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Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People Review - Wii

7
Gameplay: 5 stars 5
Graphics: 7 stars 7
Audio: 9 stars 9
Innovation: 6 stars 6
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Introduction

Look, trying to explain the universe of Homestar Runner is pointless. You can describe the fundamentals, but any attempt to explain the humour of the long-running web series is going to fail. The best thing you can do to actually try and understand this world is to go and explore it online. Anyway, the Brothers Chaps have teamed up with developers Telltale Games to deliver five episodes of downloadable WiiWare and PC gaming goodness. Is the first instalment, Homestar Ruiner, worth your time?

Gameplay

The game takes the form of a point and click adventure in the vein of that other Telltale series, Sam & Max. It should come as no surprise that you move around the environment by pointing and clicking, examine objects by pointing and clicking, and talk to people by... you get the idea. The story jumps all over the place, but is mostly focussed on the character of Homestar competing in the Tri-annual Race To The End Of The Race contest. You play as Strong Bad, the outspoken and mischievous fellow that is typically seen answering emails on his beloved Lappy computer. The humour of the web series has been faithfully translated to game form through close collaboration between the creators of the franchise and the team at Telltale. However, it is worth noting that it’s probably best played in small instalments – it’s one of those types of humour that can get wearing over time – so I’d advise you to keep that in mind and keep your sessions on the short side.

The gameplay is a mix of puzzle solving, character interaction, exploration and slow walking. The puzzles are of the ‘try this item against this object’ ilk where you need to use things in your inventory on parts of the environment. It’s nothing special, but at the same time it’s a formula that has worked for years and is still enjoyable to this day. You’ll often be rewarded for trying combinations that are not immediately intuitive, either with a clever cutscene or a neat collectable. When talking to characters, you’re presented with a few options of what to discuss, with the important plot points separated from your regular ‘good Strong Bad’ or ‘bad Strong Bad’ behaviour choices.

As for the exploration, you’re initially limited to just one location but will gradually unlock other areas to visit. These can be placed on your map and moved around at will in a nod to the undefined and flexible world of the web series. The other part to the exploration is the constant combing of the screen looking for thing to click on. Finally, by ‘slow walking’, I’m not referring to the stealth stage. Yes, Strong Bad has fallen victim to the recent curse of the slow-walking protagonist. It’s not so bad as to be a painful experience, but when you’re trying to work out what to do next, a little bit more speed would make your exploration easier.

That’s about all there is to ...

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