The Adventures of Powerstick Man: Extended Edition
A Preview by Pepsi Ranger
Download the Original Version Here
The History of Powerstick Man
As the year 2000 made an exit, a white-suited superhero made an entrance. Wielding his dreaded stick of deodorant, mangling the forces of vile stench everywhere, Powerstick Man carved his name into the hearts of disturbed young adults across the world, about one for every million square miles. The populace cheered.
His turn as an OHR cult hero marked the first major transition from his original status as comic protagonist to something bigger. The original story followed his journey from the moment he transformed into a hero to the epic battle against his arch-nemesis, the Odor King. From there, the story continued into an unfinished sequel called Powerstick Man: Rock and Roll, where Rachel Faberge was kidnapped and Powerstick Man and a surfer friend hunted the kidnappers across the then unnamed Hardcore Countryside.
The first version of The Adventures of Powerstick Man on the OHR covered half the original story, while addressing none of the second. It was a classic case of unfinished demo syndrome. The fanboys loved it.
Seven years passed since the first release of The Adventures of Powerstick Man. Seven years the fans waited to see what happened after our group of heroes recovered the Cove Ruby from Treasure Cove Cave. Seven years the devoted players had to suffer the clangs of "Gonna Make You Sweat" in BAM format.
Now the tide is about to change.
The Return of Powerstick Man
Coming in 2008 (month unknown, probably late summer), the continuation of Powerstick Man's great adventure will begin. This time, the player can take the fight to the final battle against the Odor King, bringing the first epic story to a digital end.
And he'll do it with Ubersetzung power (or Voxhumana power if applicable). The Extended Edition, much like DVD movies with the same subtitle, will not only continue the story where the original left off, but will include new characters, new areas, and new side quests in pre-existing places. Fans of the original will salivate at the new presentation, while those who have yet to play will be in for an epic treat.
Cities that were once huge will now be ginormous. Towns that couldn't get any bigger will defy the odds. And every corner of the Cannonball Strip (save for a few pockets that aren't relevant to this game) will be revealed.
The story, which never fully got off the ground in the first version, now has weight. OHR movie cutscenes reveal a sinister plot unfolding as our hero tries to return home. Players will no longer finish the game scratching their heads, unless they have fleas.
One major addition: the player can now embark on a five-point scavenger hunt involving CD covers scattered throughout the Cannonball Strip. Collectively, they act as a bribe for entering a new (and mysterious) city called The Mysterious Land of Mystery, a place where mysterious things happen and distractions are prevalent (and will probably be full of mini-games).
Other additions include a bus route that eliminates tedious walking from map to map, an in-game newspaper that can inform the player about what's going on around the country, and restaurants that offer not only healing items, but stat-boosting items, as well. Plenty other small additions occupy the game, too.
The player can also expect at least 20-30 new and unique degrees at the end of the game and four new rankings to show him whether he's all that or just a bag of chips.
There is also a new bag of chips healing item available for those who like variety. Only costs five dollars.
The Elwood Walker intro will have two alternatives to the original, plus the ability to skip it completely.
The lingering spell list called "Power" now has a set of attacks to fill it. Find the Level # Power items throughout the land to access Powerstick Man's latent electrical talents.
But what update is complete without improvements? The Adventures of Powerstick Man: Extended Edition will not only add a truckload of new features and new maps, but will also update many of the features already available. This includes:
• All music is now in MIDI format. This means the game will now officially rock.
• Better pixilation in maptiles. Though some tiles will remain unchanged, many others will increase detail.
• Fully implemented layers. No longer does the ominous void block have to cut off people's heads.
• Fewer gorilla arms. Though this is not a promise for every NPC, many of the ugly ones will receive a makeover.
• Better overall presentation. The days of things just disappearing are gone. Plotscripts now include the subtle details of people walking to access points and moving their arms to simulate action when things happen.
• Better battle graphics. Enemies have received a massive update, while attacks have minor fixes. Backdrops are still in limbo (though I would greatly welcome any decent artist willing to help me update those, too).
• Better balance. Now that the game has playtesters, battles can receive more sensible treatment.
Overall, between the new maps, the refurbished old maps, the additional characters, the additional side quests, and the deeper story, the player can expect another four to six hours of game time added to the existing clock. And with the addition of the bus line, the player can expect to trim at least two of those hours now that backtracking by foot is no longer necessary.
Meet new people.
Explore new places.
Explore old places re-imagined.
Teach an old dog new tricks (and his master and superhero travel companion, too).
Discover a new story line that runs parallel with our hero's own story.
The Future of Powerstick Man
Q: When can the OHR Community expect to see the return of Powerstick Man?
A: Most likely in August 2008.
Q: Is there any way you can rush it out sooner?
A: Probably not, but I can be persuaded to give out test copies if you're really impatient to see the new stuff.
Q: Will there be another installment after this one?
A: Yes. The Extended Edition will end after "The Fall of the Odor King." This will bring the first part of the story to a close, thus opening the gates for the master plot. The installment following this one, The Adventures of Powerstick Man: Final Edition, will be the one with the official ending. The Final Edition will include all the Powerstick Man: Rock and Roll story bits, including those that were never written in comic form.
Q: Will the Extended Edition feature the same type of supplemental materials that came with the original version?
A: Of course. It wouldn't be a Pepsi Ranger game if it didn't come with something extra. Right now, the tentative additions include the revised version of "Superheroes Anonymous," the poem "The Awakening of Powerstick Man," all 18 episodes of the original Adventures of Powerstick Man comic I did in high school, the 7 episodes of Powerstick Man: Rock and Roll that began the story I never finished, a couple Powerstick Man photos, and any fanart I happen across. It may also come with the first chapter of the Cannonball City novel, though I'm still undecided about that one.
Q: Will there ever be a Powerstick Man sequel?
A: Possibly. There are four main stories making up the Powerstick Man legend. This is obviously the first one. Whether the other three become games will depend on time and motivation. As of now, I plan on writing the entire epic into ten novels, so the future of the game versions will depend on the books' success and whether I can afford to take the time to work on them.
Q: What is the difference between The Extended Edition and V2?
A: V2 was the original subtitle of the game that the Extended Edition became. After much criticism over my graphic presentation (especially with the walkabouts), I decided to rebuild the game from scratch, so V2 transformed into a completely different presentation from what I originally intended. In the process of rebuilding, I got distracted, partly from other projects, partly from the nagging reminder that many V1 puzzles would never have resolutions, and lost momentum. So, in 2005, I decided to shelf V2 and return to the original game, making it into an Extended Edition just to ease my mind. This is the result of that decision. V2 is something I'll probably pick up again later, but will likely re-title to coincide with the events of the first novel.
Q: Can I help you get this game out faster?
A: I'd really like someone to update the battle backgrounds. If you like drawing and you're better at it than I am, then send me a PM about helping with that. If I have to do them myself, it might stall the release for several years.
Q: Will you accept fanart or fan fiction for your supplemental materials?
Q: When can we expect the Final Edition?
A: Probably in 2010. Depends on how fast I can draw the Hardcore Countryside. The last installment will add at least nine more towns/cities to the roster, though most of them will be small compared to the Cannonball Strip towns.
Q: The original game just crossed the 1,500-download mark. How do you feel about that?
A: Well, it was part of the download blitz that hit the "A-letter" games a few years ago, so I don't really feel anything. If the number were telling the truth, it would be closer to 400 or so. That's about average and not exactly impressive for a five-year run on Castle Paradox. I'm more surprised that it hit its 1500th download on the same night I uploaded the entry for this game. I'm also more surprised this game received two ratings of 4 before I even had a chance to check the entry's format. It received the ratings literally just seconds after I posted it. When does that ever happen?
Q: Anything else worth mentioning?
A: Depends on the question. If you have anything you want to ask, send me a PM. If not, stay tuned for further announcements.
And that covers the Extended Edition preview.
The superhero returns in 2008.