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Just finished Playing Season 1 and 2 for the first time.

posted by monkeymovies on - last edited - Viewed by 482 users
Sorry I'm a little late!
But in a word...awesome!

After playing Tales of Monkey Island, I woke up to how awesome Telltale games is, for bringing back franchises long believed dead, and not only continuing them, but improving on them too. Sam & Max is probably one of their best examples of this. I'll have to check out Strong Bad sometime soon too. But anyway, back to Sam and Max.

I'm just gonna post a mini review of both seasons.
Season 1
A great start for Telltale revisiting LucasArts' old games, episodes in this season were a little hit and miss, but I loved the running theme of the "threat" increasing with each episode, as we find out each of this episode's villains bosses in the endings, which are encountered in the next episode. Episodes 1-3 were about on par with each other. Good, solid adventure games, Midtown Cowboys probably being the standout of all three. Abe Lincoln Must Die was maybe it was a little longer than I was expecting, but maybe since this was (to me) the most "unlikely" episode yet, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought. After I got used to the Sam/Max universe, this didn't bother me though. And overall, still a good enough episode. The War song killed me. :D The best episode of the season by far was Reality 2.0, for the excellent puzzle design, introduction of the COPS(!) and the first episode to really feel like a classic adventure game. Season Finale was quite good, good puzzle design and writing, but there was something a little anti-climactic about it's ending. Good thing Season 2 came pretty soon afterwards. LOVED the song at the end of the series by the way. Writing for both songs and dialogue in the series was solid.

Season 2
First off, the addition of the hint system was excellent. I love adventure games, but they're just "puzzling" enough at times to make you want to look up what to do. The hint system worked very well and kept me guessing and experimenting. Overall, episodes in this series were much much better than Season One's. Episodes were far more consistently good, and I loved how they all tied together in the end, and the foreshadowings in earlier episodes. The randomness of Series One took a step up, and all for the better. I loved how over the top certain events became, yet they felt right. Standout episodes for me were Night of the Raving Dead and Chariot of the Dogs. The way that the street was simplified, for both story reasons and player reasons was well done. Pretty much everything was improved from Season 1, the writing felt tighter, the additional control schemes felt right to me, and the general overall story was better. One thing that didn't seem improved too much, though, was the overall visuals. But fear not, it looks like Series 3 has done just that!

Overall, Season 1 was a great start, but Season 2 is definately amongst the best of Telltale's games. It was possibly even better than Tales of Monkey Island, and if it gets better with Season 3, it'll be the best Telltale game yet! (Would like a new Monkey Island series too, though! ;)) In short, Telltale, you are the new LucasArts (except for Monkey Island 2: SE, which looks awesome)! Bring on Season Three on thursday!
8 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I loved Season 1 but absolutely detested season 2 (minus the intro with maimtron in Ice Station Santa & Most of Chariot of the Dogs). So I guess we have a difference of opinion.
  • I am finishing episode 205 myself just in time for season 3. I enjoyed both seasons. Looking forward for better graphics.
  • Pretty much agree, with the exception of not liking "Abe Lincoln must Die!"...
    It was great. Reality 2.0 was better, true, but Abe definitely was #2 of Season 1.
  • Yep. If Tales 2 improves on the first the way Sam and Max did (Tales namely needs to fix puzzle structure, some so-so characters and maybe add more depth), they could actually have something to compete with LucasArts. Season Three could actually be the first game to break through. It's all very exciting.
  • roberttitus;286605 said:
    I loved Season 1 but absolutely detested season 2 (minus the intro with maimtron in Ice Station Santa & Most of Chariot of the Dogs). So I guess we have a difference of opinion.
    Same here.

    What I loved in Season 1 was the overall story and how it was distributed to substories that their themes were not really expected to see, but in the end, they made sense when tied up together.

    Season 2 was just about those substories as they were much more extreme BUT (a big fat but) they weren't so unexpected to see. I mean, all the substories are mainly based on fantasy and fiction (all episodes' names being puns on the names of widely known movies is another giveaway). Santa, portals, vampires, aliens and the Devil. They DO have more than one thing in common and which made me believe that they wrote the substories FIRST and THEN tried to merge the story, unlike the first season. And well... the result was messy. It felt like they made a second season just to see Sam and Max dealing with cooler stuff (cooler than a guy with a rainbow patterned collar). After mixing all those totally unrelated stories, they saw that one slot for a main villain is still empty so they filled it with other characters they have on hold in the last minute. I'm not saying the season is BAD since it has the best episode of the whole 11 episodes so far (though it also has the worst two episodes too, in my opinion), it just felt rushed. I wouldn't really mind saying those repeatedly over and over EVERYWHERE but most people seems to like Season 2 more than Season 1 and it feels unfair to me. Okay, it has more interesting and extreme subplots but does that make Season 2 the superior one? Sam and Max is not 'extreme', it's 'strange'. Santa isn't strange, it's just known by so many people, and it's not real. You know what strange is? A skinny guy -that's a colony of sentient bacteria- that can touch his ears with his feet.
  • I didn't dislike Abe Lincoln Must Die, I just wasn't as pleased with it as I thought I'd be. But looking back, i suppose that episode was the starting point of many plot points for the future games (Max as president, Superball, Abe and Sybal), and I do remember the puzzles being good actually. Maybe I'll give it another go before Series Three starts.

    And yes Kroms, since Telltale are only going to get better at making games, Series Three could be the first Sam and Max to be on par with LucasArts' best adventure games (both visually and in terms of content). In terms of Monkey Island and Sam & Max, I think my running order now goes (from best to worst):

    Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
    Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space
    Tales of Monkey Island
    The Curse of Monkey Island
    The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
    Sam & Max: Save the World
    Escape from Monkey Island (still like it, despite other opinions)
    Sam & Max: Hit the Road (somehow it didn't appeal to me as much as the other Lucas classics, maybe I'll play it again soon)

    I expect Monkey Island 2 to still remain the most superior after Season 3 (especially after the special edition), but S&M3 could easily be a close second if it works out as well as we all hope.

    By the way, just playing through the Strong Bad demo, really enjoying it so far. May get the full series later.
  • Reality 2.0 is the second best episode of an episodic game I have ever played.
  • der_ketzer;286682 said:
    Reality 2.0 is the second best episode of an episodic game I have ever played.
    I agree, Reality 2.0 along with maybe Chariots are the most memorable episodes for me. The Reality 1.5 part is nothing short of ingenious, I don't think any other part of the series has made me laugh so hard
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