America - Front
America - Back
By senseinobaka 02nd Oct 2009 | 995 views
I have to say, when I first heard about the Strong Bad games I was very excited. I am a long-time fan of the internet cartoon and just couldn’t wait to see what the The Brothers Chaps cooked up for their five adventure games. Thankfully, all the charm that permeates the show can be found in these games. Episode 2 doesn’t pick-up where Episode 1 left off, instead the second episode features a completely new ridiculous situation.
The short version of the story is that Strong Bad decides to secede from the authority of the King of Town due to a stupid tax on e-mails. This causes all the other characters to also secede and found their own countries, leaving the world of Homestar Runner fractured. But Alas!, a hero steps up to reunite the separate countries and builds an army of unlikely heroes to overthrow the King of Town; and that hero is Strong Bad. The way the story unfolds from there is insane and unrelentingly hilarious. Even if you don’t like adventure games the whit and whimsy in the writing of the story is worth it.
The voice acting really helps bring this game to life. As fans of the series have come to expect from The Brothers Chaps they both deliver perfect performances. In addition, TellTale Games once again has taken time to animate the game in the familiar Flash animation that we have come to love since 2000. There are very few complaints of the presentation of this game, except the normal problems with walking in 3D on a visually 2D surface. The graphics may not blow you away, but they do retain the feeling of Homestar Runner.
The gameplay is standard fare for Point and Click Adventures. Pressing the pointer will move Strong Bad in that direction. Pressing on an Item Hot Spot will activate it. This is how you can talk to people and sleuth around different locales. Exploring and gathering items is key to completing the game and solving puzzles. The basic idea is to think how you can use an item you posses in order to effect the environment or characters. Some puzzles may take a while to figure out, but unfortunately there are no huge brain teasers or particularly challenging obstacles.
There are other game mechanics thrown in that add a lot of value to the package. With the Limozeen metal detector you can explore all locales for secret items. Many of these secret items can be used to play with other toys, such as the Teen Girl Squad cartoon strip and the in-game video game “Math Kickers: Featuring the Algebros”. The Teen Girl Squad cartoon is a customizable comic strip and collecting new comic panes with the metal detector offers more possibilities. By collecting more comic panes you can change the arrangement and new events to the comic strip that will effect the over all outcome. Finding the secrets are the challenge. Math Kickers is a Double Dragon type beat ‘em up that makes the player solve math problems to kick and punch enemies. Exclusive to this Episode is a second mini-game called Maps and Minions. This is really the last puzzle in the game, but also serves as an interesting mini-game on its own.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People-Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free is a fun story with simple but competent gameplay. The only major concern I have about recommending this game is the perceived value. $10 for 1-2 hours of gameplay is pretty steep, but there are other collectables and goals to reach that will slightly extend the play time. Fans of the series should own this game by now, but if you don’t it’s available on Wii and PC for $10 in the United States.