Developer: Hothead Games
Release Date: 5/21/2008
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The Good: Top notch production values, excellent twist on RPG formulas, hilarious dialog, and enemies
The Bad: $5 dollars too expensive, extremely short, we have to wait for the next episode, shallow character creator
I was so certain this game was going to bomb, but I have been proven wrong. Penny Arcade is about Gabe and Tycho who try to stop an evil and mysterious robot. The robot crushes your house and you are then sucked into the adventure. I have to say first off the game is hilarious. PA actually makes fun of RPGs throughout the game. While you run around everywhere you can click on things and read funny notes about them, but what really is great is the combat.
While the game isn’t random it is turned based once you get into the fight. Instead of selecting your attacks or magic you have to wait for the three icons for each character to “boot up”. You have an inventory icon, then your basic attack icon, then you super attack icon. Each of these boots up at faster rates. Some enemies may be vulnerable to your created character’s rake attack (yes a rake!!), some may be to Gabe’s fists, and some to Tycho’s machine gun. This gives the game a great element of strategy so you can concentrate on who attacks who (some are even invulnerable to super attacks, and some are weak to even basic attacks).
The enemies are just great: Hobos, mimes, clowns, Fruit F^ckers. The mimes use invisible weapons to hit you with just as a pretend grenade, pretend bow and arrow etc. You can block these attacks with timed space-bar presses. Among the other funny shenanigans, you get items for combat such as slick oil (reduces speed 50%), items to increase defense, decrease the enemies, health etc. The combat is just so fun you never get bored of it because you constantly level up, and if you’re lucky you may get an overkill bonus by doing super strong super attacks. You can upgrade your weapons by finding weapons upgrade parts throughout the game.
The visuals are really great because they look just like the comic. They are vibrant yet dark (looks like a Cthulhu setting more or less). There are no voices in the game which is a disappointment, but then again it could have ruined the comic feeling. The cut scenes are flash animations yet there aren’t enough of them which is too bad. On that note, this game isn’t worth $20…maybe $15 because you can beat it in one long sitting or about 6 hours. No matter though everyone who has a sense of humor and loves RPGs will totally dig this game.