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Quick Review of Penny Arcade Game

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the wonder-how-they-would-rate-their-own-game dept.

Role Playing (Games) 68

Now that it has been in general circulation for a while, Kotaku has a nice simple review of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the new Penny Arcade game, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. "When you've been making fun of the video game industry as long as Penny Arcade's Jerry 'Tycho' Holkins and Mike 'Gabe' Krahulik have been, deciding to create your own game is one ballsy move. You have to know that every review site you've ever trashed and every developer you've viciously sodomized with your barbed wit is watching your every move, desperate to see you stumble so they can get in a few licks."

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which to get (1)

B00yah (213676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674475)

I've been trying to decide whether to get this for the 360 or the PC...I do like that they've made it available on so many platforms, though. /fp?

Re:which to get (3, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674501)

I got it on 360, loved every moment of it, will probably replay it for achievements soon :) IMHO the 360 version is better, since all the commands are tied well into the various controller buttons, whereas the PC is entirely mouse-driven. Combat is a bit easier on 360 because of this.

Yeah the PC version got boned. (1)

Calledor (859972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23705227)

The controls were hideous and unbindable, quite a dissappointment on an otherwise neat game.

Re:which to get (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674565)

I strongly disliked the PC controls, personally. It was a basic JRPG interface with the added annoyance of having to mouse back and forth across the screen during combat sequences, instead of just tapping the D-pad to select items or enemies.

There's a PC demo: grab it to see if the controls jive for you.

About the controls... (5, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674771)

There are at least two things to learn here:

First, you can hold the mouse button down. I was ready to write the game off as pitifully annoying after having to click everywhere, but when held down, it's not really worse than any other movement -- probably better than keyboard arrows would have been, in fact.

Second, I'm on Dvorak, so this isn't going to be a problem for many of us, but WASD is not in anywhere near a decent place to be able to use Tycho's combo. Looking at your standard QWERTY layout, my W is where your comma is; my S is your semicolon; my D, your H, and A is in the same place.

The trick to this, of course, is that you are allowed to use the arrow keys instead. I feel stupid for having beat the game before I figured that out.

Re:About the controls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23676513)

In windows I have a hot key to switch between keyboard layouts. LAlt+LShift changes layouts. LCtrl+LShift swiches language IME.

Its been a feature of windows since at Win2k? I never really used other languages/layouts before that so i know no more.

This does kill those two combinations of keys for use in the game tho.

Re:About the controls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23684865)

Sucks for you. Maybe you should stop using an crappy keyboard? Oh wait... 1 study , done by the layout inventor, confirmed it's 'better' I'm sure that must mean it's better~

As a public service I would like to remind people the the plural of anecdote is not data.
Thank you.

Re:About the controls... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688605)

Yeah, let's just ignore all international keyboards, while we're at it. There's a reason most games let you map keys yourself.

1 study , done by the layout inventor, confirmed it's 'better'
-1, Factually Incorrect. [theworldofstuff.com] Relevant quote:

They say that the layout must be no good, because a 1944 U.S. Navy study that showed very positive results of Dvorak was supposedly conducted by Dr. Dvorak himself. This is NOT true. Dvorak was a Commander in the Navy reserve at the time but did not organize, conduct, or participate in the study in any way.
That, and you didn't read my post -- the arrow keys are the same on Dvorak as everywhere else.

Re:which to get (1)

Kr4u53 (955252) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679809)

so it's like diablo 2 controls?

Re:which to get (2, Insightful)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674589)

It's worth noting that if you buy the PC version, you'll get to reinstall it on Windows, Linux or Mac. If you buy the 360 version, you're stuck on that platform.

On the other hand, you can't increase your Gamerscore or collect achievements with the PC version >:)

Re:which to get (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674901)

On the other hand, you can't increase your Gamerscore or collect achievements with the PC version >:)

This 'gamerscore'... what is the point?

The higher your score the more of a joke your life is? I've always thought people who cared about gamerscores were like forum rats who cared about their post count... as if being on top was something to be proud of.

Or is there more to it? Can it actually get you anything?

Re:which to get (3, Insightful)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674919)

The great thing about the 360 isn't beating the games, it's showing everyone online that I did.

Re:which to get (1)

Thoggins (1162149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675483)

Classic

Re:which to get (0)

lorelorn (869271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23677601)

Except you don't get to show off to "everyone online" only to those people in the same walled playground as you.

And like you, those other people are ignoring all scores except their own, which they look at and grin, knowing themselves to be awesome.

Re:which to get (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23678327)

WHOOOOOOOOOOOSH

Gamerscore Doesn't Show That (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23682631)

Too bad gamerscore isn't a reflection of the games you beat but the extra silly tasks the developer makes you do. You may get points for finishing a game but more often than not you get points for doing things that have nothing to do with completion and often run contrary to actual play. All too often achieves are like "padding" where gaps in gameplay are made up be this other meta-game.

I'm all for "meta-play" in games. Whatever a gamer wants to do in a single player game by themselves that entertains them is fine by me. I just don't think it is worth advertising it as some sort of number. I definitely don't think it is any more or less valuable than any other system's "fun points".

Re:which to get (3, Insightful)

crenshawsgc (1228894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675283)

I'm not sure why you're so hostile to the idea of gamerscore. I've never payed attention to anything like that, but I can see how it might be fun. Perhaps the "point" is to enjoy competing with your friends in games which may not have a multiplayer element? It's not for me or you but the concept is essentially sound. Don't hate.

Re:which to get (3, Insightful)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675501)

It's also fun just for it's own sake. I don't "compete" with my friends, or even try to keep up with general leaderboards. Unlocking achievements is, however, a fun little extra in games, and gives you some thing to look back through after you beat (and/or sell) a game.

With Oblivion, for example, I can look back over all the guild rankings I got and what not. Or in Mass Effect I can look back and see what abilities I unlocked. Or with Gears of War I can remember how hard it was to beat the Berserker on hard (plus, it's got an awesome name: "My love for you is like a truck...")

They can also give you fun objectives to try for in games. There's a great one called "Pacifist" in Geometry Wars. You get it by surviving for 60 seconds without firing a shot...very hard, but also a lot of fun to try and get it. :D

So, while you may find the competitive aspect of it stupid, there's plenty of other reasons that some of us enjoy racking up Gamerscore points and the associated achievements.

Re:which to get (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23679045)

It's also fun just for it's own sake. I don't "compete" with my friends, or even try to keep up with general leaderboards. Unlocking achievements is, however, a fun little extra in games, and gives you some thing to look back through after you beat (and/or sell) a game.

You'll note I didn't ask about 'unlockables' or 'acheivments'. I get those. Hell I even get online leaderboards and ladder tournaments and so on. They exist in practically every game on every system.

But that has really nothing to do with 'gamerscore', which I still find utterly pointless. Its just adding everything you've ever done together into a pointless arbitrary number. Why not just count the number of times you've pressed the fire button across all games and put that online too? Its an equally absurd metric.

And yet somehow I'm sure some twit would measure his worth by it.

Re:which to get (0, Flamebait)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23676473)

Perhaps the "point" is to enjoy competing with your friends in games which may not have a multiplayer element?

Er... that's what a 'high score' is or even the online leaderboards, and ladder tournaments, for a given game. I 'get' those. I've even competed in games at that level.

But a "Gamerscore" is an aggregate score across all your 'achievements' in all your games... well all your xbox 360 games anyway.

So if I'm 'competing' with my friends for 'gamerscore', the guy who rents a lot of stupid/terrible/easy games beats the guy who plays and masters a select few hard games. Or if I refuse to play shite movie-tie ins or refuse to buy each new season of nhl and football and you buy or rent or borrow them them all you accumlate more points... you 'win'.

So what exactly does gamerscore measure?

Your willingness to play "Barbie and the 12 Princesses" and the "Dora the Explorer" game?
Your willingness to restart a Portal level 100x to re-throw a box until it lands on a switch on the 1st throw?
Your willingness to Play games rated terrible, games that even you can't stand?
Your willingness to watch youtube walkthrus to find the hidden medallians?

And I assume if you've got the highest gamer score going would that be: "All of the above?"

My inference that it measures ones lack of a life seems quite apt.

Don't hate

I "hon't hate". I think its stupid, and by extension I think people who care about it are stupid. There is a difference.

It doesn't bug me that xbox lets you 'publish' your 'acheivements' online.

But I do find it sad and pathetic that people think the fact that they've gotten all the strawberries on the hula-hoop level in the my little pony game is an 'acheivement', and that there are people out there who will rent the my little pony game and play it to absolute completion using a youtube walkthru just to 'acheive' this so that they can add extra points to their 'score'.

I can respect someone who's good at a game. I've even been impressed as someone completes Super Mario in one life, or R-Type, or does a speed run through a level, or who beat Doom on Nightmare... but 'gamerscore'? Please.

Re:which to get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23678831)

Getting all the strawberries on the hula-hoop level is hard!

Re:which to get (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675631)

I love it when gamers say that gamers who game a lot are losers. They usually say this while they are gaming. The Irony kills me!

Two words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23676603)

Dick hats [vgcats.com]

Re:which to get (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23677149)

I can get me (or more often my brothers) bragging rights for doing something crazy, difficult, awesome, silly etc. in the game.

Also since achivements are usually given at major game points, we can all see how much we've all respectively completed.

Re:which to get (0, Redundant)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674945)

On the other hand, you can't increase your Gamerscore or collect achievements with the PC version >:)
I still fail to understand the appeal of the Gamerscore. Why do people care about it? What does it mean to you?

Re:which to get (4, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23676561)

If you don't have an HDTV, don't get the 360 version. It's letterboxed on 4:3 and the text is nearly unreadable (there's a zoom setting, but it doesn't help much).

Re:which to get (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681989)

What kind of idiot has a 360 hooked up to a standard def tv?

Re:which to get (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23685279)

One third of Xbox 360 owners. You know, those "idiots" who have better things to spend $1000 on than a DRM-laden TV that makes most shows (which are still in SD) look like blurry, blocky crap.

The Review (4, Interesting)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674481)

Decent review. A little harsh on the environments, given the engine. Still nothing about the crappy writing given there was so little of it.

see my review (after finishing the game): http://forum.playgreenhouse.com/jforum/posts/list/424.page#2684 [playgreenhouse.com]

see my previous vapid comment: http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=566489&cid=23577559 [slashdot.org]

//for some reason criticizing PA writing always garners troll mods

My Review (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23674647)

this game sucks and anyone who likes it sucks. penny arcade sucks and is as funny as something that's not funny at all.

ddf

Re:My Review (1)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674759)

Aww, you didn't have to post as anonymous. I'm sure somebody on Slashdot saw the ads.

Re:My Review (2, Insightful)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23676709)

Sometimes people post anonymously because they don't have an account. I did, for years. I didn't register until I wanted to submit a story.

Re:My Review (3, Funny)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675221)

tagged: thisgamesucksandanyonewholikesitsucks

Re:My Review (1)

cain (14472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23682341)

This quote is now featured front and center on the latest series of ads for the game:

http://ads.penny-arcade.com/delivery/ai.php?filename=rpsd02_728avail_3.jpg&contenttype=jpeg [penny-arcade.com]
http://ads.penny-arcade.com/delivery/ai.php?filename=rspd03_160avail.jpg&contenttype=jpeg [penny-arcade.com]

ROFL. ROFL.

Re:The Review (4, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674687)

From your review:

Fruit Fuckers are over-represented. Why did they keep coming up after you wiped out the source?
I think this was mostly for the collection aspect. Where else are you going to get parts? Not an excuse, just an observation.

As my roommate asked, why is Tycho ALWAYS reading a book?
That seems realistic, and part of the humor. Tycho is, in fact, always reading a book. [penny-arcade.com]

The toilet humor.
Fair enough. I don't think there's disproportionately more in the game than in the comic, though.

Re:The Review (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23684929)

Toilet Humor.
Totally unexpected in a Penny Arcade game~

That guys reviews are really example of how he missed the point.

Re:The Review (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23691171)

Totally unexpected in a Penny Arcade game

Not totally unexpected. Where did you get that from? And what was the point anyways, that they let Gabe do all the art and much of the dialog because we should expect PA to be weak in one area and not the other like usual? Oh wait, that's probably not THE point, 'cause that would make sense. I suspect, you missed the point.

Re:The Review (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674755)

The engine made me realise how impressive Grim Fandango was, with better visuals running on a machine a tenth of the power. The humour was predictable and only occasionally made me actually laugh in the demo, while the gameplay managed to feel tedious in places in spite of the short duration of the demo (and certainly didn't make me want to pay for the full thing).

When you compare it to something like Monkey Island, or Grim Fandango, or even most of the Space Quest series, it didn't come up to anything like the same standard.

Consider it is in four parts though, this is one. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675261)

I played through Grim Fandango, and recently finished the PA game. Frankly I think the Penny Arcade series has the potential, after all four episodes, to be just as good.

They are also different styles of games, the PA game being a mix of adventure/RPG with the other games you mentioned (I think) being pure adventure, making the mix harder to judge.

I really liked the combat dynamics, and the mix of RPG/adventure felt about right to me - but they will also be playing with that in future episodes, the next one supposedly being more adventure focused so you may like it more.

I thought it well worth $20 for sure... and will buy the next one as soon as it comes out.

Re:The Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23676003)

How does it stands regarding to the new Sam & Max episodes ?

Re:The Review (2, Informative)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675069)

Decent review. A little harsh on the environments, given the engine. Still nothing about the crappy writing given there was so little of it.
I thought the writing was pretty well on par with the comic. If you like the writing in the comic, you'd most likely enjoy the writing in the game too. I did. Plenty of people don't like the comic writing either though, so to each his own. I don't think those people should buy the game. For $20 it was a pretty fun game.

Re:The Review (0, Troll)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23676257)

//for some reason criticizing PA writing always garners troll mods

Or maybe these whiny little preemptive attempts to influence the mods have the reverse effect. Personally, I tend to skip over posts that starts with any mention of moderation whether I have mod points or not.

Re:The Review (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23678229)

Or maybe these whiny little preemptive attempts to influence the mods have the reverse effect.

Or maybe it's an accurate observation.

    30% Interesting
    40% Troll
    30% Underrated

Regardless of it being opinion and partially informative and on topic, troll mods because it criticizes PA's child.

Re:The Review (1)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23685625)

And your total score is 4 now. The system is working fine. Don't pay so much attention to individual moderations and just look at the end result. That's the way the system is supposed to work. (And we should self-mod by removing our karma bonus from posts like this. :)

Re:The Review (2, Interesting)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 6 years ago | (#23677305)

see my review (after finishing the game): http://forum.playgreenhouse.com/jforum/posts/list/424.page#2684 [playgreenhouse.com]

I thought your review was pretty interesting. It does highlight that the game attracted gamers of really different tastes. As a result, everyone liked some aspects of it, and were displeased by others.

Personally, I loved the story and the writing. I see you had issues with a lot of the humor, ("shit...as in poop?"), but that's pretty classic Penny-Arcade style humor. Especially for Gabe dialog. So, at least, it was expected. I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just a matter of taste and it's perfectly fine that you're not into it, but PA fans should like it.

I do agree with you that I enjoyed the fact that the fights were easy. A lot of other people got annoyed by this (like the reviewer of the article). Personally, I disliked the fact that there were any fights at all. I was expecting something more adventure game oriented. You know, find items, figure out where to use the items, solve puzzles, enjoy the story. And that's where I was disappointed.

The game has just enough of an adventure feel to make those of us who enjoy the genre to judge it as such. You walk around an environment, collect items, the emphasis isn't in the action. However, it's also too darn linear. There are no puzzles. There's no thought involved. You're told where you should go at every point. if you walk everywhere in the environment, kill everything, and talk to everyone, you've finished the game. I would have loved the game if it had bigger environments, more puzzles, less fights and mini-games. It would have been perfect.

The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (4, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674497)

Outside of a few shining moments of wit in the writing, the game offers nothing in the way of real fun. It's sad, and at the same time very surprising. You'd think that after making fun of bad games for years, the Penny Arcade guys would know how to avoid developing one themselves.

Re:The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (4, Interesting)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674685)

Let me be the first to say it's not for you [penny-arcade.com] .

The game isn't going to rank as one of my favourites, but I enjoyed it. For $20, I find it really difficult to complain about anything. They even managed to make JRPG combat fun for me again, and I've been jaded with JRPGs for years.

Re:The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674779)

Twisp and Catsby ftw. One of my favorite running gags on the site!

Re:The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674915)

You'd think that after making fun of bad games for years, the Penny Arcade guys would know how to avoid developing one themselves.

There's no reason to think that. Complaining is far easier than doing.

Re:The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (2, Funny)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23676349)

There's no reason to think that. Complaining is far easier than doing.
Nice example, btw.

Re:The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23677909)

Those who can't do, teach.

Re:The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675657)

I agree. I like Penny Arcade but I didn't like the game at all (well the Demo on the 360 at least). I thought the pace was too slow.

Re:The Game is Mediocre (At Best) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680999)

Penny arcade is only responsible for the art and writing. Hothead made the game. PA just told them what they liked or disliked and what to change. I would not expect a masterpiece on their first game. But I have seen many games made by more experienced developers that were worse in writing, graphics, and gameplay.

PA really put their selves in an awkward situation making a game. I think they did it because they could not over look the opportunity to do so, not because they thought that they could make a game that would not be criticized.

I enjoyed the heck out of it. (4, Informative)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674519)

My wife & I just finished it last night (she helps with the planning, I click things and go "shiny!").

It's a Japanese-style RPG (I played final fantasy for 15 minutes and got frustrated with it), with some adventure elements and a wicked sense of humor (the Lucasarts guy who worked on it did a fantastic job). So there's the "how and where do I go to make hobo meat edible" adventure-quest element, the fights are all JRPG (which works out pretty well, though I'm sure others can do more with it and still others were turned off by the whole thing), and then there's the dialogue and writing, which are top notch. I have no idea what the requirements are supposed to be, but on my Athlon (single core from about 2 years ago) 3400 with a Geforce GT7600, framerates were great - the stylized "comic-book look" works well here (duh?).

Well worth the $20. We've been playing it for an hour or so a night since it came out, and just finished it.

Re:I enjoyed the heck out of it. (4, Funny)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674869)

So there's the "how and where do I go to make hobo meat edible" adventure-quest element...
I think it might be worth buying just to see how that plays out...

Re:I enjoyed the heck out of it. (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681975)

It was... disturbing. Typical PA to the core though. I really did enjoy the game, but I don't think it was worth $20. Considering that there are four episodes, I would be much happier paying $10-15 per or $50 for the complete series.

Re:I enjoyed the heck out of it. (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#23676483)

I agree. I'm no real gamer (I just gave up nwn, which was released in 2001) but I thought this one was worth the $20. I didn't even mind the combat system which my previous experiences with that type of combat on consoles at friends houses left me dissatisfied (just not my thing). I liked how you had to plan your attacks and timing for various characters vs. certain NPCs. At the same time though, it wasn't so complicated that I felt overwhelmed. In other words, for a casual gamer like me, it was just the thing.

I also GREATLY appreciated that they released it on linux and mac os x at the same time as that other platform that games are usually written for. Plus, how many games do you know of that you get to beat up hobos, mimes and clowns with a rake?

Re:I enjoyed the heck out of it. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23685001)

"It's a Japanese-style RPG "
Yes, there certianly wasn't any games like that before Anime was mainstream~

Day of the tentacle was like that, and IT wasn't new to that style.

Planning? planning!? What Planning? It's a great game, but you don't need to be a super genius to do it. I mean, I'm glad you and your wife are enjoying it, but come on.

hmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23674859)

I like what they did with it, they've managed to retain the humor of the comic strip (especially the dialogue and the facial expressions). Wish it was a lot less console RPGish and a lot more sandboxy, though. I won't complain for $20 though, though if it had been $40 I would complain.

Pretty fun, if you play it fast enough. (1)

theycallmejoe (1302777) | more than 6 years ago | (#23675383)

I grabbed the demo off of XBLA a few days ago and decided I'd buy the full thing, due to a combination of intrigue and boredom. I felt it was tedious at first...

And then I stopped raiding every trash can and mailbox in sight, and started actually playing the game =P

The gameplay was fun, albeit a little predictable and linear, but it was interesting enough to keep me occupied. My only real complaint about it is the item balance. I think it'd be fairly easy to go through the entire game only using attacks. In fact, I only really started using them when I learned that they merited me an achievement.

its like we didn't play the same game... (2, Informative)

drkoemans (666135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23676389)

I thought the game was great as far as RPGs go. I am a fan of the comic but I would have liked the game even without that element. To me it brought the best parts together of a forgotten genre. It felt like it vamped a lot on the mechanics of the paper mario series (which IMHO is one of the best RPG series ever) while adding in just enough of the real time elements along the lines of what silicon knights did with KOTOR. Im a dinosour by gaming standards which might be why I am not jiving with the rest of these comments but I couldn't be more pleased to see someone bring back the turn based adventure style of days gone by. I hope their success will encourage others to design more games in this vein.

My Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23677551)

I didn't get to play most of it. I bought the game specifically so that I would have something to play during the week or so that I knew I wouldn't have an Internet connection. The game even worked on my Linux laptop. Nice!

Then, I sat down to play another session, but I couldn't start the full version of the game anymore. I just got some error about my hardware not matching the hardware the game was activated with (even though I hadn't made any hardware changes). The game wanted me to go online to activate again -- which of course I couldn't do. Thanks a lot guys.

I poked around the binary with GDB for a little while, but I didn't really have the motivation to do that for long.
                --Justin

Why this is REALLY a good idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23678837)

Anyone can gripe about what makes a game good or bad, but who is going to listen?

Aren't there enough "surprise, you're NOT at the end and you have 2 more boss fights to go with NO chance to save" games out there?

You'd think Capcom would learn, but not only does Mega Man not overcome this, it makes its way to Zack and Wiki.

There's a tendency to auto-dismiss the opinions of the consumers, after all, if they knew what they were talking about, they would be showing their point instead of speaking it, putting their (development) money where there mouth is.

Also, how broken is a game if it still sells millions? There's a lot of bad gameplay in good games that gets ignored because when the good game is in its element, it blows you away. (Zelda, awesome dungeon, annoying minigame, repeat)

Also, while I may despise minigames (I payed $60 for Zelda's HACK AND SLASH and puzzles! Why do I have to put up with [insert random minigame here] before being allowed to go back to the game proper?!) there's a number of people who happily bought Mario Party. Now if I can just convince Nintendo that the two DON'T need to intersect...
For that matter, why was typing (other than the main character's name) EVER a part of Paper Mario? What did it add besides annoyance?

PA, having made a game, has shown how seriously they take their opinions on what makes a game good or bad. Even if other designers don't care about PA's opinions, if listening to feedback causes better reviews for later episodes, producers will see that changes X, Y and Z made the difference between a 7 and an 8, or between X thousand sales and 1.5 * X thousand sales, then strongly suggest similar improvements in their own games. There's plenty of griping about how the industry is hamstrung by its focus on the bottom line, this is a golden opportunity (through throwing feedback about EXACTLY what's good and bad about the game) to use that to our advantage.

This also begs the question on repetitive series like Mega Man, is a large part of their reason for so little change per iteration to isolate individual tweaks (greater focus on movement MM2, slide in MM3, Charging gun in MM4, independent Helper attack animal (Beat) in MM5, Movement / charge tweak (rush adapters) MM6) and compare sales to see exactly what affects sales and how much?

The choice of format for the game was great as well. Standard JRPG style games tend to be easy for anyone willing to put in enough time to over-level as needed. It's easier for a person used to Street Fighter to beat an JRPG than an JRPG lover to beat Street Fighter. To get away with low difficulty on an action game you tend to need incredible humor.

Now that "gaming common sense" has some money behind it, and will try 3 more tweaked versions coming up to lend some hard evidence to what's most sensible perhaps it will be heard a little better across the industry.

Re:Why this is REALLY a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681351)

Well, I read your entire post, and I still don't get it. What's your point? From what I can tell, it could be any of:
1) You think games should let you save anywhere, any time
2) You hate minigames and refuse to acknowledge that other people might like them
3) You think Mega Man games are too repetitive
4) You think JRPGs are too easy

That's all I'm getting from your post, and from what I can tell, it doesn't really have much to do with Penny Arcade. Or were you just rambling?

BioShock style product activation (1)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23682931)

A missed item from the "Hated" column:

Yet another PC game with depressing BioShock style product activation. Sounds like a cool game, a shame I'll have to skip it.

Re:BioShock style product activation (1)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23683265)

The guy from Twenty Sided has a post up which talks about some of the distinctions between their DRM and the stuff from other companies:

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1677

It's worth reading, although I'd be curious to know if anyone has actually tried installing it more than 3 times? If I have to call them to get them to add more activations to my account (which is what the guys from Hot Head were saying in their own forum IIRC, can't find the link right now), then I'm not interested.

I tried the PC demo... (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687497)

It looked promising, until I discovered that there was no way to change the refresh rate in fullscreen mode. 60 Hz sucks on a CRT, and it's bad form to relase a game that doesn't have such controls.

So, I decided to give up and play it in a window, which means lower performance. It also means that as soon as I try to clean the yard (the first task), my mouse cursor disappears, and never re-appears.

I uninstalled the demo and didn't look back. That's a real show-stopper bug for me.

Thoroughly Enjoyed It (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688347)

I'm a bit baffled by the occasional negative review. As a game, it's a slim but cleverly implemented JRPG sped up to the point of nearing the action genre. It's fun and does the job well, and the game is short enough that I can't imagine anyone managing to tire of it before the credits roll. The environments are pretty and amusingly constructed, and the writing - well, it's simple: if you don't enjoy PA, you won't enjoy the game.

I guess the best argument I can make in its favor is that once I'd started playing, I didn't move - not to eat, not to check my email, not to see what's on TV - until the last boss was dead. As I grow older and my patience wanes, that's really saying something. The last time a game managed to enthrall me for the entirety of its experience was Portal. It's also the first time I've ever actually looked forward to episodic content, though I suspect that's because I'm used to that delivery method in the original comic, so it just sort of "fits."
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