Sam & Max Episode 2: Situation: Comedy Review

Situation: Comedy stands on its own, but it isn't quite as good as the previous episode of the Sam & Max series.

One of the strengths of episodic content is its flexibility. You can treat each episode like a separate storyline, or you can use it to tell the next chapter in an ongoing narrative. But you'll never know which path a storyteller is going to choose until you get to the second episode. Now that Situation: Comedy is out, it's easier to see how this new run of Sam & Max PC adventures is going to play out. For the most part, each episode stands on its own, but there's also an inkling of continuity starting to emerge. Situation: Comedy is a good adventure that complements the original episode nicely, but it also feels much shorter than the first episode. Also, though this installment has a terrific premise, you don't get to do enough during the cooler parts of the game.

Sam and Max aren't hitting the road anymore, but they're still having plenty of funny adventures.

Situation: Comedy puts the detective duo on to an audience held hostage. Myra Stump, host of the Oprah Winfrey-like talk show Myra!, has flipped out and won't stop her show. The audience has been held captive for days, and the fabulous giveaways aren't quite so fabulous anymore. So Sam and Max must make their way to the TV station and figure out what's going on. Once at the dilapidated station, you get to work the pair through a series of archetypal TV shows. They'll star in a sitcom, do a little bachelor cooking on a food show, win a million dollars by cheating at a gameshow, and even get a recording contract by winning on an American Idol-style "talent" show. While that sounds like a lot, you get only a whirlwind tour of all this stuff, and the game's finale is brief. Unless you get hung up on one puzzle or another (we spent a fair amount of time backtracking in search of something with tomatoes in it), there's only about 90 minutes of content in the game. When you consider that plenty of the locations and a few of the lines have been duplicated from the first episode, that doesn't end up amounting to much. Of course, as an episodic game, it's coming to you at a lower-than-average price (or as part of your GameTap subscription, if you're into that sort of thing), so in the end, it's still a reasonable value.

Situation: Comedy gets by on its charm. The characters are great, the dialogue options are solid, and the game ends up being funny more often than not. There's some good voice acting in there, too, though some of the lines get cut off. Also, there's a new voice for Max in this episode, which some may find a little jarring. He turns in a fine performance, though. Visually, the game is well animated, and the different areas you go to look great.

If you didn't play the first episode in this series, you could start with the second episode without feeling like you've missed anything, but since the first episode is, overall, a better adventure than this one, you should probably start there. If you're familiar with the first episode and unsure whether you want to continue, this game carries on where the first game left off, though since you've already seen many of the locations and met some of the characters you'll encounter, this one's inherently less impressive than the first chapter.

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The Good
Funny dialogue
Quality voice acting
Expressive character animation
The Bad
Feels even shorter than the previous episode
7.4
Good
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Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.
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Sam & Max: Season One More Info

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  • First Released
    released
    • PC
    • Wii
    • Xbox 360
    This compilation of the episodically-released games contains six episodes worth of wise-crackin' dog-and-rabbit-thing action.
    8.2
    Average Rating749 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Telltale Games
    Published by:
    Telltale Games, The Adventure Company, JoWooD Entertainment AG, N3VRF41L Publishing, GameTap, DreamCatcher Interactive, Microsoft Game Studios
    Genre(s):
    Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms