Bet you guys didn't think we could get a review up this timely huh?
Note: I won't be reviewing episodes 2-5.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People: Episode 1- Homestar Ruiner Review
When deciding whether or not to buy this game know this, Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People is for fans of Strong Bad and the craziness that is www.Homestarrunner.com. Personally, I am a big fan of the offbeat flash cartoon so no reference was lost on me. In fact, there could of have been many jokes made that were much more obscure. Non-fans might be able to have a few laughs considering how non-sensical the game is but to play the game without understanding the world is doing a disservice to the game and to yourself. Those people should just turn back now…Now that they’re gone you it’s time to tell you fans about Strong Bad’s stylish WiiWare debut.
SBCG4AP is a point and click adventure like publisher Telltale’s other project Sam and Max. One of the few flaws I have with the game is inherent to this genre. While it’s not nearly as hard as something like Zack and Wiki, the trial and error system can quickly become frustrating and tedious. It’s not that big of a problem when combined with the comedy of how some items interact with each other but as a non-fan of point and click adventures, I was not converted. With that out of the way, the gameplay does vary somewhat. During his adventure, Strong Bad will need to use stealth and athleticism as well as social skills. As you make your way across Strong Bad’s hand-drawn map, the game keeps track of your progress. I was able to reach the rank of Flaming Shot Putter, whatever that means. Even with all of this, the entire game is a little short. I beat it and got this review out in basically one day. However, I did beat it in one fairly long sitting because I was enjoying myself so much. Players who take it at a slower pace may be able to get more mileage out of it. Also, a new episode will be out every month for the next four months. While this episode does a good job exploring the lore there are so many more potential stories to be told. There is also a preview for episode 2 in the game. This is episodic gaming. SBCG4AP isn’t 20 hours for the same reason an episode of Family Guy isn’t two hours. The game feels packed with content too for a download game and at $10 it is definitely a better value than some other WiiWare games at the same price point.
Even though the story was written by Mike Stemmle of Telltale, the whole thing really feels like an extended Homestar Runner cartoon. There isn’t much to spoil but I’m staying quiet nonetheless because there are many clever surprises and in-jokes. I’ll just say that you get to ruin Homestar’s life. All of the 12 major characters appear in the game voiced by co-creator Matt Chapman and co-creator Mike Chapman’s wife Missy Palmer. The writing is spot-on too. (Rated T for Teen, thank God!) There are way too many awesome and hilarious quotes in the game to list (all we got is meat, milk, milky meat and…meaty milk) which is good because Strong Bad will have to talk to almost every citizen of Free Country USA and you’ll enjoy what they have to say. As to how they look, the models and locations resemble their 2D counterparts but the textures and pretty low-res. Also, like the Simpsons, Homestar Runner characters look odd in 3D. The music is pretty faithful though. Some of the songs come straight from the cartoons and the original ones are of the same quality.
There are also some fun minigames like the sub 8-bit Snake Boxer 5 and trying to kill all of the members of the Teen Girl Squad comic. While they are quick, cheat codes and index cards with new comic ideas can be found extending their replayability somewhat. Like Strong Bad, you can check e-mails as well as send your own through the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. You’ll eventually find a photo booth where you can take pictures of Strong Bad in various poses, costumes and backdrops. Also, at any point in the game you can take a snapshot of the screen. To stay within the size limit only four of these pictures can be stored but they can be sent through the internet as well.
While this game is suited for the PC, I’m so glad it came to WiiWare too. It is an ambitious project and is the next great hit to come through Nintendo’s download service. Considering all of the delays this episode had, I’m a little wary if Telltale can stick to their monthly schedule. The game is going after a small market too but unlike retail games, it is okay for downloadable games to be this niche. Still, as a casual, quality point and click adventure, Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People: Episode 1- Homestar Ruiner can stand on its own…if you’re a fan of the cartoon that is.