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Irritated by a review from The Onion's AV Club

ZombieJellyfishZombieJellyfish Registered User new member
edited June 2008 in Penny Arcade Games
Here's the review first, and I'll explain why I'm irritated, and wondering if anyone else is.

http://www.avclub.com/content/games/penny_arcade_adventures_on_the

Since 1998, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik have used their webcomic Penny Arcade as a springboard for commentary on the gaming lifestyle and industry. Comic avatars Tycho Brahe and Johnathan 'Gabe' Gabriel celebrate and satirize fandom; now they're jumping the fence to become playable characters. In concert with Hothead Games, Holkins and Krahulik pack their first game with vulgar humor and irreverence, but players outside PA's fan base might question whether hip-thrusting, urinating robots are funny enough to be worth frequent backtracking through four gameplay areas.

When a giant robot crushes the home of a normal citizen, the irritated victim aligns with Gabe and Tycho against hobos, mimes, and dark magic. The story is replete with quips, webcomic references, and non-sequitur gags, many of which seek to obscure the fact that Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness, Episode One is a series of simple fetch quests strung together by slight exploration.

In action-oriented role-playing games, addictive combat can overcome plot and script shortcomings. Episode One's battle system is inventive, but shallow, as you flick between three party characters and a trio of special attacks while choosing tactics and targets. It's really just a waiting game: All actions "recharge" after a few seconds (for basic attacks) or half a minute (for special moves), so combat is a matter of blocking incoming attacks while preferred techniques recharge. The interface is more daunting than most combat encounters.

Beyond the game: The PC game's point-and-click controls aren't as well-suited to the action as the analog-stick movement and more detailed action icons on the Xbox Live version. (A further Xbox benefit: one achievement has the dubious honor of prodding players to destroy an enemy with a quietly grooming cat.)

Worth playing for: Slick production values, including moody music, animations that admirably replicate the webcomic, and 2D cutscenes that suggest the influence of artists like John Kricfalusi and Mike Mignola.

Frustration sets in when: An inverted difficulty curve makes the first hour more challenging than the last. In spite of an inflated hit-point total, the final boss is a dullard that requires only patience.

Final judgment: A streamlined but only fitfully entertaining role-playing game that requires deeper gameplay and story to justify doubling the standard XBLA price.

A.V. Club Rating: C+

It's like it was written by some humorless ghoul. I also hate that he says "doubling the standard XBLA price." I don't know what that's supposed to mean. It associates a kind of value to whatever that mystery price might be, and takes it completely out of a real context. I mean, this is a $20 game. I feel completely fine with spending $20 on it, why does it matter how it compares with Uno or the original Doom, price-wise.

And what "plot and script shortcomings" is he referring to? I hate when reviewers make vague statements like that.

I dunno, it just rankled me. It bothers me when people probably made money turning in work of this caliber. Also annoying that he didn't sign it.

ZombieJellyfish on

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    ZhirzzhZhirzzh Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    His failure to even mention humor in a review of a comedy game is of course, inexcusable. As for the price thing, this is what comes of reviewing the Xbox version. $20 is par for the course for games of this length on the PC

    Zhirzzh on
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    JesterPCJesterPC Registered User new member
    edited June 2008
    meh, it's just critics being critics I suppose.
    It's the curse of the entertainment industry,
    you are going to find critics who enjoy the game
    and critics who hate it, the ones who write for the
    most popular sources make the most difference.
    IGN gave the game a 7.5 and said it's worth a look
    for PA fans and RPG junkies, I think that's an accurate
    statement.

    JesterPC on
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    NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'm pretty irritated that someone at work took a bunch of the chips and just left the french onion dip sitting here, so hopeful people come by and are disappointed by random lonely dip.

    NotASenator on
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    Oz K. FodrotskiOz K. Fodrotski Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    NotACrook wrote: »
    I'm pretty irritated that someone at work took a bunch of the chips and just left the french onion dip sitting here, so hopeful people come by and are disappointed by random lonely dip.

    This is an exquisite cruelty, one to inflict on co-workers that you don't much like.

    Oz K. Fodrotski on
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    ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    NotACrook wrote: »
    I'm pretty irritated that someone at work took a bunch of the chips and just left the french onion dip sitting here, so hopeful people come by and are disappointed by random lonely dip.

    This is what spoons are for.

    Do it. You know you want to.

    Threepio on
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    ZombieJellyfishZombieJellyfish Registered User new member
    edited June 2008
    Threepio wrote: »
    NotACrook wrote: »
    I'm pretty irritated that someone at work took a bunch of the chips and just left the french onion dip sitting here, so hopeful people come by and are disappointed by random lonely dip.

    This is what spoons are for.

    Do it. You know you want to.

    Spoons?

    That's what straws are for. Slorch that up!

    ZombieJellyfish on
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    yuttyutt Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    This is like reviewing Monty Python and the Holy Grail and saying the horses were unrealistic and the plot was nonsensical.

    I give this review a 2/10.

    yutt on
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    dark_porpoisedark_porpoise Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I just hate it more when people try to make official looking reviews. One of the reviews on gamefaqs, for example (I'm pretty sure someone moved it, otherwise I would post a link) said that it "has no story, and you switch from fighting robots and hobos to a god for no reason at all."

    You have to wonder if he read any dialogue at all.

    dark_porpoise on
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    dark_porpoisedark_porpoise Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    yutt wrote: »
    This is like reviewing Monty Python and the Holy Grail and saying the horses were unrealistic and the plot was nonsensical.

    I give this review a 2/10.

    Speaking of the Holy Grail, I recently went to Spammalot. Great show, the only problem is that people howl with laughter after every obvious jokes so you miss the (this is weird to say about Monty Python) subtle jokes.

    Anyway, I got coconuts.

    dark_porpoise on
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    JustinSane07JustinSane07 Really, stupid? Brockton__BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2008
    I just hate it more when people try to make official looking reviews. One of the reviews on gamefaqs, for example (I'm pretty sure someone moved it, otherwise I would post a link) said that it "has no story, and you switch from fighting robots and hobos to a god for no reason at all."

    You have to wonder if he read any dialogue at all.

    There was a thread discussing this very topic last week or so (Solid Story I think was the title) and I found the change in story arc to be screeching-tires abrupt. And there were various other arguments about the story, so criticizing the story is perfectly valid.

    Also, Monty Pythons sucks asshole straight from the faucet.

    JustinSane07 on
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    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    But there is a link between the two story threads.
    Lime rhymes with mime.

    Willeth on
    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
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    ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I just hate it more when people try to make official looking reviews. One of the reviews on gamefaqs, for example (I'm pretty sure someone moved it, otherwise I would post a link) said that it "has no story, and you switch from fighting robots and hobos to a god for no reason at all."

    You have to wonder if he read any dialogue at all.

    There was a thread discussing this very topic last week or so (Solid Story I think was the title) and I found the change in story arc to be screeching-tires abrupt. And there were various other arguments about the story, so criticizing the story is perfectly valid.

    Also, Monty Pythons sucks asshole straight from the faucet.

    You know, I'm glad we established that you were clinically retarded in that previous thead.

    Still, thank you for confirming our initial assessment with your post here.

    Threepio on
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    ZombieJellyfishZombieJellyfish Registered User new member
    edited June 2008
    It's no larger a stretch of storyline than going from stopping a Purple Tentacle from taking over the world by participating in Colonial Times-era storylines replete with cherry trees and diamonds.

    But really, what did you expect to fight in Hobo Alley? Tourists?

    I'm less annoyed about it today. I think it's weird that the only place I've seen anyone say anything bad about this game is online. Every person I know who's played it has raved about it, and most of those are not PA fans.

    It's an extremely well-written adventure game. It's not boring, it doesn't drag. The backtracking is a little tedious, but it's no worse than any LucasArts game, so I can't really fault it with that.

    ZombieJellyfish on
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Why is anyone taking a review from The Onion to be serious?

    MegaMan001 on
    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    JustinSane07JustinSane07 Really, stupid? Brockton__BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2008
    Threepio wrote: »
    I just hate it more when people try to make official looking reviews. One of the reviews on gamefaqs, for example (I'm pretty sure someone moved it, otherwise I would post a link) said that it "has no story, and you switch from fighting robots and hobos to a god for no reason at all."

    You have to wonder if he read any dialogue at all.

    There was a thread discussing this very topic last week or so (Solid Story I think was the title) and I found the change in story arc to be screeching-tires abrupt. And there were various other arguments about the story, so criticizing the story is perfectly valid.

    Also, Monty Pythons sucks asshole straight from the faucet.

    You know, I'm glad we established that you were clinically retarded in that previous thead.

    Still, thank you for confirming our initial assessment with your post here.

    Hey, fuck you and the cock you rode in on. Just because I think the story transition isn't smooth makes me clinically retarded? How high and mighty of you. Shitdick.

    JustinSane07 on
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    Captain ElevenCaptain Eleven The last card is a kronk Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Oh damn, it's on like Diddy Kong.

    Captain Eleven on
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Threepio wrote: »
    I just hate it more when people try to make official looking reviews. One of the reviews on gamefaqs, for example (I'm pretty sure someone moved it, otherwise I would post a link) said that it "has no story, and you switch from fighting robots and hobos to a god for no reason at all."

    You have to wonder if he read any dialogue at all.

    There was a thread discussing this very topic last week or so (Solid Story I think was the title) and I found the change in story arc to be screeching-tires abrupt. And there were various other arguments about the story, so criticizing the story is perfectly valid.

    Also, Monty Pythons sucks asshole straight from the faucet.

    You know, I'm glad we established that you were clinically retarded in that previous thead.

    Still, thank you for confirming our initial assessment with your post here.

    Hey, fuck you and the cock you rode in on. Just because I think the story transition isn't smooth makes me clinically retarded? How high and mighty of you. Shitdick.

    I don't know, dude. You said you don't like Monty Python. I think that makes your whole judgment a little skewed.

    MegaMan001 on
    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    MaratanosMaratanos Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Why is anyone taking a review from The Onion to be serious?

    Because the AV club is.

    Maratanos on
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    xthesnarfxxthesnarfx Registered User new member
    edited June 2008
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Why is anyone taking a review from The Onion to be serious?

    Dude, why would the Onion lie to us?...OK, I never really played the game...But I did play the free traiel like 4 times. Yes I know, I am cheap.

    xthesnarfx on
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    ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Threepio wrote: »
    I just hate it more when people try to make official looking reviews. One of the reviews on gamefaqs, for example (I'm pretty sure someone moved it, otherwise I would post a link) said that it "has no story, and you switch from fighting robots and hobos to a god for no reason at all."

    You have to wonder if he read any dialogue at all.

    There was a thread discussing this very topic last week or so (Solid Story I think was the title) and I found the change in story arc to be screeching-tires abrupt. And there were various other arguments about the story, so criticizing the story is perfectly valid.

    Also, Monty Pythons sucks asshole straight from the faucet.

    You know, I'm glad we established that you were clinically retarded in that previous thead.

    Still, thank you for confirming our initial assessment with your post here.

    Hey, fuck you and the cock you rode in on. Just because I think the story transition isn't smooth makes me clinically retarded? How high and mighty of you. Shitdick.

    No. Fuck you.

    Threepio on
    142.jpg
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    Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The sunny beaches of CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I dunno, that review seems pretty accurate to me. I like the game, despite it's flaws, but I'm not going to pretend they aren't there. He touches on both the game's strong points and it's and weak points, and he's fair to all of them. Even Gabe and Tycho themselves have agreed that their first outing could use some changes and some extra work, and have promised to deliver more in the next installment.

    Golden Yak on
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    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Threepio wrote: »
    Threepio wrote: »
    I just hate it more when people try to make official looking reviews. One of the reviews on gamefaqs, for example (I'm pretty sure someone moved it, otherwise I would post a link) said that it "has no story, and you switch from fighting robots and hobos to a god for no reason at all."

    You have to wonder if he read any dialogue at all.

    There was a thread discussing this very topic last week or so (Solid Story I think was the title) and I found the change in story arc to be screeching-tires abrupt. And there were various other arguments about the story, so criticizing the story is perfectly valid.

    Also, Monty Pythons sucks asshole straight from the faucet.

    You know, I'm glad we established that you were clinically retarded in that previous thead.

    Still, thank you for confirming our initial assessment with your post here.

    Hey, fuck you and the cock you rode in on. Just because I think the story transition isn't smooth makes me clinically retarded? How high and mighty of you. Shitdick.

    No. Fuck you.
    An impasse!

    Willeth on
    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
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    dark_porpoisedark_porpoise Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Huh, I didn't think my post would start that.
    Anyway, I thought the transition was as smooth as it could be in a game where you commit hobocide. Really, the ex-mime pretty much explains everything that we needed to know, and that was that a god was going to destroy the world. (I am not going to explain the whole thing). Wouldn't you try to stop it? And the reason that the mimes looking at all the robot stuff probably will be explained in the coming episodes.

    dark_porpoise on
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    yuttyutt Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Also, Monty Pythons sucks asshole straight from the faucet.
    That's a quick way of establishing that your opinion is completely worthless.

    yutt on
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    minigunwielderminigunwielder __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2008
    JesterPC wrote: »
    meh, it's just critics being critics I suppose.
    It's the curse of the entertainment industry,
    you are going to find critics who enjoy the game
    and critics who hate it, the ones who write for the
    most popular sources make the most difference.
    IGN gave the game a 7.5 and said it's worth a look
    for PA fans and RPG junkies, I think that's an accurate
    statement.

    Man.

    What.

    Is he Hastur in disguise, come to taint us with his paragraphing, the angles of which can drive men mad.

    minigunwielder on
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