Friday, July 17, 2009


Ugh.  I haven't posted since my trip to Nebraska.  It's not that I don't love you; it's more just that I don't have anything that interesting to say right now.  Nothing of significance is really going on right now, and I'm not bored or desperate enough to break out my rainy-day blog topics just yet.  (That said, I do want to cover something more serious that will take multiple posts, but I've got too much else to do right now.)

I've mostly been working—working around the house, working at the office, writing a couple posts for the official SharePoint Designer blog (not finished yet), and writing another fairly large document that I've put off for far too long.  I did spend a couple hours and finish the quite short Penny Arcade RPG this past weekend, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode One.  Overall it's decent.  The writing and humor and graphics are pretty good.  The gameplay is interesting at first but becomes tiresome after a short while, though.  The most annoying part is that advancing the story sometimes simply requires wandering around aimlessly until you find the next random batch of enemies to kill.  The enemies themselves are pretty entertaining—there isn't a huge variety, but I wouldn't really expect too much variety in a game not much longer than Portal.  There are mimes, whose attacks are things like "Pretend I Have a Machine Gun" and "Pretend I'm Throwing a Boulder," and can be trapped inside invisible boxes, clowns that bleed paint, sinister barbershop quartets, evil hobos, and, of course, a couple models of Fruit Fucker brand juicer robots.

It's things like the latter that are simultaneously refreshing—certainly many games include plenty of profanity, but usually to simply make someone sound tough rather than for comic effect—and disappointing: disappointing because they make it tough to recommend the game for someone like my dad, though he might otherwise enjoy it.

If you like the humor and style of Penny Arcade, you'll like the game; if you don't, you won't.  It's not that it's something that only fans would enjoy (though there are some fan service things here and there), but the writers and style are the same as the comic, and the game itself is basically secondary to the writing.  I don't think that liking RPGs or adventure games is really all that important to liking this game, because it's not really about the gameplay, which is rather strange I think for a comic strip whose primary subject is... games.

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