vinchenzo's Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness - Episode One (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

Penny Arcade, while short, is a mostly memorable experience.

To put it plain, Penny AA is not the most in-depth RPG but it's amazing at how easy it is to just pick-up and play. No, you won't be dissapointed if you are a hardcore RPGer, you'll just be caught off-guard.


Gameplay

So, as previously aforementioned countless times, it's an RPG. When not in combat, you roam the current environment. The environment itself is fairly linear, but it has a lot of things to "inspect" and by that I mean go up to, press A, and either find a collectible, maybe a badly hidden robot, inventory items, or just text. You can talk to certain people, if they're important it will bring up a comic panel and you can chat with them in classic Penny Arcade fashion. When you are roaming, you may encounter robots, mimes, hobos, and the like. So the battles aren't random, you just get close, but they don't respawn either so there IS a set amount of enemies in the game.

You can just attack with X, use an item with A, or use a special with Y. A variety of support characters (3) are available, which can help you when they are available. The enemies are displayed across the screen from you in normal RPG form, and you can choose who to attack and when. Winning yields experience and items. To backtrack to the environments, you can access a "menu" where it's possible to check your progress on different tasks which is nice that it's laid out for you. I also saw that the next episode will use your current stats, so this simple RPG has a very big chance to be more in-depth, which is great.


Sound

The sounds are awesome. The soundtrack never overcomes the current in-game effects, which is great. It pulls you into the mood and keeps the pace. The effects are unique because again they keep with the comic book feel and are just so random along with the dialogue. No problem here.


Graphics

The graphics aren't the greatest, I have to say. I mean the illustrations and art in general is amazing, bright, and humorous. Just the in-game graphics could use a bit of polish, I found the great looking art looked way too good for the graphics are certain points. Although it's just an XBLA game, and for what it crams in 120 MB is superb.


Replayability

Probably nill. No reason to play again, there really are no side-quests or features that might make you come back. The game is about 5-6 hours, based on how you play.


Value

This is 1,600 MS (or $20), which is just a tad overpriced. I mean if the following episodes are cheaper and just kind of expand upon this game, it will make sense. But for $20 you can get most any bargain priced game at a store. I think 1,200 MS would have been more fitting, but I'm not complaining too much. The achievements might make you play through twice if you don't read ahead, but they are simple and the game isn't difficult at all. If you like RPGs, comics, action, humor; then I recommend you try the game. Download the trial and try it out, no expense at that right?

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