Sam & Max Season Three Review

Last week we unfortunately ended Sam & Max for good… Or at least the TellTale game Sam & Max as the LucasArts point and click will be coming at some point in the main gaming babble blog.

So our last goodbye to Sam and Max?

This is a bit of a up and down season really.

Some of my all time favourite episodes are in this one. In fact the whole middle episodes are wonderful but they were bookended with two rather slow, stodgy and sadly unfulfilling episodes.

The game play was interesting and different from the others. I loved being able to play with the Toys of Power with Max and it added a whole new level of difficulty to the proceedings as you weren’t too sure whether you were simply missing something or if you needed to use Max’s abilities.

It was a shame that we didn’t get a full deck of toys to play with at any point, there was always only two or three at our disposal but it didn’t stop it being the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

The game seemed smaller yet was larger then ever before. It evolved into something that was wonderful. The interrogation level, the seance to bring back Mama Bosco, the projector showing the lives of Sam and Max’s ancestors. It was all weird and wonderful.

Unfortunately in the end the story was possibly the weakest.

I can forgive reaction times being low and I can forgive the problems with navigation but I can’t forgive the fact that it felt empty by the end of the season. There was such a interesting story brewing and it kind of ended with Charlie Heptoe being blown to smithereens. Everything that happened afterwards didn’t really amount to much other then a chance to blow up Max.

I think I said it a few times through all the reviews but it hit its stride in story telling and game play and every episode felt like it was out there to beat the other. Unfortunately the small scale feel of the final episode made it feel like a disappointment. If I were to replay the season I’d be tempted to end it on episode 4 and make up my own story on how they got Max back to his normal size.

Artistically it was beautiful. I loved how into their genres they got, each story had its genre and it was created with old style movies in mind. From body horror to B-Movies to Sci-Fi Flicks. It really helped get you into the feel of the movie.

The cast was slightly smaller. There were some usual faces that we missed seeing like the Soda Poppers but we got a great amount of cameos even the promise of life to come with a pregnant Sybil. Not many of the characters that were introduced in this series really had the charm and character of the previous casts. Skun’Ka’Pe was neither here nor there and Mr Norrington and Papierwaite were OK but nothing special. The best new character by far was Sal who I just adored. C.O.P.S weren’t as fun, we missed idiots like the Soda Poppers and I honestly was holding on till the last moment for a cameo from Bosco.

That all being said it wasn’t a bad cast of characters and there was a lot of fun. Episodes 2,3 and 4 were worth their weight in gold and the cameos from older characters made up for the lack of interesting new ones.

Story wise it was great until episode 5. I kind of got lost with the whole Narrator stuff and didn’t honestly care for it but leading up to that it was really fun. The Devil’s Toybox was great and it was just a shame that they didn’t change the order of the games a little.

Funnily with the emphasis on Max we lost him for giant chunks of the game which was pretty sad.

Then there is Superball.

GREATEST…CHARACTER…EVER.

A rating?

Well you might think at times that it would be up there with season 1 right?

No.

The game play was different and I got used to it and enjoyed it but it had its flaws and some big ones at that.

The opening and closing episodes were naff, the tutorial felt like the team were speaking down to us which made it harder to get on with the episode. It wasn’t all bad the middle episodes were some of the best but the biggest minus for me was that the final episode felt like a bit of a let down.

Still high marks.

It gets a lot of positives for experimenting with the game style, and a lot for the unique feel. Plus three of the five episodes were top class.

So I’ll be giving it a 6.

1. Final Fantasy VII – 8
= Sam & Max Season 1 – 8
2. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 – 7.5
3. Sam & Max Season 2 – 7
4. Sam & Max Season 3 – 6
5. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 – 5

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