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What I thought about Season 1.

posted by Hakobus on - last edited - Viewed by 273 users

Hello people.

I haven't posted much here, and I don't think I'll have time to do that in the future either, but I finished Season 1 yesterday and wanted to share my thoughts.

1) The writing
I only really laughed out loud twice during the whole season, but there was a constant smirk on my face throughout all the episodes. I wasn't really expecting a laugh riot either, but rather smart - and obscure - humour, and that's what I got. The dialogue was pretty much perfect.

2) The acting
Pretty much all the voice-actors were spot-on. I especially liked how David Nowlin and Andrew Chaikin's interaction works. David Boyll's Hugh Bliss was maybe just a bit too high pitched for my ears, but that's really the only negative I can find. And I don't even know if it's a negative: as far as I know, he was supposed to be annoying.

3) The puzzles
The puzzles were a mixed bag. I liked how most of them were pretty straightforward and logical, but some of the puzzles were way too easy. I only got stuck twice (both in the final episode), and even those were rather easy puzzles where my brain just didn't make the connection.

4) Game settings
Why did I have to set the screen resolution separately for each episode? It was a nuisance. Also, I'd like to be able to set FSAA and AF from the game, instead of having to go through nVidia's control panel for each separate episode. Hopefully, next season will bring unified settings for all episodes. I personally would also like to do the configuration before I start the game.

5) Widescreen!
I played in 1600*1200 in 1:1 mode on my widescreen monitor, so I got black borders on the sides. I paid 700 euros for a Dell 2407, so I'd like to be able to use the full screen resolution it offers :p. And widescreen just looks better. I'm sure this will be in for season 2 though, right?

6) Technical issues
I couldn't get Episode 1 to run in 1600*1200 because of the screen resolution bug, and I experienced random slowdown in some parts of the mid-season episodes. No real game-killers though, just some minor gripes.

7) Audio quality
I can understand that the download size needs to be small, but I'd also like to not hear the audio compression. I wouldn't have any problems waiting a bit longer for a bigger download (hell, I waited 'till the whole season was available before I bought and downloaded anything).

What I'd like to see in Season 2
Mostly, more of the same. The only real changes I want are technical ones. A launcher where you can configure all episodes at once. Widescreen support. And the possibility to download a bigger file with better audio.

All in all, I really enjoyed Season 1. So thank you Telltale.

14 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I agree with you on most points, and two in particular.
    -It'd be nice to have a launcher or an INI file (in My Documents\Sam and Max Episodes\) or something to store the user's preferred graphics and audio settings so they don't have to be re-set for each episode.
    -The audio quality. The audio compression artifacts bug me, too. I recall reading something about how they were working on the way the files were archived such that offering multiple audio quality levels would be possible (though perhaps just to offer high-quality samples for the DVD version). I can't remember exactly what was said, though.

    Edit: So it's good that there's a Search function! Among others, here are a few results:
    [ Ding | Ding | Ding ]

    Also, here are a couple of posts about Widescreen:
    [ Bing | Bong ]

  • The first time I played through I never noticed audio quality issues. But, I just starting playing through the first episode for the second time and I could tell right away that the audio was low quality. For such good voice acting, sound effects, and music, they should be of high quality. The episodes averaged about 250MB or so for Season One. I wouldn't mind another 100MB-200MB for high quality audio. :)

  • Personally, I never noticed the audio compression until I started replaying the episodes again from episode 1. When I played it through for the first time it sounded just like any 128 kbits mp3 on my PC, but when I replayed the episodes I could hear some scratching on certain sounds in some dialog trees(it usually went away after a little while). It really wasn't that annoying, but it seems like most the people, who have had a lot of problems with this, have different sound cards then I do, and it seems like many of those who have especially many problems doesn't play the game with their sound card hooked up to a stereo integrated amplifier(like I do).

    I rather want smaller downloads, because when the release date comes I want to play the game as fast as possible. An option to download higher quality audio would be nice(like in a patch form, which Jake mentioned). Personally, because of my experiences, I don't mind waiting until the season is over until I get to play the episodes with high quality sound.

    For me, the protection thingy is a bigger issue than the sound thingy. I don't like games which phones home to tell me when I install them and how many times I have left to re-activate and such... I don't even want XP to do it, so I certainly don't want games I play to do it either. Anyway, I've written long posts about this in other threads, so I'm sure I don't have to repeat all I've said before.

    Something else I didn't appreciate is that gametap gets to play the episodes earlier, but this too I have explained in other threads :) I'm sure Emily is about to snap if she reads another post complaining about this ;)

  • @marsan said: Something else I didn't appreciate is that gametap gets to play the episodes earlier, but this too I have explained in other threads :) I'm sure Emily is about to snap if she reads another post complaining about this ;)

    Oh, don't worry. I snapped a long time ago. :eek:

  • Audio quality never really bothered me, to be honest. In fact, I didn't so much as notice anything wrong, and still can't detect it in spite of having heard about it all over the forums! Maybe my standards are lower because Sam and Max is the only game I've played in years; if it were improved to a level at which most people were satisfied, I'd probably find it awe-inspiring :p

    As for download size, I don't understand this compulsion to keep downloads small if there's a good reason to increase their size. If it takes ten hours to download the game, so what? It's still only ten hours on top of the 750 we wait between episodes.

  • @marsan said: For me, the protection thingy is a bigger issue than the sound thingy. I don't like games which phones home to tell me when I install them and how many times I have left to re-activate and such...

    I don't really mind this, since it's really the only way you can go with downloadable content. To me a bigger problem would have been if Season 1 was only available as a download. What actually made the decision to buy for me, was the fact that you could get the DVD for the delivery price. I'll just add that to my list.

    8) The DVD
    This really made the decision for me. I need something "real" when I buy a game. I find it incredibly difficult to buy anything on Wii's Virtual Console, because I don't actually get a game cart or disc or anything.

    @marsan said: Something else I didn't appreciate is that gametap gets to play the episodes earlier, but this too I have explained in other threads :)

    I didn't mind this either, since I waited until the whole season was done, so I could play through the episodes back to back.

    About the audio
    I cringed every time I started up an episode, because that's really the only time I paid attention to fact that I could hear the compression (it's not as bad as some games, but it's still audible) but to me the biggest problem was the fact, that especially the dialogue sounded like it was clipping at times. I checked my VU-levels, and as far as I know, the clipping was a problem with the game's audio (maybe it was mixed and mastered badly, or maybe it was the compression?) and not my soundcard or hi-fi system.

    It's not really that big a deal, but since I'm running the game at 1600x1200@4xFSAA & 16xAF, I'd also like to be able to listen to the audio at as great a quality as possible.

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    Jake Telltale Alumni

    I can't speak for audio quality, because I don't know the answers or even any juicy rumors I can allude to and then get misquoted about in a blog, but as Emily pointed out in the recent CSI blog, we can do widescreen now, and will be including widescreen support in our future titles. So, there's that.

  • i wish there would more long winded and convoluted speculations about everything sam and max encountered... i love that aspect about the comic

  • I agree with the resolution/FSAA and audio comments.

    It's a real shame having to watch each episode's opening sequence at 800x600, though the clever art design makes this less noticeable than it would in other games.

    The audio improved in later episodes, but as I replay the first couple it sounds like some characters are underwater or talking through a spinning fan. In this age of broadband why exactly do you need to be so frugal with diskspace? Since dialog often reveals the answer to puzzles as much as visual cues I wouldn't mind downloading 400MB episodes.

    All this having been said, the games are absolutely stinking brilliant and I've recommended them wholeheartedly to all my friends. I've had many discussions about my disillusionment with stagnant, static media like television and Sam and Max is my number one argument in favour of interactive entertainment!! PLEEEEASE bring Sam and Max to the Wii so that another huge installed-base of game players may enjoy these titles!

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    Jake Telltale Alumni

    You'll be able to set your options before playing the game in season 2, so you'll be able to choose your desired resolution / graphics quality ahead of the opening cutscene.

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