Penny Arcade is a comic strip about Tycho and Gabe, who are characterizations of their real-life creators. They have appeared in two previous video games. They (well, the real-life versions) host expos twice a year where thousands of fans wait for hours to hear them speak and revel in general nerdiness. They are also vastly more wealthy and famous than I will ever be. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about the entirety of my knowledge of the Penny Arcade universe until I plugged in my Xbox controller and booted up Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3.
I think I should have studied a bit more.
Zeboyd Games, who previously helped that Lovecraftian monster save the world, has resurrected the dormant franchise and spruced it up with their 16-bit can of paint. Even though there’s a new developer, the game picks up just a few weeks after the previous two and feels very much a part of the same world. At least, I have to assume it does since I haven’t spent ten minutes with the previous games. If you’re better versed in Penny Arcade lore than I – and odds are, you are – the frequent cameos, plot twists, and references to events long-ago transpired probably make a lot more sense. But since we all only get one brain, I’m forced to approach the game through my n00b eyeballs, and you know what? It’s still pretty damned funny.
Down-on-his-luck agave farmer Juan Aguacate will have one more opportunity to improve his luck this year in this multi-genre mashup, thanks to Sony’s Pub Fund. Guacamelee! will hit (and probably be hit) on the Vita and PSN at some point in the yet-to-be-determined future. If you’re headed to E3 next week, you can catch a glimpse of it running on both devices, or follow along for more melee news at their blog.
A new Sonic game always brings a level of uncertainty with it. Sega’s mascot has seen more highs and lows than a bipolar roller coaster, something of which fans are acutely aware. There’s a level of trepidation one must enter a modern Sonic title with — that way the potential disappointment stings less. Dimps and Sonic Team have addressed a few of the flaws found in the first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, making the second a bit more fun to play through. It’s a far cry from the Genesis entries, but it’s enjoyable regardless.
One of the biggest complaints in Episode One was the physics, and they’ve mostly been fixed. Sonic no longer stops on a dime in mid air if you take your thumb off the analog stick and you can no longer walk up walls like Spider-Man. The ball-rolling still seems to be slower than running when going downhill, making spin-dashing nearly useless, but hey, two out of three isn’t bad. The truth is this game controls pretty well, approaching levels folks might consider “good”. Read more