Penny Arcade characters who have been placed in a Lovecraftian world where men are gentlemen and the monsters are servants of the great old ones.
If you’re familiar with Penny Arcade you’ll know that the Rain Slick series takes the same general tone as the rest of the material over there, and this new game is no different. Not only is the game itself a form of satire, but no element of the game is safe from satire. If you’ve played either of Zeboyd’s other games you’ll realized that this is why they’re a great choice to take over the Rain Slick series. Loving parodies are their thing and there are no shortage of those over at Penny Arcade. Specifically, you’ll be following our heroes as their detective agency, Startling Developments Detective Agency, takes on a new case.
This time it’s personal as the Necrowombicon, a very special old book, has been stolen from their office by none other than Dr. Raven Darktalon Blood. Over the course of the next few hours you’ll be following clues, punching devils and meeting new, but familiar, characters in your quest to save the universe. To take on the sort of bad guys who steal books you’ll be using an all new combat system. This system looks, at first, much like the basic pick-and-choose battle systems of days gone by but there’s more at work here.
Your characters will have a number of abilities available to them and these all cost MP. This sounds familiar, of course, but your characters don’t have a pool of MP to manage with potions and the like, instead MP is gained at the end of each round. If you want to perform a powerful ability you’ll have to attack or defend while waiting for that ability to charge. This brings a risk/reward element to the battles that I quite enjoyed. Managing a huge stock of items won’t be one of your worries either as characters are healed after every battle and items have a set number of uses per battle.
Characters are also not shackled with a pre-determined set of skills as you can change each one’s class via the use enchanted pins called Class Pins. Classes level up independent of the character and each character can have their base class plus two additional Class Pins. These classes, of course, have hilarious names such as the Slacker, who doesn’t do much of anything, the Dinosorcerer, who can turn into a dinosaur, or the Gentleman, whose job is obvious.
The battle system compliments the Class System well, but it isn’t perfect. Positive status effects that are applied to your characters show no indication on screen so it’s very hard to keep track of your buffs or, more importantly, the stance ability of the Tube Samurai class. Despite this, I did have a good time I just didn’t feel like this should be something I have to keep track of.
There are no Multiplayer modes in Penny Arcade: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3.
While it does end quite abruptly, promising an episode 4, this game is a must buy for any Penny Arcade fan. Their dry humor and matter-of-fact satire rings through in every facet, from the dialog, to the story, to the classes and abilities. If you’re not a fan of the game series, or Penny Arcade, On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness will still be $5 well spent. You’re getting an old school RPG, with an interesting and modern battle system, that also delivers in the comedy department.