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Just finished Season 1 - Feedback

posted by weeble on - last edited - Viewed by 271 users
Hi! My girlfriend and I just finished series 1, so while it's still fresh in my mind I'd like to say what I thought was good and bad.

This and the launcher were real weak links for me. (I bought from the Telltale website, by the way.) The downloader was very slow - it took about twenty minutes to half an hour to download each of the episodes despite having a fast connection. The one exception was the free episode, Abe Lincoln Must Die. This downloaded really fast, taking around five minutes or so.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The launcher seems completely and painfully pointless to me. For a start, every episode has its own launcher, so there's no real integration here. Recently played stuff appears in my start menu, but because each episode is a completely separate game this generally meant I had an easy shortcut to play the episode I just finished, but had to hunt for the one I just installed. Even worse, the launcher has no close button! On one occasion I started up the wrong episode by mistake, and found that I couldn't quit the launcher without starting the game or killing it in task manager. That's very bad behaviour for a Windows application.

I'd much rather see a single launcher for the whole series, that shows you which episodes you have installed, with links to download and install the others you own or buy the ones you don't, and that can be closed.

Opening sequence, credits
I enjoyed watching the opening sequence of each episode the first few times, but it got a bit frustrating that it couldn't be skipped after a while. Similarly, the closing credits were getting a bit repetitive by the end of the series. I'm someone who will almost always sit through all of the closing credits of a game, but the episodic format made this far too frequent and repetitive.

Loading and saving
Automatic saving was great, and the loading and saving interface seemed nice and easy.

I don't think the game crashed on me once. These days, I think that deserves recognition. ;)

The game itself
I enjoyed the game a lot. So far as self-contained puzzles go, I really enjoyed the firewall in Reality 2.0. It was a satisfying process: hmmm... maybe I should paint my car... that car got through, maybe I should copy its paint... that didn't work, but look, the thing is scanning the number plate too...

The puzzles involving disabling individual members of COPS in the same episode were one of my favourite joined up puzzles. It's nice when a puzzle requires a bit more thought than just trying every object on every piece of scenery, and instead you are actually changing the state of the environment and then figuring out how to make use of it. The cue-cards in the presidential debate were good in a similar way.

The games did feel a bit linear. It didn't seem very often that I had a real choice of things to do, but I think that's inherent in the episodic format. I'm a bit sad to think that I won't get to see again the breadth and depth of interlocking puzzles in the original Sam and Max Hit the Road. Then again, at least I won't be stuck for days or weeks on end unable to make progress or even figure out which puzzle I actually [em]can[/em] make progress on.

Moving Sam around the screen was quite awkward. Often I'd just miss on a click and Sam would go all over the place. Strangest was when I clicked on the road to the right of Bosco's, and instead of walking to the end and stopping where he couldn't go further, Sam walked all the way back to Sybil's. Some locations also suffered from the camera turning too tightly. To go from the cupboard at the back of Sybil's to the door requires lots and lots of clicks because of the way the camera works. Plus Sam can be pretty slow, but I hear he can run in Season 2, so I'm looking forward to that.

The art looked smart and attractive, but I did feel the animation was lacking something. Sam and Max seemed a bit stiff and rubbery. Max didn't really come across as particularly "hyperkinetic". I think the transition to 3D may have robbed him of some of his character.

Website and purchase system
That flash navigation bar is really annoying. It means that I can't middle-click on any of the links to open it in a new tab (I'm using Firefox), or right-click on it to open it in a new window or copy the link to the clipboard, etc. As far as I can tell, there's no point in it being Flash. It doesn't seem to animate or anything. It would be much better as regular images. (With proper alt attributes, please. :) )

I was a bit disappointed that the gift versions are separate products. I would have bought season one as a gift, but I'm not keen on buying season two for someone and then telling them that they've got to wait months for most of it.

I've been a bit negative here, but I should stress that I did really enjoy the games. I wouldn't be here posting if I didn't! I'm looking forward to Season 2 and I hope it's fixed some of the flaws in the system. Most of my complaints are really just "rough edges" around some otherwise pretty amazing games. It's been great fun playing these with my girlfriend - they work very well with one person playing and another watching and making suggestions. (Although there were one or two fights for the mouse!) Keep up the good work, and make it shine like it deserves to!
3 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • If you get the Cd version it has a single launcher. Since you bought all the games through Telltale you can get it for free.
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    Jake Telltale Alumni
    Hey weeble, thanks for the feedback! Some of that is stuff we've already fixed (or are working to fix), so that's cool.

    We're working on making the download / unlocking system less ridiculous, but I think it'll be a while before any sort of "universal launcher" feature is offered. It's a big pain in the butt to make a launcher that you download on day one and then over time populates itself with new episodes. That said, it's something we do want to do eventually... it's just a big undertaking for the small team we have available for such projects. The same goes for the purchasing stuff. One of our goals for the next year is to make all of that stuff suck a lot less. (Also, the launchers for Seasno Two have a close button :) The old launcher stuff was built into the third-party software downloading/activating/unlocking system we were using last year, but we've scrapped that in favor of a system we wrote a large chunk of and therefore have control over... eg the ability to add a close button to the window!)

    Season Two has more animations than Season One did, so if anything the character's actions will be more varied, so there's that :) Also, there are some more hyperkinetic moments in store during the season, for those who wait!

    The free Lincoln Must Die downloaded a zillion times faster than the other Season One episodes thanks to it being hosted by the excellent LimeLight content providing service, which we've started using as of a few months ago (Limelight also provides bandwidth for Xbox Live Arcade and Steam - they're super fast and awesome!). We'll be moving all of Season One onto that download network at some point soon, here, as well.
  • Warning: Spoilers (please dont read if havnt completed season 1)

    Hi, I have also just finished sam n' max season 1 a week or so ago. After me my mum also played sam 'n max season 1, so can kind-of give you 2 more views - if that helps.

    Over here, in the UK we brought the DVD version from a local shop - I prefer buying a disc, as you have a physical disc. So please dont stop making a season's dvd!

    most of my thoughts + mum's are similar. I agree the walking thing can be a bit weird. Click on the floor in-front of you and it walks miles away, then you end up shouting sam "Where the heck are you going?!?". Glad to hear that wont be a problem.

    I enjoyed the puzzle in reality 2.0 - where you have to direct the money or like weeble - the que cards where a puzzle isnt solved by clicking on it. Id like to see more of these puzzles. eg. have to beat someone at chess, or card game etc. Even one of them dance comps (beat a AI dancing) - "Up, Left, Left, Up ... ". Jimmy two teeth:

    Jimmy: "Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it"
    Sam: "No one wants to be defeated"
    Jimmy: "Showin' how funky and strong is your fight"
    Sam: "It doesn't matter who's wrong or right"
    Jimmy: "Just beat it, beat it"
    Sam: "Just beat it, beat it"
    Jimmy: "Just beat it, beat it"
    (Michael Jackson, Beat it)

    The humour is great, I found it more funnier than the first game. I even noticed my mum burst out laughing sometimes! There's some great lines in there - I see you guys really thought of a lot of jokes with the unicorn. "Do you want to rub my horn?"..."No, im not that desperate!"..."I took care before we left the office".

    Graphic wise, its brilliant, excellent work there. I guess the animation could do with some more frames but nothing to complain about. Would of been nice to see more 'idle' things, and the whack into the air "weeeeeeeeeeeeeee" gets a little old, could ad lib sometimes: "I can see my house from here.", "Not again", "Yay, im going to heaven", "Again! Again!", "Argh #'#@", "all you had to say was excuse me!". I like the way you made the game very cartoonie. The only thing a bit annoying is no wide-screen support - especially on this screen (32" - 1360x768), however on 1024x768 I could get a dot lock. On mum's pc, her TFT resolution is 1650x1050 (but couldn't get anywhere near that) just 1280x768 (i think) - no dot lock and stretched imaged. Setting the resolution every episode was a little annoying.

    as other things. Me and mum agreed that their are not enough actions in the game. We felt missing where:

    1, Look at,
    2, Use two items together (ie. Use max with evil Hue Bliss),
    3, Move (ie. push/pull),
    4, Pick up (maybe once you could finally pick someone up, no game its been possible),

    like in the older game where you right click to change the action rather than default to the right one. ie. Look there's a TV aerial - click - got. This would help slow down the game as you wouldn't automatically do the right action straight away. Maybe looking at things could revel something else (not seen that happen in many games) e.g.

    Sam: "Ah I see a snow global, hmmm, that's odd..."
    Max: "What's that Sam?"
    Sam: "Behind the snow global is a screw driver."
    Max: "I always wanted to screw someone over. gimme, gimmeee!!"
    Sam: "I think id better take it before its too late."
    Max: "Ooo... no fair!"
    Sam: "You crack me up little buddy."
    Max: "Screw you Sam!"

    We also agreed the game can be a bit liner. Talk to super-ball, warm unicorn, show super-ball, etc. But I did know that episode format can make it more liner because there are less area's.

    Although when I finished 'Sam and Max' season 1, I felt a little sad that I have no more to play of it for a while.

    All in all, a very good game(s) with some great jokes and excellent graphics. Its very nice to them back after all this time and you guys definitely gave them plenty of life. The only bad points are the slightly liner game-play, default correct reaction, no wide-screen support and slightly 'recycled' characters. but nothing to be too worried about.
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