This discussion may contain spoilers!
And so, with 8-Bit is Enough, the first(or only) season of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People comes to an end.
I'd like to gather everyone's feedback and opinions on the season as a whole, contiguous product, rather than on an episode by episode basis.
My criticisms here will mostly be negative. Mostly because I have trouble giving non-negative critiques. But my experience with SBCG4AP was mostly positive. I feel that, when I get that bonus disc, my purchase of the season + Shipping will be worth it to me, because you guys always include awesome stuff in your DVDs.
1. IS SBCG4AP a full product in the end, or several small ones with uncanny similarity in visual style and controls?
SBCG4AP was definitely very different every episode. That goal was met. But I think that...more things should have carried over between them. The costumes, which are a 15 minute distraction after the game is over, don't do enough to make the season feel like a singular entity.
I personally never felt that the Sam and Max seasons were too repetitive, and they were even more varied in Season Two....
The main issue for me here, I think...was that there was no consistent theme across the episodes. Season One of Sam and Max had hypnotism. Season Two had dark magic and the occult. And in the end, they all tied together for one big finale.
I just don't feel like it's worth the loss of cohesion to take these measures towards uniqueness.
I'm not sure what was up with this one. The puzzles in SBCG4AP seemed to be mostly...fairly easy. By the time I got the item to finish a puzzle, I generally knew where it was supposed to go already. Maybe my mind has just been trained by two seasons of Sam and Max and a lifetime of adventure games in general, but very few times in the game did I feel like I was really *solving* a puzzle. While the DESIGN of the final puzzle of the final episode was pretty nice aesthetically, I can't help but think the puzzle itself was somewhat of a letdown...though I find the red herring of the Limozeen bus to be a bit effective....that threw me off for a minute or two.
The main problem, I'm guessing....is that the world of Homestar Runner is somewhat sparse for STUFF, so there isn't quite so much to click and see if you can pick it up.
3. ICON-BASED DIALOGUE
This threw me for a bit at the start of the game, and I thought rather mean thoughts when I first saw it. "Oh, I see. Pretty pictures so Wii idiots can understand what's going on." It wasn't too kind of my brain. Anyway, it ended up working fairly well, and I liked it by a few episodes in.
Oh, but the angel/devil character remarks? I hate those. The "angel" remarks seem to go all over the place, and the "devil" remarks try too hard...I don't feel like I'm making a choice here. I feel more like I have to navigate through more menus to get to dialogue that was written mainly as an attempt to match said icon.
4. VIDELECTRIX GAMES
Snake Boxer V was the best. Get the guy that did that one to do the the Videlectrix games for Season Two, if such a thing comes to be. Babelien Odyssey is a close second, though.
Everything else, from Math Kickers on down, was somewhat of a disappointment to me. I still open up my Homestar Ruiner executable to play Snake Boxer V.
Telltale, you nailed it.
Pretty good! As with the actual site, my sense of humor leans more towards the adventure game and old hardware side of things, and the game didn't really disappoint in those areas at all. I loved when the humor didn't particularly announce itself. A couple examples from the last episode, I loved when Homestar was hanging from his "not-arms" on shackles, and nothing is particularly said about it. Or when Limozeen joins "Your Partay". There were very few points where I felt the humor was trying to be funny just by being "awesome" or self-referential(though Homestar's Dungeonman-referencing line at the end of the final episode had me laughing through the credits).
In short: Telltale, you got close enough to nailing it. I'm gonna give it to ya.