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Thread: Staff Review - Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4

  1. #1
    Quia ego sic dico RPGamer Staff Severin Mira's Avatar
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    Staff Review - Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4

    The final game in the long-titled Penny Arcade series is now available on Steam and heading to XBLA soon. Will RPGamers find it a good way to spend their time while awaiting the next E3 news flash?

    [ Review ]
    "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands."
    Twitter: severinmira | Xbox Live: Severin Mira | PSN: severinmira (EU), severin-US (US) | Skype: severinmk
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  2. #2
    Great review. I'm looking forward to finally finishing this series off. Still waiting for the game to come out of peer review for XBLIG, but I'll be grabbing it as soon as it goes up.

  3. #3
    New Member Member bill_at_zeboyd's Avatar
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    Thanks for reviewing Rainslick4!

    And yeah, the XBLIG ver was 91% through peer review. So hopefully another few devs will review and pass it soon.

    edit: It just passed peer review on XBLIG! Will be up on that storefront later today!
    Last edited by bill_at_zeboyd; 06-11-2013 at 03:26 PM.

  4. #4
    Veteran RPGamer watcher's Avatar
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    Started playing this weekend, should be done by next weekend if it's like previous Zeboyd titles. My only irritation so far is that it took me a while to stop running up to scripted spots and accidentally skipping the first line that comes up automatically.

  5. #5
    I'll probably not get this one.

    I really liked Zeboyd's first two games, but this 3rd part of this series was too boring for me because first of all the complexity was raised strongly (unlike BoDVIII and CSTW where you quickly level up and choose what to get instantly out of 2 options, part 3 had a complex job system - and I must say I really hate job systems, already in FF) and second the whole way of just standing around monsters that never respawn instead of random encounters made any exploration aspect mood (you can explore as much as you like since you will never get into a fight again - not to mention that the dungeons were really simply unlike the previous Zeboyd games).

    I think part 4 is even worse for me because it adds even more aspects I hate like having monsters fight for you on top of the others I criticized above (though I guess the map design looks more interesting now). For me it's sad to see the direction he is going with the development - I really liked his original "RPGs need to be simple and fast paced" attitude and his way to design complex maze-like dungeons.

    Also as a non-native English speaker, the dialogues are very hard to read in part 3 (I assume it's the same for all parts of the series? seems intentionally done so).
    Last edited by Rya.Reisender; 06-17-2013 at 11:21 PM.

  6. #6
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff 7thCircle's Avatar
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    You're right Rya that this isn't the type of game you'd like. Interesting point about the ESL perspective -- much of the game's humor comes from writing that's intentionally not normal, conversational English. It would be hard to follow or at least hard to appreciate if your English isn't in top form. Reminds me of an Indian coworker once telling me he had this same issue with some American stand-up comedians. Although he spoke English fine, he couldn't follow language-related humor.

    I finished Rain-Slick 4 last weekend. It fixed the main issue I had with Cthulhu and Rain-Slick 3. In both those games my party and skills were set well before the ending, and the last couple hours dragged while I felt like I was on autopilot, entering the same series of commands to win every battle for too long. Rain-Slick 4 consistently added to party options throughout the game and it didn't drag at the end. Playing on Veteran helped too.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 7thCircle View Post
    You're right Rya that this isn't the type of game you'd like. Interesting point about the ESL perspective -- much of the game's humor comes from writing that's intentionally not normal, conversational English. It would be hard to follow or at least hard to appreciate if your English isn't in top form. Reminds me of an Indian coworker once telling me he had this same issue with some American stand-up comedians. Although he spoke English fine, he couldn't follow language-related humor.

    I finished Rain-Slick 4 last weekend. It fixed the main issue I had with Cthulhu and Rain-Slick 3. In both those games my party and skills were set well before the ending, and the last couple hours dragged while I felt like I was on autopilot, entering the same series of commands to win every battle for too long. Rain-Slick 4 consistently added to party options throughout the game and it didn't drag at the end. Playing on Veteran helped too.
    That's why localization is so difficult. Not just translation, but full-on localization. There's a lot of people out there who argue for the literal translation being better, and some who argue for the localization approach, and I'm not saying one is superior, but localization is far more approachable for people not entrenched in the source culture. On the other hand, with PA3 and PA4 specifically, the humor comes from a mix of cultures and specific games, many of which I have not played and I'm sure is lost on me. I mean, for example apparently the Philosofly is based on SMT, which I've yet to play any of and it was all lost on me.

    As for PA4 fixing things, in a lot of ways I agree about the autopilot. On the other hand, the team changing and occasionally adding other battle party members without me specifically choosing them really messes with my strategies. And the transition between two teams where the party levels differ significantly is a bit jarring at times, to drop 10 levels overall when I transition to the other team. The battle system does fix things though, and I like it over the job system in PA3.

  8. #8
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff 7thCircle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smacd View Post
    occasionally adding other battle party members without me specifically choosing them really messes with my strategies.
    That was very annoying. In a few cases it changes your party just before a tough fight, and can put in monsters you benched and might not have any equipment on. It wouldn't have been as bad if the Switch item were available sooner.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.

  9. #9
    Yeah, Switch helps for the most part, but I dislike the wasted turn. Worth it when my strategy gets really hosed but I can usually make due without it.

  10. #10
    Member Jitawa's Avatar
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    I liked the 3rd title; I thought it was amusing. However, I also played it on an ipad. The low-fi graphics seemed well-suited to portable. I probably won't pick up this one up considering, but it looks neat.

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