Thursday 18 October 2012

Sam and Max: Season 1 Review (Wii)

Sam And Max: Season 1

It seems like a lifetime ago that the wise cracking canine shamus in the suit and the hyper kinetic, ultra violent rabbit first made an impact on the gaming world. Luckily for us, after the proposed sequel was cancelled, Sam and Max have found another way to reach their audience. Sam and Max: Season One, is a collection of all six episodes on one disc that where available for download on the PC. The Wii should be the perfect platform for point and click adventures, but have Sam and Max still got what it takes?

Sam and Max, as we all should know by now, are Freelance police who undertake missions given out by the commissioner. Sam is the thoughtful one, often pointing out the lunacy of what is happening around him, while Max is borderline insane and always looking for things to shoot, break or eat. The duo are joined in there adventures by Jimmy the rat- a low level fence who lives in their office, Bosco the shop owner and Sybil the woman of ever changing career.

The game controls almost identically to its PC counterpart with the Wiimote taking the place of a mouse. Though still very much a point and click adventure the character models and objects are now in 3D. Though not really adding anything to the gameplay it does help to bring the duo into the modern age.

It's somewhat of a relief to find that the writing and voice work retains much of its excellent quality. The humour and style that the original game was well known for is upheld admirably here. Some of the lines that our two heroes come out with are absolute genius and will have you laughing away on many occasions. The six episodes all have their own theme and range from average to excellent in terms of humour and general madness. Abe Lincoln must die stands out as a brilliant piece of social satire while Reality 2.0 might strike a little too close to home for many players.

As these episodes where released as episodic content on the PC and are self contained three hour adventures there is a certain amount of repetition in location. Most episodes require you to visit Sam and Max's room, Bosco's Inconvenience store and Sybil's office. You will then typically have one or two other locations to explore relating to the episode you are playing. This isn't ideal and certainly not on a par with the original games layout but certainly shouldn't put you off.

On the whole the puzzles are a mix of the logical and lateral thinking variety. Quite often you will have to be in the mindset of the game world to work out how to solve a certain situation. This works fine as most gamers will soon get the drift of how they should be thinking. There a couple of instances where solutions are quite obscure though, our advice is simply to make sure you look everywhere and try everything. Even so, it's likely that players will stumble a few times and find themselves frustrated just that little bit too often.

We are really happy to see Sam and Max: Season 1 make it onto the Wii as it shows that point and click adventures can work on a console. The first six episodes may not be perfect but they certainly show glimpses of the greatness that could well be on the way as the team get to grips with their new way of producing adventures for the duo. We hope that the season two builds on the good work done here and we get to see it on the Wii as soon as possible.


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