Monday, June 18, 2007

Sequels To Beloved Classics Are Always Better Than The Originals

Sam and Max: Freelance Police Season 1

Telltale Games have done a great job with the new series of Sam and Max, keeping a timely release schedule for all six episodes and for the most part maintaining a high standard of quality throughout. Considering that this was the first high profile successful implementation of a episodic model for a video game, it's impressive that they pulled it off and I have very high expectations for next year's season.

The gameplay was generally very good and there's not much to add to my review of the first episode, although it must be noted that there were occasional instances, especially in the last episode, where the puzzles were far too obscure and non-intuitive and I was forced to resort to the most shameful act a gamer is capable of, looking up an internet walkthrough. Mind you this is a flaw that almost every adventure game ever released has suffered from so it's to be expected to a degree.

The quality of the writing varied quite a bit throughout the series. The first two episodes were competent, although you could tell that the writers were still finding their voice for the series, and the third, based around the lame premise of a casino run by a Mafia gang that dressed like teddy bears, was a bit of a slump. However they rebounded strongly with the fourth and fifth episodes, which were absolutely hysterical. The former because of it's brilliant plot; Sam and Max unwittingly kill the president of the USA, and Max ends up having to run for the office against a giant, malevolent robot Abraham Lincoln (and Ralph Nader). The fifth episode doesn't have such a strong plot (the internet turns evil) but makes up for it by being packed with clever dialogue and jokes. The last episode felt a bit rushed in comparison, as if their tight release schedule was finally catching up with the company, but it was still worthwhile, and I'm very much looking forward to season two.

1 comment:

Andrew Brown said...

internet walkthrough
the shame