Friday, August 26, 2011

Zeboyd Games is Making Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 3

It was just announced today via PAX that Penny Arcade Adventures:  On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness (Not typing that out again) Episode 3, previously thought to be dead forever, is now not only a thing, but a thing that will be released next year on, quote, "as many systems as possible".  And while this is, in fact, immediately good news in a sense, I've had quite a few sudden thoughts since reading about it (half an hour or so ago) that have.....well, not soured my outlook, but has put caution in my heart, lest it be broken from hoping too much.

Obviously, having Zeboyd games at the helm of a game that is, by design, supposed to be a work of comedy and parody is the exact right move to make.  I've talked of them before back when I brought up the surge of Indie Games and, while I haven't played their games (as I'm not a PC gamer, nor do I have a 360), I can acknowledge that they are, in fact, probably pretty good.  With as much praise as they get, and the low-low pricetag they carry, the only reason to not play them would be if you're, well, in my position.  Granted, it's a position that will be changed sometime, but I'm sure I'm not the only one stuck like this.  But it's because I'm in this position that I had a thought which gave me a reason to hold my celebrations.

While I don't have an exact link to it, Robert Boyd has gone on record several times saying that there just isn't going to be PSN versions of Breath of Death VII/Cthulhu Saves the World.  I forget if it's because they don't want to do all that extra work, if they can't get a hold of a PS3 Dev Kit (either because they can't afford it, or they don't meet the requirements), some other reason, or some combination of reasons.  So clearly I, whose only console outlet for gaming is the only one they don't have access to (that we know of) am a little concerned that even though I threw in my time and money for PAA 1 and 2, I won't be able to continue that experience as everyone else will.

That also moves into my next concern, that PAA from it's beginnings was obviously meant to be a seamless episodic entity in which you could keep your character constant (and also bring along some episode-specific items).  Obviously, the fact that the staff of Zeboyd Games does not include Mike from PA (though I imagine he'll have something to do with the project) will likely mean a completely new art direction (more akin to Zeboyd's previous two games if this shirt is anything to go by), so bringing along your character might be a little difficult, not only for that reason but for other, much more obvious reasons as well.  PAA3 will likely be quite a different game and, hopefully will be touched upon by the plot in a way that makes sense, rather than just switching and hoping nobody will notice.

That PAA3 might, in fact, be so drastically different is not its only problem of course.  The fact that the entire story of episode 3 is out there already might also be a big thorn in the side of the idea as well.  At this point, it becomes a question of whether they take that story (Written by Jerry, as the first two episodes were) and Video Game it, or make a whole new plot for the game to match the drastic change in....everything else.  At the point where it has a whole new plot, is it even Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 3 anymore?  If it's worked on in conjunction with Penny Arcade proper, does that make it any more or less of a proper installment of the series, despite how it turns out?

By no means am I trying to go all gaming purist, elitist or even doom-sayer over PAA3, and in fact I'm quite excited by the news.  But someone in my position, well, any of us in the position of having to wait this long for an Episode Three in this series when it's quite possible that it'll be drastically different have to have some concerns.  That I might not be able to play it on my system of choice (or, at least the system I own the first two on) is a kick to the gut (despite the sudden realization that I don't have the saves for it anymore) and my concerns that it wouldn't be a proper expansion on the previously established experiences have me resting with my optimism steeped in caution so I can only be pleasantly surprised rather than crushingly disappointed.

Update!:  I found a teaser image for the game (which is actually just the back of that shirt, but as an image)!

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