Strong Badís Cool Game for Attractive People Ė Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands

 
 

Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:    Telltale Games

Released:  October 2008

PC Requirements:   Windows XP / Vista, 1.5GHz Processor,  256MB (512MB recommended) RAM, 32MB 3D-accelerated video card (64MB recommended) Video card, DirectX 9

Additional Screenshots

 

 

 

by flotsam

 

I confess I was drawn to Strong Badís Cool Games for Attractive People (or CG4AP) on the strength of the title alone. Being attractive, why not play a cool game? Better yet, why not play it cool? So I checked out the ďmerchĒ and once I was able to wear the bad, went in search of coolness, attractive style.

This is episode 3, and Strong Badís fun machine goes belly-up right in the middle of a hot game of Hot Babelian Odyssey. Bubís conces5ion stand is the only place in the good burg of Strong Baddia Ė quite literally at the start of the game - so off to Bubís we go. Can he fix it? Yes he can! But only for a sack-o-cash, which Strong Bad doesnít have but which is gettable, so long as Strong Bad is willing to take a job as a grime taster. Yet in the age old adage of adventure games, Strong Bad knows there must be a more convoluted way, so declines the job offer in favour of organising a Battle Royale of the Bands.

Personal Jetpack

Baddest of the Bands is a colourful animated point and click adventure, with a bizarre array of characters and situations. Its look and its wit will either appeal or it wonít; there is unlikely to be an in-between. It did appeal to me, from the strangely drawn cast, through the simplistic sets, to the helpful advice about lobsters and underpants. It is predominantly inventory based, and using cheese whiz and plastic whales to solve conundrums made more sense in Strong Baddia than it does in many such games. They arenít my favourite types of adventures, but I had a good time with this one.

Strong Bad occupies the centre of attention, but the support cast adds to the experience. For those familiar with the Homestar Runner internet world, they will all be recognisable, as will other aspects of that world. Strong Badís email advice, for instance, which can be accessed from his lappy 486, as well as the Teen Girl Squad comic which Strong Bad draws. Indeed, said comic actually offends one of the characters (which some may find redeeming), although the result is perhaps not what the character would have hoped. Strong Bad however is well pleased.

Robot Rebellion

There are two puzzles which require more than just using the inventory items correctly, although some trial and error will likely be required. One has a minimalist timed element about it. You donít die, there are no sliders or mazes. No musical puzzles either, except of course for finding ways to sabotage the entrants so there is only one true rock god.

Strong Bad carries a map, on which new locations will appear as you achieve triggers through the game. Strong Bad draws them on the map, reinforcing the comic book style origins. A pop-up icon will alert you to a new location being available. So too upgrades to your level of Awesomeness will be identified. I ended as a Three Necked Axeman, although as I didnít find all the objects or achieve all the musical moments, you may well do better. A check list appropriately titled ďHow Much I RuleĒ keeps track for you.

The objects referred to arenít necessary to complete the game, but Strong Bad will find things as he goes if, like all good adventurers, he looks in everything he comes across. Digging holes in the landscape with the help of his metal detector will also unearth the odd collectable, as will singing in certain locations. Among the things he collects are some costume pieces, which can then be tried on against a variety of backgrounds at the photo booth Ė purely for fun, and completely unnecessary if you want to ignore it. So too you can ignore if you want an in-game photo option, used for taking and storing snaps on your hard drive of your bestest baddest moments.

Once you get to Battle Royale, some locations are no longer available, but I got access to extended play once I had finished. As far as I can tell, this just makes all locations accessible, enabling you to hunt for any missing objects.

Really Really Really Tiny Cellphone

There is quite nifty hint system included, which you can tweak to give greater or lesser hints. If Strong Bad stands around too long in certain locations, he might hear something which might suggest a way forward. I fiddled with it, turning it up and down, and thought it worked really well. There are also clues revealed in other ways Ė like many adventure games, pay attention to the things you collect.

There are only 4 save game slots but that is way more than is needed. Returning Strong Bad to his House of Strong will also autosave your progress in a particular slot, so in that sense saves are unlimited.

Baddest of the Bands isnít a long game, but it isnít expensive either. I had fun, plenty enough to go back for more. If you like off-beat, and can appreciate the sort of dialogue and humour likely to be articulated by a character that wears boxing gloves and a Mexican wrestling mask, you might have fun too. If you arenít sure, just check out the Homestar Runner website for free, or play the demo; you donít really have anything to lose.

Grade: B

Strong Badís Cool Game for Attractive People Ė Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands (PC version) can be purchased via download at Telltale Games.

October 2008

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