Penny Arcade Adventures 3 Preview: Big Pixels, Big Words


Credit to the folks at Penny Arcade — they didn’t use their own conference as an excuse to make a huge deal over Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slicked Precipice of Darkness 3. New developers Zeboyd games had a small booth near the periphery of the show floor, where they showed off their take on the famous duo’s post-modern RPG confection.

Jerry Holkin’s relentlessly overwritten dialogue is back — the demo had me chuckling at its excesses as much as its jokes — but the art style has undergone a distinct change. Zeboyd evokes the soft, colorful pixelation of Chrono Trigger other 90′s classics, in contrast to the look of the two previous games, which was much more modern.

The gameplay in the series has always been a throwback, and this is underscored in the third installment by the archetypal, retro UI design, all chunky numbers and hand-shaped cursor movement. Demo gameplay took place at a kind of uncanny boardwalk, and I battled evil mimes, clowns, and Penny Arcade’s distinctive adversary: robots who copulate with foodstuffs. The turn-based combat was satisfying enough, and will certainly please gamers who cherish their Clinton-administration halycon days.

If you liked the previous Penny Arcade titles, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. If you didn’t, Zeboyd’s contribution, while consistently clever, is unlikely to change your mind.

Game Front was on-site at PAX East all weekend (April 6-8), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!

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