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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Video Game Connoisseur

It amuses me to no end that after years (maybe even a decade at this point) of trashing games and the companies that created them, the guys behind webcomic Penny Arcade (one of the oldest-we’re talking among the first few here-online comics) made their own game, and no one could really say anything bad about it. Penny Arcade and Hothead Games have now released Episode 2 of Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness.

The game is set in the 1920’s in the fictional city of New Arcadia and the characters go on rather Lovecraftian adventures with Penny Arcade’s style and humor. To make the characters fit in this world, they’ve all had slight redesigns; for the main characters this consisted of new old-fashion clothes and muttonchops. One characters change though sticks in my mind a bit: Div. in the comic Div is a sentient walking, talking obsolete DivX player (a piece of technology that never really caught on) full of wise cracks about the main character’s sexuality and a drinking problem (one of his best known quotes is “on a scale of 1 to 10 I’m sooooo drunk”). For the game he was turned into a phonograph. With a drinking problem and wisecracks. What stays in my mind is how he went from one piece of ‘obsolete’ technology to another piece of ‘obsolete’ technology, or at least obsolete by our standards.

Other characters from the comic appearing in the game for the first time are Charles, an erstwhile Macintosh enthusiast, who in the game comes off as a bit effeminate, and Dr. Raven Darktalon Blood, the star of a comic within a comic of sorts (it’s complicated and a whole other article unto itself) although it’s not really revealed that a character is him until the end of the game.

The game plays like its predecessor (for more information look up my review of the previous installment in the series on the Mass Media website) with a few improvements to the games engine. The characters also have new weapons. Gabe still uses his fists but now has some new brass knuckles, Tycho has switched to a shotgun, and the player uses a hoe, and new special attacks. There are new locations such as an insane asylum and the worlds fair, and there are new enemies, like orderlies and young couples in love. You start the game at the same level you finished the previous game at, and all the enemies are the appropriate level for you. The game is a little longer than the previous one taking about 6 to 7 hours to complete.

The humor in the game is based on the style of the comics and uses a few running jokes. The main running joke throughout the series is the fact that the player created character needs to find a place to live as his domicile is destroyed at the beginning of each game. Also the word ‘fuck’ appears more frequently in this game than it’s sequel, liberally you might say. Lastly the creators are hinting at there being a total of 4 games in the series. At the beginning of the first game, a poem about 4 gods was recited, and it is repeated at the beginning and end of each game with modifications as to the number of gods remaining. I say remaining because in each game you kill one of these dark gods, and as there are 4 gods I get the feeling that there will be 4 games. Seeing as the game only costs 15 bucks and you can buy and download it online, and it’s doesn’t need a real fancy computer. There’s really no reason not to go ahead and give it a try, or at least download the demo. Go to playgreenhouse.com for more information.