Sam & Max Episode 202: Moai Better Blues Review
No sooner do our heroes return from saving Christmas from a demonically possessed Santa Claus they find themselves trying to save Sybil from the Bermuda Triangle, which just happens to be chasing her down the street in front of their office. Welcome to Sam & Max Episode 202: Moai Better Blues. The second installment of the second season literally hits the ground running, and before the opening credits roll they'll need to save poor Sybil and use the triangle to travel to Easter Island. Easter Island is apparently the global nexus for everything that and everyone who has mysteriously disappeared over the years, and it's in danger of imminent destruction from a volcano in the hands of an angry god. Just another day at the office for our freelance police heroes.
Now if you're new to Sam and Max you can certainly begin your experience with Moai Better Blues, although it seems odd to me that you would consider coming on board starting with the second episode of the second season. With each new episode the series is accumulating quite a collection of quirky regulars and self-referential humor, and you'd only be getting about half of the jokes for your money. Think about picking up Episode 101 instead, or even better the entire first season, and then you can laugh along with the rest of us. Besides, my fingers are tired from writing a couple hundred game reviews over the holidays and I really don't want to explain the gameplay basics to you Johnny Comelately's out there.
You Sam & Max veterans out there (you're all veterans, right?) will find that Moai Better Blues features one of the strongest scripts in the series and that the humor is as bitingly satirical as ever. There are still some minor weak points such as Boscoe's disappointing role in this episode. I can understand that not every character will have a critical role in every episode, but when Boscoe's latest paranoid fantasy has been a running gag throughout the series it's still a bit disappointing to see him in the same state of mind as in the previous episode. I suppose that we should cut the writers a little slack here and there considering that this is technically a continuation of Episode 201 and not an entirely new game.
Moai Better Blues runs a bit shorter than what's been typical for the series until this point. It may seem to play just as long though because some of the puzzles this time out are definitely on the tricky side – good thing for Season 2's new in-game hint system. None are so obtuse as to be basically unsolvable, but I salute you if you can manage to solve them all without some random guessing or going in occasional circles. A couple of mini game work their way into the game, including a humorous knock off of Guitar Hero. They're short enough to remain enjoyable without overstaying their welcomes.
With the experience of Season One under their belts, the developers have been able to launch Season Two in full stride and that momentum has carried through to the second episode. It's got me really looking forward to what's in store for us in Sam & Max Episode 203: Night of the Raving Dead.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 85%. The Sam & Max series continues to get Moai better.