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Lack of 'edge-y' humor in Telltale's Sam & Max

posted by yamman on - last edited - Viewed by 1K users

Well, I'm downloading Episode 3 as I type, hooray!

But it's with a little trepidation. I'm really hoping the humor is a bit 'edge-ier' in this installment.

The first two have been -good-... but just lacking that certain edge. The only flash of it was at the start of 'Culture Shock' when Max dropped the rat out the window. I got another small flash of it in 'Situation: Comedy' with their remarks about the ingredients in the cooking show. But generally, the episodes have the feeling that they're kind of Sam n Max 'lite' - funny and quirky, but nothing that might offend someone, or make someone think 'bad taste'...

I guess I noticed it more when I watched this month's Machinima - the 'Interrogation' one. THIS is the Sam & Max I know and love - edgy, Max with a real evil streak, swearing... I wish the scripts for the games were more like this. Then I noticed it was done by Steve Purcell.

The Saturday morning cartoon of S&M had the same problem I felt - the ones not written by Steve were 'zany', but missing that wicked, edgy, not-so-nice streak that is CLASSIC Sam & Max.

Are the games being tailored more towards kids, or are the writers just not wanting to go there in case they offend? Because Sam & Max is ALL ABOUT OFFENDING. Right now they feel like they're inside, trying to get out, but have been censored. Whether it's intentional or not, that's what it feels like.

Also, the episodes seem more based in 'reality' - former child stars, hippies, studio directors, talk show hosts, psychiatrists (I'm letting Bosco off the hook 'cause he's hilarious). I pine for mole men, bigfoots, giraffe-necked girls, two-headed carnival directors, shrieking banchees... basically some things a bit more 'out there'. After seeing the rat (again, at the start of 'Culture Shock') I was excited that this was the direction they were taking, but then it was pretty 'normal' from there. 'Situation: Comedy' was an improvement on this at least, with talking chickens, and 'Hugh Bliss' a refreshing change.

93% done downloading 'Mob & Meatball'... hoping for a bit more 'carnage', 'craziness' & 'crap' :)

Is it just me?

32 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • It's not just you. I too feel that from the old comics through the less-old comics, Hit the Road, the cartoon, and now the TTG installment, there is a clear progression away from the dark, 'underground' feel towards a more light-hearted family-friendly feel, which is unfortunate IMO.
    But the seventh machinima has renewed my hope that this trend may yet be reversed, and episode three seems to take a small step in the right direction. It's hard to tell if that's incidental or not; for now we'll just have to wait and see.

  • I agree! I would love to get offended and think "bad taste" :D

    I haven't watched the 7th machinima short yet... saving that for a couple of days I think.. maybe :p

  • I agree..the comedy has been a little safe.. I think episode 3 was a step in the right direction though.mafia wearing giant teddy bear heads is suitably crazy :)

  • Sam & Max is definitely not "all about offending"... but I understand your concern. I think episode 3 is the edgiest, possibly because of the mafia-related content.

  • Well if you are British like me, EP2 pushed the mark a little using Bosco as one of us Brits... He pulled it off very well and it was funny! :D Then I though it stepped the mark with the swearing. It was trying to be too funny which it failed to be. I wasn't offended, I just feel that the writers were trying too hard at that point. Cheap laughs arent always cool.

  • I also feel that because Sam (for obvious reasons) is pretty much always driving the plot, whenever Max gets to do anything it needs to be memorable, lest we forget him. (the rat and the judging panel were good ones to remember, but he needs to be meaner and more extreme:p ) Stuff that insults people such as swearing and being evil is always good for a laugh of course. :D

  • @yamman said: Well, I'm downloading Episode 3 as I type, hooray!

    But it's with a little trepidation. I'm really hoping the humor is a bit 'edge-ier' in this installment... and so on

    Is it just me?

    Yep, im sorry to be one of the ones complaining, the episodes are brilliant. But i agree. Sometimes Max even comes to the point of being irritating. Too over the top, and probably because of the political correctness of it.
    The Bird eating shit was great, because he deserved it, but its a pretty cheap laugh as well. I dont know, its almost like Sam n max is Frasier now, which is not really a bad thing, but it used to be one of the good Seinfeld episodes.
    I havnt played the third one yet, this is my experience from the first two.

  • I might be spoilery, so I'll say Episode 3 does have a lot more violence and things in it, but it seems a lot of the limitations of this sort of humor is that the Telltale Engine doesn't seem as capable of providing the visual equivalent as often--like in the machinima short about interrogation and reality show, the violence occurs off-screen with sound effects. Doing this too often would highlight the limitations of their tools, so maybe that's the reason they don't do it as often.

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