Review By: Jared Black
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As one of the more popular “franchises” featured in the cartoons on Homestarrunner.com, it was only a matter of time before a successful run of SBCG4AP would lead to references to Dangeresque, Strong Bad’s James Bond-esque alter ego that first debuted in his email column. Telltale Games builds upon that base with another funny adventure in the series, although as usual long-time fans of the franchise will appreciate the humor the most.
The entire episode (virtually) plays as a movie directed by Strong Bad on a half-a-shoestring budget, starring familiar characters from the franchise as spy movie stereotypes. Strong Bad as Dangeresque with his trusty nunchuk gun, Marzipan as the “sultry” Cutesy Buttons, The King of Town as the evil Perducci, etc. It makes many references to the cartoons featured on the website of course, and sets up another hilarious episode full of awkward dialogue and poorly-edited cuts to “stunt doubles” (poor, poor Strong Sad…) and retakes. All of the areas in Free Country USA have been remade into sets as well, which makes the locales feel fresh even though they’re largely recycled.
The puzzles are easy as usual; Telltale definitely isn’t aiming to challenge with the SBCG4AP series the way it often does with Sam & Max. The included mini-game this time around is Space Circus Catastrophe, a shooter where various objects materialize in the distance and quickly bear down on the player’s ship. There are separate buttons for enclosing incoming objects in a protective bubble or shooting it into oblivion, while stale circus foods like circus peanuts must be dodged. It’s a fun little shooter for a few minutes, but more interesting because it’s actually required to play at one point to advance in the game.
The soundtrack is the best it’s been in the series so far, with a spy movie feel more complex than the simpler (but charming) tunes featured to date. Of course some of it (namely the signature tune) is borrowed from the website, but so were the previous tunes as well. I also liked it better than the more heavy metal-centric soundtrack in Baddest of the Bands.
The SBCG4AP series has established itself as another standout adventure game franchise from Telltale, and Dangeresque 3 is a genuinely funny (and timely given the recent release of Quantum of Solace in theaters) spoof of the spy film genre. The only downside here is the loss of what little difficulty and cleverness the puzzles in Baddest of the Bands had, but that’s hardly a reason to pass up this episode.
Posted: 2008-11-17 21:24:46 PST