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There have been a lot of "mascot platformers" in recent years - that is, 3D platformers reminiscent of the 5th and 6th console generations. Many of them are just the usual indie games circling the drain and not doing anything new, but there are occasional beams of light that pierce through the veil. Penny's Big Breakaway is one such game.

It launched last month on PC and Switch (and I guess PS or something?). I decided to buy it since it seemed to be promising and the developers were the team behind Sonic Mania, which I had heard good things about. Overall, it's very good aside from the bugs. Lots of fun, versatile movement tricks you can use and the stages strike a nice balance between encouraging you to explore and rewarding you for going fast. The price is a bit steep for an indie game at $30 USD, but given the studio's pedigree and the promise this game shows, I am willing to support it.

Mechanically, you have the standard 3D platformer stuff like jumping, double jumping, airdashing, and sliding around. PBB's unique gimmick is that you use a yo-yo in conjunction with Penny, so your air motions are a series of yo-yo tricks like swinging from it, throwing it out and zipping towards it, and hooking over ledges with it. It sounds like a pretty standard twist on 3D movement, but depending on how you combine the actions and how fast you're moving, you can generate incredible amounts of speed. Gaining momentum and maintaining it is important to moving fast, and you need to pay attention to your environment to chain speed boosts together through a level.

The gameplay kind of speaks for itself. It's exactly as fun as it looks, although it does take some getting used to. Using the advanced controls with both analog sticks and two shoulder buttons to control Penny and the yo-yo is the better way to play.

The music and visuals are great too. The devs made their own engine for this game and there are a lot of cool shading and lighting effects, especially on metallic surfaces like the coins. The game takes a lot of stylistic inspiration from Bauhaus art, but unlike the soulless flat corporate art style that has infected all forms of visual media in the last decade or so, PBB actually uses colors and other details to fill in the environments. The original goal of the Bauhaus art movement was to strip things down to their most basic elements and do away with overmuch ornamentation, and you can see that through PBB in everything from Penny's clothing to the designs of the people in every level.

I was worried at first about there not being enough depth in the environments due to the visual style, and I can now say that is mostly not a problem due to the game's very good camera system. Most environments are viewed from a very rigid 3/4ths view, straight on, or in profile - you are very rarely going to make mistakes due to the position of the camera making it hard to see where you're standing or jumping. I haven't seen a camera system this thoughtful since Super Mario Galaxy, which is really incredible.
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>>239871 (OP) 
There are two negative things I have to say about the game, which indicate a slight rush to get it out the door or just general lack of polish/growing pains with a new engine.

PBB is buggy. Like, seriously buggy. It has been a long time since I've seen a game with this many issues relating to state management, tracking your character's position, not playing sound effects, falling through objects, and getting stuck in things. It's not an exaggeration to say that you'll encounter something weird at least once per level if you go poking your head into every nook and cranny. Sometimes you'll do something seemingly normal and your yo-yo will get hooked on nothing, or appear in the wrong place.

Does this harm the game? Personally, no. Nothing I encountered actually broke the game, and you can restart from a checkpoint without any kind of penalty even if something bad does happen. Most of the issues arise due to the high degree of player freedom, so once you learn how to control your character better you'll move more smoothly and be less likely to get caught on the edge of something. Part of the price of having a cool open-ended core mechanic is that little fringe cases like this sneak through.

Some glitches can be fun, too, like this infinite particle accelerator technique that speedrunners have found. (pardon the faggy channel but this was the only video I could find on short notice: https://iv.nboeck.de/watch?v=nF8W83mrDl8)

Some other glitches that I can't integrate thoughtfully to this section:
- Penny's idle animation prevents you from throwing the yo-yo, but not from walking.
- Beginning a yo-yo ride after an airdash will lock you out of steering for half a second, unless you wait for Penny's airdash animation to complete.
- The yo-yo ride has different turning speeds while in the air compared to a surface, so if you go over a jump you can dramatically misalign yourself upon landing.
- Keeping a combo going from air to ground without using a yo-yo ride is extremely difficult, since you need to set the yo-yo in the air just above the ground, touch the ground while it's still out, then transition into a grounded spin attack. Unless you happen to be standing on some arbitrary surface that doesn't stop your combo as soon as you touch down.
- Boss fights end abruptly with Penny staring at the screen and looping through her idle animation, but time trial levels will play her end-of-level animation properly.
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Yeah, that's cool and all, but where's the magnet link?
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Various bugs and glitches.
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The other negative is some of the writing - not the cartoony stuff, like a guy standing on a platform surrounded by lava and bemusedly remarking how normal and safe his job is, or a penguin-studying grad student asking me for help picking up the pages of his PhD thesis. The issue is with pronouns.

Given the immense shitting up of the board thanks to gamergate faggots trying to pretend they're still relevant, I didn't want to mention this in the OP, but the game has a weird tendency to use "they" when the citizens in each level speak about each other. It's not even like there are any "generic person" NPCs, since each of them is obviously meant to look masculine or feminine with little details like hardhats and ponytails.

I can accept a character saying "my friend" three times in a few sentences, since it seems to be semi-placeholder dialogue. "My friend" is over on that ledge. Can you deliver this rope to "my friend?" Thanks so much, "my friend" is free!

I cannot accept a man saying "deliver these flowers to my wife for our anniversary, or I'll be in the doghouse!" and then his wife saying "oh, my partner remembered our anniversary! how sweet of them!"

What really makes the situation puzzling is that there are many instances of natural, human language ("can you deliver this to my worker? he'a always slacking off") so it's not like the townsfolk were populated by some random algorithm that wouldn't differentiate between a masculine or feminine character model. The way it's written, the people who are asking for your help to rescue someone whom they know apparently don't actually know the identity of the person who needs your help.

This seems like it was placeholder dialogue that didn't get a second pass for revision once the levels were populated with art assets. Some people might write "help my buddy - he's up there" and some would write "help my friend - they're up ahead". It's not exactly bad, nor does it indicate some kind of tranny agenda, but for someone literate like me it can be pretty grating.
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Here's what a full level looks like. Pardon the video quality.
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>>239871 (OP) 
>to strip things down to their most basic elements 
>in everything from Penny's clothing
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>the game has a weird tendency to use "they" when the citizens in each level speak about each other
And that's all I needed to see. Thank you, into the trash the game goes.
Penny is too ugly.
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oh... it's another one of these
well I guess you cannot have a good 3d platformer in current year unless it stars goats
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I'm glad SEGA fired these faggots before they got the chance to inject tranny shit into Mania 2.
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>It's not exactly bad, nor does it indicate some kind of tranny agenda
Let’s not make excuses, Anon. Even if it’s not directly implying everyone is a tranny, it’s definitely pushing a “did you just assume xir gender” identity bullshit angle, as if no one, not even schoolkids, are willing to so much as hazard a guess as to what anyone else has going on down below. I mean, what, do they call their teacher by a “Missuster” honorific or something instead of Mister or Miss?

Maybe the only reason Sonic Mania wasn't like that is that they knew no one, not Sega and not the fans, would accept it if they fucked around like that, at least with core characters (ignoring the Original the Character shit fans make for a minute). Imagine if they'd instead decided to make a game for a series no one has any real respect for at all. Imagine if they'd made a new Bubsy instead.
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>mfw the worms keep taking over everybody
Was this made by ESLs? There’s no such thing as a “singular they”
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What a fucking shame.
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>there’s no such thing as a “singular they”
There is a singular "they", although it is exclusively used when you're talking about people you don't know or abstract ideas. A business can refer to the concept of a customer as "they", or a doctor could be talking about a hypothetical patient that doesn't exist as "they", merely for illustrative purposes. However,
>oh, my partner remembered our anniversary! how sweet of them!
Referring to the man you've been married to for your entire life as "they" as if you didn't know what was up in between his legs is nothing short of retarded, and probably the branch of newspeak the faggots from Sonic Mania were doing here.
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>as if no one, not even schoolkids, are willing to so much as hazard a guess as to what anyone else has going on down below
>as if you didn't know what was up in between his legs
<therefore sonic mania was actually doublecucked unbased all along!
I love a good outrage porn circle jerk. Plusbased.

The issues with writing stem from a lack of polish on dialogue, just like the game had a lack of polish on other things. See the attached pics. The denizen asks you for help freeing his friend because "they" hate heights and bulls and ice, but if you ignore the task then he says his friend is lonely and "he" needs snacks. This is the kind of thing that would be sorted out in editing and script revisions.

Look, I'm sympathetic, because I know that this kind of stuff is absolutely fucking everywhere these days, but look at all the other things that indicate the game didn't get the final polish it needed:
- You need to sign a generic EULA which mentions data collection, but the game never collects any of your data or connects to the internet. One guy on the Steam forums looked into it, and the only thing the game does that is odd is read strings from file names and directories on your PC . . . which it does when it crashes. It also mentions dev tools for tracking crash reports, which further shows that it's a dev build.
- Prior to a significant patch last week, time attack mode would use different random seeds to determine platform cycles and so on, which is an obvious oversight. The same is true of the timer, which started before the player had control and while the level's title card was sliding off the screen.
That patch also fixed:
- The pause menu not showing you your all-time collectables in a level.
- The concept art you unlock for high-scoring a level being shown at a small resolution in the gallery than in the one-time pop-up when you unlock the art.
- A screw in the final boss encounter being oriented the wrong way (you had to turn it clockwise to loosen it).
- Being able to stay on a zipline indefinitely as long as you hold the yo-yo ride/throw input.
- Game logic for physics being tied to frame rate.
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>- Game logic for physics being tied to frame rate.
nigger what the fuck it's 2024 and people are still doing this shit?
Replies: >>239953
It wasn't all game logic, in fairness.
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And here's another example that I had meant to verify. The worker at the top of the zipline has a feminine haircut (skin color is kind of arbitrary; people are varying shades of green, purple, blue). When you get to the bottom, a guy is sad because the woman at top of the zipline doesn't visit him, even though "he" could because it's easy.
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It just looks boring, honestly.
the game looks fun and it has cute graphics, i will try it out.
What an unappealing character. Should have made her a cute loli with a tank top or no shirt but denim overalls and a baseball cap. or even an oversized tshirt with one shoulder exposed.

either would go with the yoyo concept better than this weird futuristic pirate jester aesthetic.
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Also I am going to hijack this thread to shill a game I saw that looked fun. It has some weird gimmick where you can use the texture from one surface or object on another to traverse terrain and overcome obstacles.
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Cool. Where's the magnet link?
Could've sworn I saw a plushie of that thing earlier today.
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