Review By: Jared Black
|# Of Players:||1|
|Accessories:||Available via Telltale Games|
Despite the growing popularity of digital distribution systems, the demise of physical media is still a long ways off. Some consumers will simply always prefer purchasing an actual, tangible game disc over a digital download, and (for the near future at least) there continues to be a sizable population without access to broadband connections at all. Thus even Telltale Games, which has made a name for itself based on digitally delivering episodic content, sees the need to release its content on physical media from time to time.
Sam & Max: Season Two is available in actual DVD form from Telltale’s online store, and since it’s the same price as purchasing the Season Two digital bundle and allows for instant download of all five episodes anyway it’s by far the best way to get the entire season. It’s worth noting that this release is different than the retail version Atari plans to release in 2009, and it’s unknown if that version will include any additional (or lack some of this release’s) content.
Since I’ve already reviewed each of the episodes included in detail I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about them separately, but with an average review score of almost 8.5 over the five episodes they’re obviously quality adventure games. Even though this is the second season in Telltale’s series, no real prior knowledge of Season One is required to enjoy it. However, I personally recommend playing Season One first if you haven’t, as it introduces you to characters and themes that do play a role in Season Two and having that context is a plus.
Throughout Season Two, Sam & Max travel far and wide, starting out with the North Pole in Ice Station Santa and ending with trips across time and space itself. Aside from episode two, Moai Better Blues, the humor is almost universally excellent. Gameplay of course is standard point ‘n click adventuring, but Telltale struck a really good balance of presenting the player with challenging but not frustrating puzzles to go along with the excellent humor throughout the season.
As far as extras are concerned, this DVD is packed full of ‘em and almost all are accessible via any standard DVD player. Included are the cutscenes from all five episodes, with commentary available from both the designers and production crew. There are trailers for all five of Season Two’s episodes, along with teaser trailers for Telltale’s Strong Bad series. Telltale also included “Sam & Max Nearly Save Christmas,” a 20-minute machinima Christmas special based on Ice Station Santa. While it won’t exactly replace Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on your annual Christmas tradition list, it’s nifty nevertheless. There’s also a 6-minute outtake reel, and a nice selection of concept art to round out the package.
The DVD also includes a sampling of soundtrack MP3s from all five episodes, desktop wallpapers, and designer notes in PDF format, but these are only accessible via your PC. The designer notes in particular are interesting, as they give a unique look at the process behind developing a title like this.
If you’re no longer on the fence and plan to purchase all of Season Two, buying this Collector’s DVD is definitely the best way to do it thanks to the bonus content and convenience of having an actual DVD. At least until Atari’s retail release arrives later this year…
Posted: 2009-03-30 18:00:05 PST