Penny Arcade: Prohibitively Long Title 3 Trail Is Very Silly

By Nathan Grayson on June 20th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.

Oh sna-- aw, they beat me to it.
That thing right there? I do believe it’s some form of Moroccan crab man, and its virtual existence forces me to face a very profound dilemma. See, I am immediately curious about every facet of its existence – context within the story, capabilities, linguistic background, favorite food, blood type, opinion on jazz music’s current place in society, what crabomancy actually entails, etc – but, on second thought, maybe I don’t want answers to any of those things. Maybe the truth can’t live up to the lofty legend I’ve already fished out of my imagination’s briniest depths. I must ponder. While I do that, why don’t you watch the entire Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 trailer that produced this delightful specimen of meaty clawed magic?

So that looks promising. On top of that, Zeboyd’s previous slice of retro role-playing wonderment, Cthulhu Saves The World, was an utterly hilarious (and shockingly expansive) exercise in loving RPG mockery, so Penny Arcade’s attempt at doing, well, the exact same thing sounds like a perfect fit.

Oh, and it’s out next week, because Zeboyd got impatient and sent the game’s release date down the reverse side of the rain-slick slip ‘n’ slide of darkness. So then, I now officially give you permission to look forward to that – you know, if you want. I, meanwhile, plan on using that time to stare at a picture of a crab.

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38 Comments »

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  1. Flukie says:

    I love Penny arcade but why do their online/drawn representations have to look absolutely nothing like themselves?

    • Eclipse says:

      because yes.

    • Xocrates says:

      Because they only decided they would be their drawn representations after creating the characters.

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      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Because this.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I remember Tycho mentioning in a news post that originally Gabe and Tycho had NOTHING to do with Mike and Jerry. (And Gabe and Tycho actually didn’t even have names at first.) Then, after a few months of strips they noticed that the personalities of the characters seemed to be naturally reflecting their own opinions, so they chose them as very loose alter egos as well as avatars when they started news posts.

      So while there is a little overlap in the fact that Mike and Jerry were around the same “age” as Gabe and Tycho when the strip started, there was never actually a time when Gabe looked like Mike and Tycho looked like Jerry.

    • Space_Masters says:

      Should they?

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Goats addresses the issue here.

  2. scorcher24 says:

    Step backwards for the series?
    It was fine as it was, I liked EP1+2. And now “this”??
    Fuck that shit.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Wasn’t cost effective, though. Gotta make back the cost of those expensive 3D models.

      As for me, if the original Final Fantasy team got back together and did a 16 bit style RPG, I’d totally buy it over FF15.

      • Memph says:

        From someone currently pretty hooked on FFVI (or III, as im playing the yank version), I can give a hell yeah to this.

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      Keymonk says:

      I feel kind of the same way, though with less swearing.

    • yutt says:

      Hothead, the company that produced the previous 2 games, bailed on them (probably due to low sale volume). I find it unlikely many people played the series for the stunning graphics.

      Actually comments like yours, and they are common, completely boggle my mind. That is something a person really thinks of? Reacts to even? That this is pixel art instead of low-polycount 3D models? That matters to you? That makes a game better or worse? Final Fantasy Whatever-is-Current is better than Final Fantasy 6 purely do to improved number of sparkles? DOOM 3 is better than DOOM 2?

      How? Why?

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        IIRC, it wasn’t that Hothead bailed on them, but more of a mutual understanding. The second PA Adventure games didn’t sell as well as expected and Hothead was formulating Deathspank at the time. Instead of requiring Hothead to work on both games or delay beginning production on Deathspank, the PA folks decided to let Hothead focus on Deathspank and end the PA Adventures series. Thus, here we are now with Zeboyd making the 3rd game.

    • mondomau says:

      I dunno – the sudden shift is quite jarring, no argument there. But I’m quite looking forward to a new 16-Bit RPG that has interesting protagonists that I don’t either a.) hate or b.) am completely indifferent to.
      I feel like they have a lot more room to maneuver in this format as well – I expect to see a lot of in-jokes and nods to the webcomic in the characters, monsters, classes etc.

      • Ringwraith says:

        I bet the the leap will be pointed out by someone at some point.
        If not, it should, real easy setup for a joke right there.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Ehh, the first two games felt thoroughly mediocre to me. The money that I’m sure went into making everything be in 3D and look nice just couldn’t be worth it when the gameplay was almost completely generic and failed to do anything exceptionally well. While Zeboyd doesn’t exactly make games that people will like outside of a niche, at least what they do, they do well. And cheaply.

  3. Dark Acre Jack says:

    Not sure what it is, perhaps 30+ years of absorbing Western cinematic convention, but battling right-to-left in these classic-themed RPGs just drives me insane.

  4. Urthman says:

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the first two games, but I really liked the cartoon-style look. The graphics did a great job of approximating Gabe’s art style. It was unique and distinctive.

    This just looks like a hundred other SNES and neo-SNES wannabe games. And worse, it just looks really bland. I can’t help comparing this to the artwork in To The Moon, which is about a thousand times more beautiful.

    But I imagine Jerry’s writing will be just as funny and just as obsessively detailed (Twelve different descriptions for the identical crabs lying around! Dozens of ways to describe a trash can!).

  5. Milky1985 says:

    I’m just annoyed i can’t pre-order it atm on steam, doesn’t seem to be there, let me pre-order it dammit!

  6. 2helix4u says:

    If you were actually wondering about the crabomancer, apparently I have an abnormal level of knowledge about him.

    He is from http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/7/8/ , a comic taking the piss out of MOBA-game Rise of Immortals.

    In awesome response the developers actually made the character http://www.riseofimmortals.com/forums/topic/5697-immortal-spotlight-karapyss-the-crabomancer/ so go play him to find out more about his brachyuran ways.

  7. Ecto says:

    I am exceptionally sad about this development. I played the first two OTRSPOD games, and enjoyed them greatly. The expressive art and faces really helped the game and made it entertaining the whole way through.

    On the other hand, I’ve also played Cthulhu Saves the World and Brink of Death, and I found them to be awful. I like the old snes-style combat – it works, so long as you create a wide range of strategic effects, to avoid the battles being a simple question of who has the higher numbers. However, the level design of Zeboyd’s earlier titles is dreadful. Enormous empty areas, with nothing to do but the same random encounter over and over again, until you find the exit. That’s not acceptable to me, but it’s clearly very cheap to create enormous areas with each tileset and not spend any time populating it with any detail.

    I’m not sure if I am going to purchase this game.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “On the other hand, I’ve also played Cthulhu Saves the World and Brink of Death, and I found them to be awful.”

      Well you would find brink of death awful as a game, as its a book apparently according to google, i think you mean Breath of Death VII.

      Also impressive how you completely missed the point of the games being homages to the games of old which did tend to be a bit undetailed in places :P

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        jrodman says:

        Being an homage doesn’t necessarily make the choice good for game design reasons though.

        I found all those segments long enough to make me kind of interested in not getting dead, but short enough to be over in a reasonable time. But they certainly felt spare.

      • DrGonzo says:

        I think you completely missed the point that being an homage doesn’t mean it has to play badly. :P

        I really enjoyed the humour in the first Zeboyd game, but gave up after a few hours as the game itself is dreadful. I bought Cthulhu, and had the exact same experience.

        Still, I will buy this one too, I just hope he can get the game up to the same standard as the writing. Just a few choices somewhere, rather than just grinding to the next level.

        • Birdman Tribe Leader says:

          Yeah I feel the same about Cthulhu. I enjoyed the humor and found the battles fine, but the dungeons were way too big and empty and filled with battles. And I’m very forgiving of SNES-style RPGs, having really enjoyed most of the actual SNES RPGs.

          I quit 2 or 3 dungeons into Cthulhu. Not going to waste my life on tedious grinding and wandering through empty mazes.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        He left the point unstated, and you’re just jumping to conclusions. Personally, I find it hard to laugh at the same joke for hours.

    • Lemming says:

      You can moan all you want but the fact is the first two didn’t make enough money. There was going to be no third episode at all until the Cthulhu devs stepped in.

      • Ecto says:

        That’s fair. The old OTRSPOD 1 and 2 were apparently good at being games, but bad at being financial investments. I just hope the third game won’t be the other way around.

    • Robert Boyd says:

      The biggest complaint we received on our past games was on the level design. We took that to heart with Rain-Slick 3 – the levels are more tightly designed and there are no longer any random encounters.

  8. Guhndahb says:

    Do we get to keep using our personal character from the first two games or have we been replaced by Anne? I rather liked my rake wielding suburbanite. And he most certainly wants more revenge than he has gotten so far for the unfortunate events that have befallen him. Also, it really worked story-wise and in the humor to have an outsider for the close knit Gabe and Tycho (and Anne) to play off.

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      jrodman says:

      What is this he? The rake weilding suburbanite is deinitely a lady! (Okay enough silliness..)

      In any event I did enjoy my quest to have a place to live.

  9. Gasmask Hero says:

    This is just a perfect storm of Things Which Leave A Vague Distaste In My Mouth And I’m not Sure Why. Zeboyd managed to produce two games based off the two of the most overused tropes in gaming (the undead and the lovecratian mythos) then mated with the site that spawned them to produce this, which is, well, simply PR for two individuals who, well, leave a vague distaste in my mouth.

    I think I should get more reactionary about this. I fail at internet hate.

    • Famout says:

      If it makes you feel any better I could give a long pointless hate rant why you are wrong and imply things about your mother instead of giving my own reasonable counter thoughts on the matter.

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    Rinox says:

    Not sure what all the bad reactions and disappointment is about tbh. While I did enjoy Gabe’s drawing style blending in so well with the first two games, I thought most people played these games for Tycho’s pompous and often hilarious dialogue. I know I did. And as such, I will almost definitely pick up and play part 3!

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    Lacero says:

    I misread “curious” as “furious” and actually the post still worked pretty well.

  12. zeroskill says:

    I will buy this.

  13. msarge says:

    I really like the idea of taking the story, characters, and writing to a different indie dev and letting them do their thing with it. I hope that Zeboyd gets one or two games out of it, and then Gabe and Tycho take the series to another dev, then another. It’s cool to get to see a series from a different perspective.

  14. orient says:

    I’m all for pixel art, but Zeboyd seriously need to improve their graphics for it to be on par with their humour and gameplay. There’s a real visual inconsistency — some of it looks like “genuine”, but basic pixel art, and some of it looks like a blurry Photoshop painting. It just doesn’t appeal to me at all, and I wish it did because I wanted to like Cthulhu.