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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameSpot and IGN have posted new previews of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two. Based on the characters from the Penny Arcade comic strip, the latest chapter in the episodic adventure game allows players to continue the adventure with Tycho and Gabe.

From GameSpot:

From a content standpoint, Episode Two follows the same basic model as the original game. You'll venture to different locations and interact with characters, solve puzzles, collect items, fight a bunch of eccentric foes, earn experience, and level up. However, this time out Hothead has tweaked a few things based on feedback on the original game. The first big tweak is the addition of selectable difficulty levels and an even more challenging, unlockable "insane" mode. Combat has been tweaked, with the various minigames for character special attacks being changed up some. There have also been some changes to weapons: Tycho now rolls with a shotgun, while your character has lost the lowly rake and gained a hoe. While Gabriel still hits things with his fists, there are new upgrades to be gained as your characters level. The game will also feature some subtle additions to the mix in the form of more cues to help players. For instance, the flashes during combat that alerted you to block will now also flash the word "block" on your opponent's life bar. You'll also hear audio chimes when your support character's special attacks are ready.

In terms of visuals, Episode Two is on par with the previous installment in the series. The character editor for your custom character has gained new parts for you to trick out different elements of your virtual self. The new parts can be used on preexisting characters that you import off the save date from the previous game or if you start a new game. The 3D models based on the Penny Arcade artwork look sharp and have the same whimsical design sense. The new rich folk that you beat up look suitably snooty, and the spider enemies look menacing in the right ways.
From IGN:
All three characters have new special attack mini-games. These are very similar to the originals, but have been updated slightly to offer more challenge. Your character's special attack sets two green zones on opposite ends of a meter. A dial swings left and right like a metronome. Hit the proper button when the dial is in a green zone to speed it up and add more damage to the attack. Simple, but more challenging as you upgrade the power, which decreases the green zone and bumps up the speed. Tycho's attack has you pressing correct buttons when fruit f***ers pop up on screen. Just be careful not to hit a button when a non-robot appears or you get dinged. Gabe's is a bit of a rhythm challenge, as a pair of button combos (Left Bumper and Right Bumper on Xbox 360) float up the screen and into a small box. Hit the right button as the icon passes by. Easy, sure, but much tougher with the upgraded versions of this attack.

Episode Two promises more puzzle elements than Ep. One. This promise is delivered fairly early on when your character goes crazy. The battle with your sanity takes place in a brand new mini-game. The Brain Game is a three-tier puzzle game, where you must electroshock the insanity from your gray matter. Your brain stem sends out pulses that heal your noggin. But it's up to you to turn the hexagonal pieces of your brain to create a path for this electrical flow to reach various parts of your brain. Shock a section once and it turns red, meaning it's a battleground for your sanity. Leave it red for too long and the neighboring crazy sections of your brain will corrupt it again. Shock an area a few times and it turns white, meaning it's healed for good.
Visit the sites below to read the rest of the previews.

GameSpot: Penny Arcade Adventures Preview
IGN: Penny Arcade Adventures Preview
Hothead Games
Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade Adventures

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