QJ.NET Reviews Sam & Max Season 2: What’s New, Beelzebub?

Beelzebub - Image 1 Alas, all good things must come to an end. Such is the case with Sam & Max Season 2, Telltale Games wraps the pair's latest adventure with the release of Episode 5. Wondering What's New with Beelzebub? Head over to our game review to find out!

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The plot comes full circle this time around, as Telltale Games releases the Sam & Max Season 2: Episode 5. There's hell to pay (no pun intended) with this latest adventure, as our favorite pair find themselves saving souls, facing agonizing torment, and restoring balance in the land of fire and brimstones.

But enough about the Internal Revenue Services - read on to hear our two cents on the season finale!

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The lowdown

What's New Beelzebub kicks off with the pair popping out of a Bermuda Triangle, possibly saving them from the explosion that destroys their UFO back in Episode Four. Oh yeah, Bosco's corpse is still in tow, minus its soul, prompting Sam and Max to set off to retrieve it.

Not that this is going to be any easier than their last few capers. For one, Bosco's soul is now hell. Good thing that the pair just happened to land in a sewer that also happens to be the main route of the underworld's link to our plane: The Soul Train. Figures - Highway to Hell would have been a little too obvious; either that or the dev team's got a thing for Don Cornelius.  

Arriving at the site, the pair soon realize that Bosco's soul is the least of their worries. Eternal damnation is now being outsourced to cut costs, minimum wages have been halved (it's now US$ 33.3), and Satan - aka the Prince of Darkness - has been relegated to a lowly managerial role. Yes, readers, this is true hell - the kind we face everyday at the office.

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Then there's the matter of all the lost souls the two inevitably killed in during Season 2's run (Santa, Jurgen, grandpa Stinky to name a few). They're gonna have to save them too, while trying to find a way to restore hell back to its former infamy, and figure out who's really running the show.
 
And if that's not enough, we finally get to unmask the brains behind T-H-E-M, and what sort of shadowy motives they have for trailing Bosco for all this time. Trust us - that revelation alone is gonna blow your mind. As it did for Bosco, apparently, though we'll leave the details to you on your play-thru.  

Gameplay

You'll be happy to know that Telltale's remembered some important lessons from Episode Four; travel time between locations to solve puzzles has once again been kept to a minimum. Mind you, there's still going to be a lot of walking compared to Chariot of the Dogs, which had the benefit of a time-travelling elevator conveniently blocking the door.

What we mean is that What's New Beelzebub allows you to pull off more tasks before you actually have to leave each area. Even then, the places you'll need to visit are quite literally just next door. Though admittedly, the puzzles you'll be tackling aren't going to be as clear-cut as they were in Episode 4.

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Subtlety is your enemy here, and you'll be spending a good deal of time trying to figure out how events in location A will tie in with fixing a problem over in location B. Keep that hint meter peaked folks - Max is definitely going to earn his keep here.

Gameplay aside, Telltale's last hurrah for this episodic also delivers on the knee-slappers. Expect Sam and Max's frequent banter this time around to revolve around biblical jokes, with the occasional potshot at classics like Dante's Inferno. A little politically sensitive perhaps, but this is Sam & Max we're talking about after all. So sit back, and watch out for the next bit of hilarity that'll leave the pair's computer-generated lips.

Conclusion:

It's a little saddening to realize that Season 2 ends here. On the lighter side, Episode 5 does a good job of tying up whatever loose ends that were left dangling. It's just a pain that it feels so short, especially if you're a veteran of the previous games.

So, what's next for Telltale now that this run's over? We've got our eye on Sam & Max's upcoming adventures on the Wii - it'll be interesting to see how the franchise graduates from its point-and-click affair to the way of the Wiimote. There's also the matter Episode 5's ominous ending. Will we be seeing an Season 3 for the PC platform? We hope so.

And this is where we conclude our review for Sam & Max Season Two: Episode 5. Be sure to wait for the full game when it arrives this April 11!

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