EDIT: Now with added demo impressions!
My inane comments about the comic below the jump, let’s make this post more useful. You can get the demo of Penny Arcade Adventure: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One here.
It’s about half an hour’s tutorial, introducing the combination of point-n-click interaction and turn-based combat, as well as letting you play with the character creator. It’s fair to say the demo doesn’t give you the scope of the game – it teases you with that at the very end, in the way demos are supposed to – so the demo is mostly hitting dustbins, and robots that look like dustbins. But wow, the animation is gorgeous. They’ve done a really decent job of blurring 2D and 3D, and the art direction is pretty stunning. Plus, there’s a few nice gags in the pop-up descriptions.
The dialogue, however, didn’t do it for me. But I think that ties in with my not much getting on with the dialogue in the strip either. The banter between Tycho and Gabe seems in tune with the strip. Which leads me to last night’s comments…
I don’t much enjoy Penny Arcade. The guys behind it seem nice, and the essays on the site are worth reading. But the comic? It’s a sort of… I get nothing from it. (And I stopped thinking saying “fuck” replaced a punchline quite a while back). But I appear to be quite alone. (Edit: Okay, no I don’t, and people who hate it are idiots). Many of my colleagues in this dizzying and important world of writing about playing adore it. They forward the strips to one another with glee. Occasionally one reaches me and I think, “Well, they’re not all incredibly stupid, maybe this’ll be funny.” And then: meh. It’s not objectional. Just… it doesn’t appear to do it for me. So I guess I’m missing out. (xkcd ftw btw).
Demo’s here, and does a good job of making the full game seem intriguing.