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Anyone else concerned about Sam & Max?


The Tingler
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So Adventure Gamers have got a fancy blog to post in with comments, have they? Guess I have to make do with our lovely forum...

 

The next Sam & Max episode is due out next week. We should all be celebrating this - I however am annoyingly a little wary of it, maybe even afraid. What if it's not any good?

 

Where does this sudden pessimism spring from? Let me tell you:

 

1. I am just worried that with the episodic nature of the series, not much has changed from episode to episode. If Telltale carry on this trend, Straight Street will still be wrecked and nothing else more of interest will happen to it - it will just remain the same throughout the season. This cannot happen, otherwise Season 2 will feel just as 'samey' as the first season did, except more so because Telltale should have fixed it by now.

 

The only other options are to either change the Street radically each time like they did with Ice Station Santa (not realistic, and that will look silly after a couple of times) or to do away with the Neighbourhood altogether.

 

I vote for the second (while jumping up and down and yelling 'Yes yes yes yes yes') but, again, because of the episodic nature of the series I know it ain't gonna happen.

 

2. Season 2 has to live up to this list of Improvements Needed that I made for the Season 1 review. If it does not even attempt them, Sam & Max Season 2 will get tiring very quickly. And it's quite a tall order.

 

3. After getting a Tron-like Internet, the Moon, Santa's Workshop, the White House, a Casino, and a TV Studio, the next interesting place on the list was... Easter Island?

 

I can't actually see many fun things to do on this tropical paradise, aside from making a few Monkey Island references. And let's face it - Monkey Island was ironically the most boring part of the Monkey Island games. I almost didn't finish SOMI because I got so fed up of wandering around, looking for things to look at and collecting bananas.

 

I'm also worried about that Lost & Found box in the video. Are there going to be loads of red herring items, or will you pick the exact item you need for a puzzle first try? Either clog your inventory, or Magical Exact Item You Need Box (aka Magical Talisman, which is a big no-no for this season)?

 

4. Characters. Stinky was unfunny and irritating in Ice Station Santa, and this needs to be turned around right now. Bosco is teetering on the verge of irrelevance, and so he either needs to be ditched and have some new exciting character in his place (not gonna happen, Stan you have to get back in your box) or have some brand new injection of life somehow put in him. The Soda Poppers must be destroyed, as even Sam & Max are getting fed up of them, and they were irrelevant in the last episode.

 

And Flint Paper? I know Telltale have a plan for him, but I hope it involves making him relevant (there's that word again) and funny.

 

 

And that is all why I'm scared to face Moai Better Blues. Telltale have got a lot of work to do to impress now. They have the talent, but did they have the time?

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I think you're crazy and the episode will be great.

 

I hope so too.

 

I'm trying to take this from the reviewer's point of view - I guess that b*****d John Walker from PC Gamer got to me more than I expected.

 

Still, it's good to take the pessimistic view in cases like this - one of the few times I can't wait to be proven wrong.

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I'm so rubbish at playing computer games, I've only just finished Sam & Max Season One, and I think I'll wait until at least Season Two is completed until I play that -- but from what I've seen of Season Two, it looks like Telltale are going the right way about it: Santa's Workshop and Easter Island are two very different locations, and it looks like the trend of variety set up by Abe Lincoln Must Die! will continue.

 

I should think that the testing point for Season Two won't be to have enough variety, but to keep a strong enough guiding thread throughout it.

 

And when I saw the title of this thread it just said "is anyone else concerned about..." and I thought that it would be about global warming!

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ice station santa was very good..i've got no reason to worry about episode 2.. you are already setting yourself up for a poor review by reviewing it against WHAT YOU WANT instead of just reviewing the game that is given to you..

 

what i am worried about is the sales for season 2 because its so quiet over at telltale, nothin like last year.. i hope people just bought the new season and have nothing to say

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Gabez: I just finished Season 1 myself.

 

Then, I had to pre-order Season 2 immediately. I should've done it with Season 1, but never got around to it and waited for it in the stores (then waited 4 more months...).

 

 

 

The Tingler: I think you're being too quick to judge. We'll see after the episode is released ;)

 

And, in response to the bullet points:

 

1. I love the street!

2. They did do some (like the running)

3. I don't have a problem with Easter Island. It's always an exciting Adventure game place (Timelapse and Master Lu).

4. I do agree. Stinky needs a change, and Bosco needs to get funny again. However, I did like Flint Paper's brief appearance, and hopefully it will be better throughout the rest of the season.

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We'll see. But I just want to clarify for people talking this too seriously: this is my Paranoia talking. My Confidence has total faith in Telltale and knows I'm gonna laugh my ass off again.

 

This is why my reviews won out -- I'm strict, but fair, and don't let my opinions be colored by other people. You children should learn from me. ;

 

And you forget to mention anything bad about them and let blissful ignorance and your despite need for them to be good rule your words rather than judging them on how they actually play.

 

Not that I'm bitter or anything. :nutz1:

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And you forget to mention anything bad about them and let blissful ignorance and your despite need for them to be good rule your words rather than judging them on how they actually play.

 

Not that I'm bitter or anything. :nutz1:

 

This is BS, other than the 'bitter' part. I gave 2.2 a 4, 1.1 a 4, Bone 2 3.5, and Bone 1 3. Hardly a Mexican hat dance of joy for either of the games.

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Calm down children. I'm specifically referring to the Ice Station Santa review with the 'forgetting to mention anything bad about them' crack, but the rest is just designed to make me seem bitterly angry about the 2007 poll, in seeming response to your little put-down earlier. Of course I don't seriously believe any of that.

 

The smart thing to have done would have been to make a jokey insult back, rather than get all angry about it.

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I think you're overly concerned about Sam & Max and also, possibly, building it up to be more than it is. If you watched a friend play Hit the Road, would it still live up to your memories, I wonder?

 

I think Ice Station Santa did a good job of implementing a lot of the things on your list, if you ask me.

 

There were a flew "solutions before the problems" issues, but at least they acknowledged them: http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3954

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I must admit though, when I heard that it was set on a tropical island, I thought 'great, a new Sam & Max game!' rather than care where they're going - which I don't in this instance.

 

However, I am genuinely excited about the next episode, Night of the Raving Dead.

 

If the excitement for the new stuff in each episode keeps matching the excitement for a new Sam & Max story, I'll be a happy subscriber for a long time.

 

Hit The Road we'll be having a long, hard look at in the next few months. One thing is without question though - it's still gut-punchingly funny.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I must admit I liked the setting a lot more than I expected, and it was still just as funny.

 

However, once again there were far too many pointless elements in there. Flint Paper still doesn't have a role, three of the babies do nothing, Sybil and Abe don't do anything except pad out the thin story (and make a few good jokes) and Jimmy Two-Teeth is completely unneccessary. I believe Remi mentioned this in his review, which I why I didn't do my own one or make a Second Opinion or something - he'd said pretty much all that was needed.

 

Apart from that, the only thing I can criticise is the obtuse nature of the early puzzle involving Glenn Miller - why do you need to help him? Sam & Max aren't really good natured, and I sure as hell didn't know what I would gain from helping him. That's a capital offence in adventure games.

 

Apart from that and the weak puzzle ending I really enjoyed it. But I'm still sure I'll enjoy the next one more!

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I like how you're declaring all the blips of B-character storyline as doing nothing, being irrelevant, etc, before you've played the whole season, or even half of it. Last year people said the characters were too static and their storylines were too telescoped or obtuse, and now you're complaining that Telltale's not giving it all away up front? Really, man.

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I thought the episode was a bit short and the Glenn Miller stuff wasn't obvious to me either at first (I didn't get Max's hint about train whistles for example), but I didn't mind the B-plots. It made the world around Sam and Max feel more alive and evolving rather than being static, like season 1 felt at times.

 

I hope there'll be more of that.

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Ha haaa! So they do become relevant!

 

Not that this is a problem, it's just that in the HERE and NOW, they are irrelevant to the puzzles and don't have a role in the game. Remember guys - you're making a game first and a story second. I don't mind, say, Jimmy running a hotel or Sybil and Abe just being the butt of a few gags, but I do mind that Flint Paper hasn't done anything but cameo for two episodes!

 

If they're going to be in there, they've got to have an immediate purpose as well as a 'big picture' purpose. At least that's my view. This is a game we want to play, not a movie or TV series to watch. I don't know if I'm right or not, that's just my opinion, especially with regard to adventure games.

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Remember guys - you're making a game first and a story second.

I'm glad you have an opinion on the subject. Not saying I agree or disagree with (or care about) that sentiment... but still, I'm glad nontheless. Honestly, though, I don't think people really think about it like that unless they decide to sit down and over-analyze the hell out of things for the purposes of having a super-developed opinion.

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