On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One

aka: Precipice of Darkness 1
Moby ID: 34221
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
$7.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

Gabe and Tycho of the web comic Penny Arcade are at their debut on the video game scene in this adventure RPG.

Set in 1922, in a pulp horror storyline, players create their protagonist who gets swept up in a world of mystery and adventure when a large robot destroys the main character's house during a leaf raking session. Determined to get to the bottom of what happened (and finding a new place to live in the process), the player runs into the Startling Developments Detective agency, run by Gabe and Tycho. Along the way, the team will encounter a series of characters from the web comic, fighting zombies, homeless people, mimes and Fruit Fuckers in an attempt to solve this bizarre series of events.

Gameplay is set up as a classic-style RPG, with turn-based combat and item management abilities during combat. Players will also be able to summon other characters for combat help, and level up new abilities as the story progresses.

Story elements are conveyed in a comic strip style. During conversation, players engage in a multiple selection story tree in an attempt to gain support or information or simply just harass and insult characters in typical Penny Arcade fashion.

The Xbox Live version includes various achievement rewards based off gameplay requirements.

Spellings

  • Над пропастью во тьме. Часть 1 - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

128 People (82 developers, 46 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 57 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 22 ratings with 2 reviews)

This is a game made by the guys at Penny Arcade for the fans of Penny Arcade, and it delivers amazingly.

The Good
For those without background knowledge of Penny Arcade: shame on you. Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik have been enhancing the lives of gamers and the gaming industry for almost ten years. By creating the Penny Arcade comic featuring their alter egos, Tycho and Gabe, Jerry and Mike have brought both laughter and awareness to the community that we all call home. If you’re one of the millions that know and love Penny Arcade, this game is as close as you will get to living it.

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness starts by allowing the player to create a custom character from a decent handful of options, and dropping the gamer into “New Arcadia” in 1922. Classic gangster times. In a game involving tommy guns, fruit fuckers, and evil, the first mission is to rake your lawn. A fruit fucker, for those uninformed, is a possessed juicing robot, pictured below. After a giant fruit fucker crushes the player’s home (not house), the player embarks on a journey that includes partnering with the 1922 versions of Gabe and Tycho, mercilessly murdering mimes, tracking the giant robot, and having a grand old time.

Rain-Slick is an anomaly in gaming: a blend of RPG and adventure genres. The gameplay is very sound and provides enough action commands to maintain a reasonable level of activity during battles. Players are able to pull the right trigger immediately before an enemy attack to partially block, fully block, or counter-attack. To assault your mime, hobo, and robot enemies, there are both standard and special attacks. The special attacks involve a mini-game of sorts, differing for each character. Tycho’s involve a button mimicking sequence, Gabe’s is a button repetition (smashing the A-button as many times as possible in 10 seconds and then once more in a small window), and the player character’s special attack is completed by timing button presses with open windows in a rotating circle. The combat system is well-executed and doesn’t get overly stale at any point.

Outside of the battles, however, is where the game truly shines. The story is, without a doubt, interesting enough to never tire of while playing. It is hilarious. Period. The dialogue might be the funniest of any game in the last year and the narrator’s early role is incredibly well-voiced and will excite the player to seek rake vengeance more than any game in the history of games. Unfortunately, the narrator doesn’t have much work to do after the first act, as there are numerous times throughout the game that he would have been welcomed with open arms and ears.

Visually, Rain-Slick is quite impressive. The 3D, cell-shaded work is as good as, if not better than, The Simpsons Game. Cutscenes throughout the game are impeccable replicas of Mike Krahulik’s 2D art style from the comic, and anyone that is a fan of the comic’s art will be pleased with the game’s look.

The Bad
The only faults, if they can be called that, are the length and cost of the game. Running between five and ten hours, the first episode of the game is a bit shorter than most would like for a $20 arcade game.

The Bottom Line
Presentation: Interesting, panel-style, but limited (4) areas to explore. Excellent interface and easy-to-learn main menu.

Gameplay: Good combat mechanics and activity to keep battles interesting. Surprising amount of interactive objects in the environments.

Graphics/Sound: Beautifully translated visuals from the comic on the cutscene and conversation fronts. Top-notch cell-shading work. Great narration, but not enough audio.

Value Factor: Five to ten gameplay hours. Only valid for 2-3 completions and another run-through when new episodes are released. Downloadable content is rumored. $20 or 1600 MSP.

Xbox 360 · by Brandon Tabbert (17) · 2008

Long Title. Short Game. Great Ride.

The Good
Penny Arcade and the Exceedingly Long Title is a great RPG romp using the characters from the above-mentioned webcomic.

What stands out about this title first and foremost is the game's story writing. The Penny Arcade creators have a dark and twisted sense of humor that is cushioned nicely between some intelligent dialogue and some genuine enthusiasm for colorful characters, providing for some nice interaction between the heroes and the characters that they meet. The story itself is also dark, hinting at some genuinely terrible evil, but it never takes itself too seriously. And no, the enjoyment of the humor is not exclusive to fans of the comic.

The graphics are also wonderful. Whether it's the slick comic strip style cutscenes and dialogue boxes, or the seamless transition from the map screen into the game world, it works well and is highly stylish. There are little nuances that you will find in the animation that just add to the atmosphere.

The RPG combat is handled well, taking a cue from traditional RPGs for its play, but keeping the action moving with real-time decisions and support character assistance. There's also some counterattack/blocking techniques which are similar to Super Mario RPG. Combat isn't a boring experience.

The music is also great, although it's short-lived in many places. The ending credits music is hilarious as it pokes fun at the typical movie credits scene that features highly out of place, and the game acknowledges this.

Creating a character for the main character is a nice touch. While not a new idea, they fit your character of choice very well into the cut scenes and action like they were meant to be there all along.

Finally, it just FEELS like a classic adventure/RPG game, with all the humor, adventuring and tiny moments like you might find in a classic Lucasarts or Sierra title, with a small hint of Final Fantasy.

The Bad
The game is short. Just as you get into it... POOF! "Wait until Chapter 2!"

There's a few issues with the gameplay, however. Difficulty seems unbalanced at first. Enemies will easily kill your characters at the start, which isn't fatal, but frustrating for those achievement hoarders. Towards the end of the game, the characters are ridiculously powered up. So it becomes a matter of too weak, and then too strong. The point where it reaches a good balance doesn't last as long as it should.

NPCs don't do much to help your characters. Sure, there's the requisite characters who need a task done, or offer to help you, but there are also some who offer a specific and set funny line of dialogue or two... and so does the person right next to them. More variety in dialogue between NPCs would be nice.

There are special attacks, but hardly a chance to use them. Perhaps if the game were longer, they would have been realized, but for characters like Gabe and Tycho, I completed the game without using their special abilities once, much less using multiple character's combo attacks.

With only four sections, you'll see the game's world pretty fast. And "boo" to getting rid of the narrator so early in the game. The voice acting for him was enjoyable to listen to, and when he departs, the game feels more silent than it should. There's very little spoken dialogue in this game, and not a lot of music during exploring the world.

$20 also makes for the most expensive XBLA game, especially for one as short as this. Still, there are $60 games that offer the same length of gameplay, that don't offer the amount of enjoyment found here.

The Bottom Line
It's refreshing to play a game that is made by people who genuinely "get" what is great about gaming. Give a fan a chance to make a video game, and this is what you get. The humor is genuinely funny, the gameplay is respectable, and there's some neat little things to find around the game.

People may balk at the price, but it's a solid title with a rich story and quirky, bizarre characters.

Here's hoping the next installment will automatically keep the character's look from this episode, as well as all the stats. I want to feel like I am continuing forward in a much larger story, not starting over with every new chapter.

With all the rehashed corporate titles we're told that are "fun", it's nice to have a title that actually IS fun from real gamers, and not a marketing committee.

Highly recommended, and one of the better titles from XBLA. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Xbox 360 · by Guy Chapman (1748) · 2008

Trivia

Advertising

Penny Arcade used flamebait comments of a Wired blog posting to advertise its game, using the words from a poster by the name of ddf. They plastered banners advertising the game with his "testimonials".

"Penny arcade sucks and is unfunny. please murder penny arcade and then yourself if you disagree with me." "This game sucks and anyone who likes it sucks. penny arcade sucks and is as funny as something that's not funny at all."

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Guy Chapman.

PlayStation 3 added by Tor Lye. Linux, Windows, Macintosh added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Kartanym, Sciere, Alaka, Klaster_1, Starbuck the Third.

Game added May 31, 2008. Last modified December 7, 2023.