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Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 2

Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two

Platform: Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Linux
Publisher: Hothead Games
PC price as reviewed: $14.99, or about £10
XBLA price as reviewed: 1200 MS points, or about £10

Just like the last game, Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two (which from now on shall just be referred to as Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two) starts with the destruction of your house by a fruit-raping robot.

Unlike the first game though, it isn’t the robot that does the destruction and your house isn’t truly a house. Instead, Tycho and Gabe, eager to give you a chance for revenge, drive straight over your tent.

Again, you’re homeless. Again, your only friends are a man who lost a fist-fight with the devil and a detective with a shotgun and a history of mental illness. It’s all very familiar – and so it should be. This is an episodic sequel after all.

Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 2

The story then picks right up where Episode One left of and those who’ve played the original game will be fed straight back into the thick of it after a quick touch of exposition and a visit to Anne-Claire, inventor-extraordinaire.

Unfortunately, the immediate failure here is that there’s no real introduction given to those who might not have played the first game or who’ve forgotten most of it, as we had. We’ll do the honours instead then.

At the end of the last game, your house had been crushed by a giant robot and you had joined up with Tycho and Gabe in their Startling Developments Detective Agency to find out what exactly was going on. While the deep and resonant voice of the narrator hinted at some coming apocalypse, you slowly followed the trail until you found out that an evil God was being reborn beneath the city!

Not just any God either – Yog Sethis, the God of Silence and patron deity of mimes. With the body of a giant mime and the head of a Lovecraftian cast-off, Yog Sethis (Yoggy, to his pals) was a fearsome foe…but he met an eventual demise as end-game bosses are supposed to do.

Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 2

The case apparently closed, you pitched your tent in your own, old garden and attempted to return to normal life, though it was obviously doomed not to be so. The Penny Arcade team are a canny lot and know better than to ‘do a Sin Episodes’ and abandon their series after the first episode. Damn you, Ritual Entertainment!

So now, with the robots once more on the loose and the narrator’s rich and charming baritone again warning of an oncoming assault, you find yourself dragged back into the fray, gardening hoe in hand and ready for anything!

Or, at least you think you’re ready for anything – but Monkey Fighting (which we can’t help but think is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Monkey Kombat in Monkey Island 4 given Ron Gilbert’s involvement in the game) and enemas weren’t exactly in the brochure. Or were they? Maybe that’s why you’re playing, we don’t know.

Either way, you don’t exactly have a choice. It’s time to create a new character and get drawn back down into that world of cel-shaded graphics, clever comic-strip parodies and admittedly fatiguing comedy.