In this case and this case only, pie > cake.
For an eternity, a silent battle has been waging among people with nothing better to do besides argue which of the two is better: cake or pie. Portal and Splosion Man made a great case for the cake party, but the folks at The Odd Gentleman have stepped up to plate for the other party. Just this time, pie wins the war.
[image1]P.B. Winterbottom was one of E3 2008's critic darlings in the independent game category, and along with Braid, it received top accolades for its unique presentation and gluttonous gameplay. The object of the game is simple: eat all the pies in a level as quickly as possible. Sadly for the main character, a dastardly thief named P.B. Winterbottom, his escapades become more than just eat and runs, as one of his potential crusty pie victims becomes self-aware and opens up a portal to a time-bending dimension.
This dimension gives P.B. the power to create clones of himself, and like any good thief given superpowers, he quickly starts using it to (guess what?) steal more pies. Creating clones and using them correctly is only one ability that will need to be mastered. You will also have to work with the common variety of gizmos found in platformers, like construction girders, elevating platforms, and those pesky machines that only work if you're standing right next to them.
Points are awarded for being speedy, so using your clones effectively is encouraged. Clones won't simply stand around doing nothing. You have the power to control what they are doing; for example, if P.B. needs to get across a gap, you can create a clone whose only purpose is to swing a club that will hit you over to the other side.
[image2]Charm can be found in the presentation through and through. Levels are cut up like old '20s silent movies, complete with dialogue and narrator windows and a film grain filter. Colors are mostly wiped out, with the exception of the coveted pies, giving the game a unique look, which is aided by a cool silent movie live performance-like soundtrack. This style of presentation fits extremely well in the way the story is told - completely non-sequentially - like someone would by cutting a movie through the film roll itself, gluing bits and pieces together to set up a narrative.
After going through the five movie levels in the main story mode, you can challenge yourself to a series of timed sections where you must perform a list of tasks. This is the part of the game that will most likely satisfy the crave of online leaderboard junkies. These special challenges ramp up from deceptively easy to hair-pullingly difficult in a flip of a switch and is bound to become P.B Winterbottom's meat of the pie, so to speak, for more dedicated fans. Hopefully, more levels in the form of DLC will become available as well.
The Misadventures of P.B Winterbottom starts the year quite well for platformers, a genre that from last year looks to be alive, fat, and well-fed. My stomach growls in expectation of what else The Odd Gentleman has inside its oven. Be it pies, cakes, or sweets, I'm ready for more.