Sam & Max Episode 205: What's New, Beelzebub?

Telltale has new episodic series for E3

Graphs going up with 1 million sales so far.

Telltale Inc. plans to unveil a new adventure series at E3, following the million-episode-selling success of Sam & Max, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People and Wallace and Gromit.

Sam & Max Season 2

Sam & Max Season 2

Episode five and the season as a whole.

And so the second episodic adventure with Sam & Max comes to a close. The final episode - What's New, Beelzebub? - is very much of a piece with the previous entries in this season. That's to say that it's exquisitely written, packed with some of the best humour ever seen in games, but curiously disappointing as an actual game.

There's no faulting the presentation, the only persistent technical grumble is some sluggish loading times, but the criticisms have become wearily familiar over the past few months. Once again the action revolves around the same old street, with a few remote locations to jaunt between. This time it's Hell, with the Freelance Police entering the underworld to rescue the souls of all the characters who have died during the season. Of course, this means that pretty much everyone to have crossed their path gets to come back, including Hugh Bliss, Brady Culture and Santa Claus, and there are also some brief excursions to miniaturised locations from episodes past.

What is more troublesome is how routine the actual gameplay has become. With that in mind, rather than simply reiterating the same praise and criticism for the final episode, consider this a look back at the season as a whole, how the episodic format is working out, and the implications it has for gameplay.

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