Replaying Telltale's Game Catalog
I'm going to replay Telltale's game catalog, starting with their first game (Telltale Texas Hold'Em) and up to The Walking Dead (episode whatever is out when I'm done :D).
I'm mostly doing this to fill in the reviews on my blog that haven't been done yet, but I thought it would be fun to do for even the games that I've already reviewed and for the games that aren't adventures (which my blog doesn't cover).
I'm going to start Telltale Texas Hold'Em now and I'll post my thoughts about it once I've played through enough that I've heard the majority of the dialog. :D
If anyone wants to play along, and/or add your own comments about the games feel free. :)
Sounds interesting. Keep us updated. :)
Have fun with that. Be interesting to hear your thoughts on the earlier stuff with the benefit of hindsight.
OK, so I just replayed Telltale Texas Hold'Em. When I first played this game, I didn't know Poker well, so I was never able to win. When Poker Night at the Inventory came out, I forced myself to learn Poker and now I can play Telltale Texas Hold'Em well enough to hear a lot of the comments in one play through (and I actually managed to win a few times! Yay!).
I was actually pleasantly surprised that it's still fun to play, considering it was Telltale's first product and it was initially only meant as a test of the Telltale Tool.
I'll get the bad out of the way first:
I noticed audio problems. Some of the lines of speech would crackle at the end of the sentence, and some lines seemed to cut off prematurely. Although, the latter is barely noticable, and the former doesn't happen too often.
There isn't an option in the menu to change your screen resolution. I personally didn't mind this, but I know some might, especially with a widescreen monitor as the image stretches to fit the screen.
Also, it shows it's age graphically. The parts of the characters that are supposed to be rounded are somewhat jagged, especially on Harry's and Boris Krinkle's bald heads. I don't mind this personally, since I've never worried about graphics in games. I've always believed in graphic design over graphic pizazz, and the design of the characters in this game is fittingly cartoony and charming (and besides, the "jaggies" are nowhere near as bad, as say something from the late 90's or early 2000's like Escape from Monkey Island), but if you're the kind that worries about that kind of thing, you can tell it's an older game (it was released in 2005).
And the good:
It's really funny. I read the rules for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised at how hilarious they are. I'm glad that Telltale put humor into something that would otherwise be tedious. The line about made me chuckle out loud. Another funny thing in the rules I thought I'd point out: It's great to see Poker Night make a reference to it's spiritual predecessor.
The characters were great. Boris Krinkle ( ) had some great lines ( ). I also enjoyed Grandma Shakey's comments about being sadder than when her Nth dead husband died and X (X being everything from something small like to something big like ). Harry Weinhead's comment about his was funny too (I love fourth wall breaking jokes). And Theodore Dudebrough ( ) was basically a mellow Max (with a touch of Strong Bad) which was great. Like Dudebrough, Max would usually follow your crazy bets even if he had bad cards. Dudebrough also said some pretty random stuff ( ) and he used some pop culture in funny ways ( ) and .
The music is also wonderful, . :) It's an upbeat Jazz score. I really wish I bought the Jerry Logas and the Pier 23 Reunion Band CD when it was available in Telltale's store. The voices are also surprisingly done well, considering this was before Bay Area Sound handled Telltale's games.
While the facial animation was just average, the animation of the characters themselves was great considering this was Telltale's first product (and was only originally intended as an internal test project). Boris Krinkle, especially, had a lot of fun movement in his arms. And I especially liked how . It was a great little piece of animation, and I enjoyed watching it every time.
If I were to score this on my website, I'd give it a 3½ out of 5 (or a 7 out of 10). Despite it's age (and it's lack of graphic options), it's still fun to play (it seems to play the same as Poker Night at the Inventory), and it's still funny (and I'm sure I haven't heard all of the dialog yet).
I bought Telltale Texas Hold'Em in its Bold Games retail CD for $10 from Wal-Mart in 2007 (and I later got it from Telltale's website so I could play the updated version). Today, I'd say it's well worth buying if you can get it during a sale when it's around $5US. It's worth that especially if you haven't yet played Poker Night at the Inventory. Even if you have played Poker Night, you may still find some fun with the game as there are a lot of good jokes here.
I'm going to take a break before I tackle Bone: Out from Boneville. I'll get to it either later tonight or tomorrow. :)
Feel free to jump in at anytime if you want to play along or just want to share your thoughts about the games (or both :D)
EDIT: I just realized I still have the Telltale Texas Hold'Em page on my blog from when it used to be called Telltale Fan, along with an injoke (which is the image of the game at the top of this post) :)
Awesome! Telltale Texas Hold'Em is the one Telltale game (aside from CSI) that I never played. I jumped in for Out From Boneville and have bought and enjoyed everything since. I'm glad to hear it still holds up!
The marathon idea sounds fun. I've done a Sam & Max marathon before, and Telltale provided a big part of my recent Monkey Island marathon of course, but I never thought of doing one of the whole catalogue. Might have to give it shot sometime.
I'm replaying Hector. I love Hector! I hope Straandlooper and TTG (or just Straandlooper) make more Hector games.
I never liked TTTH. I just generally didn't like the poker games by telltale.
So, now we get to the meat and potatoes: Telltale's first adventure game, Bone: Out From Boneville. Unlike my first few playthroughs, I now have the advantage of having read the entire Bone comic collection. So, I know how well the game stands up to the comic. And, the answer is: remarkably well.
There are some hiccups though, so I'll do this like my last write-up. The bad:
Some of the audio problems present in Telltale Texas Hold'Em are still here in Out From Boneville. I didn't notice the crackling of the speech this time, thankfully, but some lines still did seem to cut off prematurely. It was a much rarer occurance this time though. The only obvious one was one of Fone Bone's lines in an optional selection in a dialog tree. And even then, the sentence was still spoken fully, the last word just cut off unnaturally.
Like Telltale Texas Hold'Em, it shows it's age graphically with "jaggies" around character's features that are supposed to be rounded. And, also like Telltale Texas Hold'Em, I don't mind personally. It captures the look of the comic it's based on wonderfully. That's all that really matters to me.
Some of the puzzles require you to do something exactly as the programmers wrote it, and what seems to be a natural solution to a puzzle won't work. The most obvious puzzle where this happens is This doesn't happen often, and it's Telltale's first adventure game so it's understandable, but I did have to take a half a point of the score on my blog for it.
It's a little desolate in some areas. It fits with the comic perfectly, but a little more Fone Bone dialog (and some extra puzzles) in the scenes when he's alone wouldn't have hurt at all.
It is too short, and too lacking in puzzles ( ). It also has an action scene that is the exact same thing twice in the game, and I'm not a fan of repeated sequences.
Now, on to the good:
The game is extremely faithful to the original source material. The most memorable lines are all there, either by default, or through the optional dialog trees.
The game captured the look of the characters wonderfully. They also managed to capture the more cartoony moments of the book well ( ).
You can see Telltale's ambitions to be cinematic with their games already. The scene near the beginning of the game with I remember Jeff Smith saying that he loved the way Telltale handled this scene, and I have to agree. :)
I also really liked the voices. I know they have their detractors, but the voices all fit the characters personalities. And I especially have to give credit to Andrew Chaikin as Phoney Bone. He captures the character so well, I'll have a hard time watching Phoney Bone in the feature film adaptation if he's not in it (or at the very least someone who sounds remarkably like him).
Jared Emerson-Johnson and Bay Area Sound! The music is one of the best parts of Telltale's games, and this is Jared's first time composing the music for a Telltale game. The music in the Bone games are still among my favorites of those that Jared has done for Telltale.
The director's cut additions really did a lot to help the flow of the games. I played it before the additions, and after playing them with them, I have to say the game is much better for it. The new opening really helps to set the mood of the games (and really makes me wish Telltale had been able to complete their take on the series). I also didn't mind Thorne's original model and actress, but I can see why Telltale went with the new ones. Thorne does look more like she does in the comic, and the voice actress does a good job capturing the spirit of the character.
I also have to say I really miss the right click to look option in Telltale's games. There was a lot of extra dialog to be had from looking at objects multiple times, and it's a shame Telltale can't put that to use nowadays. I'd love to see the funny lines today's Telltale would come up with when you look at stuff you can normally only interact with.
I enjoyed this game despite the technical hiccups and the desolate feeling in the beginning. Once the game gets to the second act, the game becomes quite enjoyable. It's just a shame the game ends so soon. Thankfully, the length and the sparseness of the surroundings were addressed in the second game, and the price has since been lowered since it's original release. There is a bundle pack available for both games that definitely makes this relatively simple game much more worth it for the price.
I gave it a 3 out of 5 on my blog, but on a 10 point scoring system, I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10.
I'm off for bed now. When I wake up: CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder! :D
Now it's time for the first of Telltale's most often overlooked series: CSI, with CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder. I, personally, enjoyed watching CSI: Las Vegas (especially during the time Gil Grissom was on the show, a time in which 3DoM certainly fits), so I do happen to like this game.
Now, onto my re-play through. The bad:
The audio crackle is back, and more prevalent than it was in Bone:Out From Boneville. Also, sometimes the dialog a character says starts before a clip starts, stops, and then starts over again after the clip ends.
Moreso than either game before it, this game really shows it's age graphically. Texas Telltale Hold'Em and the Bone games still look nice because of the cartoon style they employed. CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder went for a realistic approach with motion captured 3D. Since the game was released in 2005, it has PS2-era graphics (and there was even a PS2 port by Ubisoft in the days when Telltale didn't handle their own ports to other platforms [The Mac port of the Bone: Out from Boneville was also handled by a different company than Telltale]). This means that, while the characters do resemble their characters enough to be recognizable, there's definitely some uncanny valley going on here.
The "way to be thorough" line when you check an area with no evidence available is used way too often. It would have been nice to have some variety in the responses.
Some of the characters sound too much like they are "phoning it in" by just reading the script. Although the acting is meant to be dry, as in the show, it shouldn't be completely devoid of emotion. The voice actress of Catherine, in particular, is guilty of this.
Although it was a commercial boxed game, this is the first game to use Telltale's now-standard practice of five episodes (cases in this instance) per game (there were six cases in Ubisoft's PS2 port, although the sixth case was just a renamed version of case 2 in CSI: Hard Evidence). The multiple cases worked well here, as it felt like you were playing five episodes of the show. If they made it all into one long mystery, it would have become old fast.
The game really feels like the CSI: Las Vegas show. You are presented as a rookie CSI who has to learn the ropes at the CSI: Las Vegas crime lab. Unlike most of Telltale's other games, the view is presented in first person mode. In the Windows version, your movement is limited to the areas which present themselves via clickable hotspots while looking for clues. In the PlayStation 2 version, your movement around crime scene areas is free. This actually makes the PS2 version more confusing, as Telltale intended the limited movement to improve ease of use (and it certainly doesn't detract from the game).
As you progress in the game, there are scenes taken from the show of shots of Las Vegas (complete with music from the show) when you move to a new location. The music in other shots is by Jared Emerson-Johnson All of the Hollywood-style CSI technology from the show is available for you to use in the lab, and the famous in your face shots when evidence is discovered are also present in the game.
They got most of the original voices to do the voices of the characters here. That really helps to give it the feel of playing five episodes of the show. The voices of the suspects are also well done, and include some Telltale regulars like Andrew Chaikin (voice of Phoney Bone, Max in Culture Shock, Bugeye in Tales of Monkey Island, among others).
The writing is excellent as well. The cases are interesting, as were the personalities of the subjects. The best part of the episode though, was the second case. The case, titled First Person Shooter, was a parody of . The murder victim is . One of the suspects of the murder is . It was very surprising to see such tongue-in-cheek humor go into such a serious project, but it was a very welcome surprise. And, very well done as well. The leads on the project also got into the fun ( ).
Although it's not quite the "season arc" of the later CSI games, the final episode does manage to tie itself into two previous cases. It's nice to have a bit of a continuity in episodic-styled games, as it helps to make the five cases feel like part of a whole product, rather than just a bunch of separate mini-games that happen to share characters.
I still like this game despite it's age, and despite some audio hiccups. It's well written, most of the cast comes back to reprise their roles, and the game successfully uses music from the show, as well as low-key, but well-fitting additional music by Jared Emerson-Johnson of Bay Area Sound.
That said, I do know exactly why people don't take to this. The dialog delivery is very dry. The gameplay is slow paced, and it's all about talking to suspects, meticulously searching through each scene looking for clues, testing those clues in the lab, and then repeating. But, all of these things actually fit perfectly within the mold of CSI: Vegas. To like this game you have to like the CSI franchise to begin with, or at the very least, if you haven't seen it, enjoy Hollywood's dramatization of crime scene investigation procedure. Because if you don't like these kind of shows, there's no way you're going to like this game.
I'd give it a 3½ out of 5 (or a 7 out of 10).
Bone: The Great Cow Race is up next. It's a much smaller game than the five cases of CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder, so I might get to it before I go to bed. But, most likely, I'll get to it after I wake up. :)
I took a break for a few days. But, now I'm back in the swing of things. :)
I just re-played Bone: The Great Cow Race. My thoughts:
There's still a problem with the audio. The voices stopping before the end of a line returns, but I only noticed it in one instance this time.
This still uses the same character models as the first Bone game (it was only released a few months apart). Like I said before in my Out of Boneville look-back, I don't mind it personally, because Telltale managed to capture the look of the comics very well. But for those who do care, the "jaggies" around character's features that are supposed to be rounded are still here.
Now, on to the good:
Like Out from Boneville, the game is extremely faithful to the original source material. This time though, Telltale did manage to squeeze in additional material to fill out the episode beyond the comic it was based on, and it still fit within the Bone universe.
The wonderful character models returned, and the new models fit their comic counterparts just as well. The new scenes are bright and full of life, and most importantly, filled with wonderful details. Unlike Out From Boneville, this game didn't feel sparse or desolate at all.
The voices of the new characters are excellent, and of course the voices of the characters from the original game who return here are excellent as well. I especially liked the voice actor .
Once again Jared Emerson-Johnson and Bay Area Sound shines. Like I said when I played Out From Boneville, the music in the Bone games are still among my favorites of those that Jared has done for Telltale. He really managed to captured the feel of the universe of Bone through the music. It just fits so well. :)
The puzzles are more fun this time. Plus, Telltale listened to the fans and removed the tedious action sequences and replaced it with a clever puzzle which was not an action sequence at all, despite it taking place in an action scene. It was an inventory-based puzzle disguised as an action sequence. This is actually the premiere of the end-of-the-game action puzzle that Telltale has become known for in their later games.
Since this game had material written for it which was exclusive to the game, the designers at Telltale were able to slip some injokes in. There was a really fun reference to at the beginning of the game. Also, . :)
I gave this game a 3½ out of 5 on my blog (and would give it a 7/10 on a 10 point scale). It's worth playing, especially if you get the bundle deal that packages the two Bone games together. It's a shame we'll likely never see a sequel to the Bone games made by Telltale.
The Great Cow Race is still one of my favourite TTG-episodes. The puzzles are good, length was good (4 hours on my first playthrough. Thats above the average of the earlier episodes and the current ones).
It's just too sad they lost the license and a sequel never came.
Also it's the birth of the classic cow model that has been used in so many of their Episodes.
I did this somewhere before Jurassic Park was released (including the CSI-titles, like you're doing). It was fun! These Telltale episodes are surprisingly replayable. As much as I love older adventure games like Grim Fandango (probably my favourite AG), Full Throttle and Curse of Monkey Island, I can only play those once every couple of years. You're going to start Sam & Max season 1 now (Hard Evidence was released between S&M season 1 and 2, right?), which is where the fun really starts. That game made me a lifelong Telltale fan!
It would indeed be very cool if Telltale ever got back to Bone. I don't think early Telltale could have done justice to the last books in that series because it all plays out on such a large scale, but they could do a great job with them now. They might want to remake the first two though, as they do show their age a bit.
I might start replaying Sam & Max season 1 soon too. It's been a while, and I'm actually looking forward to seeing some of my favorite scenes again. Reality 2.0 (especially the ending) blew me away at the time.
Anyway, keep going with this Jennifer, it's very enjoyable to read your impressions!
The reason that I took so long between Bone: The Great Cow Race and Culture Shock is that I decided to play it on Xbox 360 so I could get the added bonus of widescreen visuals (and a Sam & Max Hit the Road style pointer :)), and I was short on funds until now due to all of the kickstarters.
So, now, without further adieu, my opinions on my latest playthrough of Sam & Max Save the World: Episode 1: Culture Shock.
I experienced the scratchy sound people from these forums have experienced in Telltale's games. I never noticed them when I played Culture Shock on my computer speaker, but they were quite noticeable through my television speaker.
The Soda Poppers. I'm among the group that didn't like them. I like the characters and the personalities. The voices are awful though. The only one that doesn't grate on me is Specs, because his voice is more subdued. The other two sound like Urkel or Screech when they were trying to do their character's voices after puberty. I know that's the point, but it's not fun to listen to.
Telltale managed to make the Sam & Max models look good in 3D. They look much better than the trailer of the cancelled LucasArts adventure Sam & Max: Freelance Police. The other characters look good as well. They managed to capture the general look of Steve Purcell's art pretty well (although without most of the dirt and grime from the comics, but none of the other adaptations ever truly captured that either).
The humor is pretty good here. There are some good Sam lines here, and David Nowlin does a pretty good job delivering the oddball lines in deadpan (although he hasn't yet got the knack down for the character yet. Some of the lines are delivered a bit too dry, even for Sam).
Max seems like he would be fun to write for, and there are some fun Max lines here. Andrew Chaikin also does a good job as Max. It's too bad we never got to see how Andrew's Max would have evolved. He's a bit rough here (though as I mentioned before David Nowlin's Sam is as well), but he managed to capture the essence of the character well.
I like Bosco as just plain Bosco here. It was a good set up for the character, and . I also like Sybil here. We already get a taste of her character's . Telltale did a great job setting up these characters in the very first episode.
I'm also a big fan of Brady Culture. . Telltale's Sam & Max follows the tone of the comics more closely than Hit the Road did, and I appreciate that.
They also included a lot of injokes about the comics and Hit the Road (as well as Freelance Police) here. And, some of them are foreshadowing too, which was unexpected when I first played this way back when, but greatly appreciated. .
Jared Emerson-Johnson and Bay Area Sound really shine here. I really like the opening song. It's got a hint of the vibe of the Hit the Road theme, but it's original enough that it stands on it's own. I also love the Soda Poppers song that plays over the end credits (and the instrumental version that plays in the street mini-game). I'm not a Soda Poppers fan, but their theme song is great. :)
On the subject of the minigames, controlling the DeSoto was so much easier with the Xbox 360 controller than with a mouse. I never liked the minigames when I played them on my computer, but I found them fun in my XBLA playthrough. :)
The puzzles are also great here. The puzzles in the Sam & Max series have been among Telltale's best, from day one. My favorite puzzle is . It's a twisted puzzle with logic that makes you think outside the box, but still fits within the logic of Sam & Max's world. I love puzzles like that.
I gave this episode a 4 out of 5 on my blog. It's a great start to Sam & Max's return at the hands of Telltale, and is just a fun experience even if looked as a single episode rather than part of a package.
After thinking about it, I decided to keep doing these here. Once again I played my replay on the Xbox 360 (which was actually a first play for me on this platform ;))
So, here's my thoughts on episode 2 of Sam & Max Season One, Situation Comedy.
Scratchy sound problems again (but since a lot of the voice files are reused, this is expected).
Sam (and Max) comment exactly the same on the objects as they did in the last episode.
With the exception of the closet in Sam & Max's office and Sybil's sign, everything in the previously visited areas are decorated the same.
I do like the Soda Poppers as characters, but their voices seem even more obnoxious here than they did last episode. They are given a lot more dialog, and the actors deliver it in even whinier tones than they did in Culture Shock. The voice of Specs still isn't too bad though.
The TV studio has a lot of sets to choose from, which should make it feel like multiple locations rather than one. But the humor only resonated with me on the first set (the sitcom). The rest of them were kind of a let down.
The new characters weren't that interesting. They seemed too one dimensional, only to home in the fact that they worked at a television station. There is one standout though, who I'll talk about in the good section.
William Kasten does an excellent job replacing Andrew Chaikin as Max. I'll admit that the first time I played this game I didn't notice the difference. I didn't even know that Max's lines when he commented on objects were rerecorded with William Kasten until someone pointed it out on the forums.
With the exception of the Soda Poppers, all of the previously shown characters are voiced excellently in this new episode. Sam's delivery is still a little too dry, but David Nowlin is handling Sam's notoriously long-winded lines of dialog quite well.
Bosco's disguise. This is the first time we see Bosco in disguise, and even though I've seen them before, they're still funny in later playthroughs. Bosco's accents are ridiculous, and that's part of what makes them appealing. Sam & Max's comments about the disguise are funny too.
The store in general has some really funny lines. I played through all of the dialog again even though I've heard them before, since Sam & Max's exchanges with Bosco are my favorite in the game.
I also really like Sybil's character. I like her first season portrayal the best, although I still like her character in later seasons, she's more fun when she's so adamant about her jobs even though she knows they'll only last for less than a month.
The one new character I liked that was introduced here was .
The puzzles weren't as memorable this time around, but they were decent.
I gave this episode a 3 out of 5 on my blog. It's a slip in the quality from the first episode, but it still has enough redeeming qualities to make it worth playing. Especially as it's just a small part in an overarching story that is quite fulfilling on the whole.
Can't wait for you to do Episode 3 :)
So here's my thoughts on my replay of Sam & Max Season One: Episode 3: The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball.
Still has scratchy sound problems (like last episode a lot of dialog is reused and what's reused still has problems, along with some new lines).
The comments on objects are still the same, and the visited locations still look exactly the same.
Repetition of character's gags feels a little same-old, same-old
The new location isn't that interesting. Although the new characters are, as I mention below.
It takes a much needed break from the Soda Poppers.
The new characters are interesting.
A cameo of a character comes from :)
The voice acting is still very good. Max is excellent here. Lots of range. William Kasten is already getting a feel of the character. Sam is still a bit stiff, but sounds nice. Bosco's wonderfully crazy as usual. And the rest of the voices are great here. No irritating voice work in this episode.
The music! Jared Emerson-Johnson and Bay Area Sound always shine in Telltale's games. The music fits the atmosphere so well, and like the first episode, they have a great tie-in song with the Ted E. Bear's Mafia Free Playland and Casino song.
The jokes hit a lot of the right notes here, and they're getting a bit more risque which works well with Sam & Max. I laughed out loud at some of the scenes when I first played it and I still found myself laughing out loud in my replay . :)
The puzzles are more memorable this time. They haven't quite reached the highs of the first episode, but there are some fun ones here. The final puzzle was much more satisfying than the last one as well.
I gave it 3½ out of 5 on my blog. This episode's a step in the right direction, and although it shares the flaws of the second episode, it was a much more satisfying play through.
Looking forward to the next one - one of my all-time favorite Sam & Max episodes.
Well i replayed Strong Bad's Cool game for attractive people episode 1 and here is my thoughts.
Good: It's a great first episode
It has a good amount of Homestar Runner characters
The jokes are very funny
It has replay value with collectible clothes,collecting pieces of Strong Bad's snake boxer 5 book, and making Teen Girl squad comics.
Bad:I played the PS3 Version and hardly got any glitches but i hear on the PC & Wii versions there are a lot of glitches.
Extended mode really does not got that much to do other than going back to get stuff you missed or just to talk to a few characters again.
So my rating is 8/10, It's a great start to the game!
|All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:20 am.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.