Even though I've been here pretty much since day one more need to own the game in my hand had prevented me from playing the game. Here is my review though... check out the sites for pretty pictures and other stuff.
"First I have to say, I can’t compare this to the original game. The original game has so many happy memories for me as a kid that to compare the two would automatically bury this game. This game doesn't deserved to be buried, o I am looking at this game as completely separate entity.
The first thing that springs out to you when playing this game is the look. There have been a few 3D Adventure Games but too be honest I’ve found the majority of these games annoying. The graphics are ugly and blocky and the 3D world in turn introduced controls, which were clunky and vastly more complex then they needed to be. Sam and Max is both pretty to look at and easy to navigate. The game takes the adventure game back to using only one button, which is really all you need in this type of game.
The format of the game with it being separated into six different chapters leaves something to be desired. You do get 6 good little stories that create one big arc but at the end of each episode you are left thinking “Oh, is that it?”. They introduce the characters into some marvellous situations like them staring in a number of TV shows or Max becoming President but these only last only a few hours and it’s kind of sad that they didn’t make the most out these great ideas. Of course that just goes to show how well these have been writing that I’m actually sad when we leave these storylines behind. If they had been bad or even mediocre I would have been happy to move on to the next thing.
Another minor complaint I have is that parts of the episodes do become very formulaic. With an introduction of a strong supporting cast, by the second episode you know 3 puzzles you know you have to solve straight of the bat. You know Sybil Pandemik will have a new job job that will help you out, you know you need to buy something from Bosco and chances are Jimmy Two Teeth will be up to some crime that will help you move on.
One thing that annoyed me was at times you knew you had a puzzle only because someone was obstructing you. If someone is stood in front of something you have to move him or her. Why? Well… it’s an adventure game and that’s the point. Sadly that’s not enough. This is the problem of a non-linear game where you can branch off to do several tasks at once but I’m sure with careful scripting it could be done.
The voice acting is superb. The actors of Sam and Max aren’t the same from the original game but they manage to sound similar but at the same time add something different to it. Not necessarily better but just as good. I was also impressed to see a different voice actor for every character, instead of taking the much cheaper option of paying one person to do a few voices. This gave every character a very unique voice and helped them come alive.
The characters were also well written and designed. They all had unique chrematistics and funny quirks, which this type of humour game works. While his supporting casts tasks became very formulaic as mentioned above, I still enjoyed them and look forward to seeing them again. There was only one character who annoyed me but seeing as he annoyed Sam and Max just as much, I’ll take it he was designed to be.
The puzzles had various levels of difficulty and were fun to try and figure out. The game suffered from the episodic releases due to items being restricted to only 2 or 3 areas, making the puzzles perhaps not as complex as older, larger games but over all it didn’t bother me to much.
I was happy to see the addition of a hint system in the sixth episode, something I felt the game was missing. I might suggest that a notepad for Sam might be an important feature. As freelance police you’d expect them to take notes, which you can look back on and perhaps pick out key points that may help you to figure a puzzle out. Sometimes you forget a key detail a character said at the start of the game.
While it may seem the episodic format annoyed me I have to say if that means yearly releases and a cheaper price sticker that I’ll take the trade off. The game lasted me a week or so, so perhaps it should have been longer. However at the same time I paid £24 for it, compared to the £40 to £50 I normally pay for games that last not that much longer. I can also expect the second season later this year/early next year instead of years of wait like we had come to expect from the Adventure Game.
Honestly, the worst part of this game was that we are lacking this type of thing in two mediums I love. We should have more adventure games out there. I don’t think every game needs to be more action orientated, and I hope there is a market out there for this game so we can have more. I also think the comic industry is severely lacking a good humour book. Not a knock on Telltale’s online webcomic but I really wish Steve Purcell (Sam and Max’s creator) would spend time getting new material in print or reprint all of his older work. I can’t imagine a publisher like IDW or Image wouldn’t want to publish a new Sam and Max comic.
So overall this game was good. It has a few little problems but the majority of them were fixed by the time the sixth episode hit. I can only think that now they have all player feedback in that season two will be even better. I know I can’t wait. All I have to do now is try and fill my time in between the releases.
For now I have the hope of Sam and Max Surfin’ The Highway coming out, which I’m sure you’ll hear me discuss more in-depth in the future. There are also the other TellTale games out in stores. Sigh… I need more money!"