QJ.NET reviews Sam & Max Season Two: Chariot of the Dogs

QJ.NET reviews Sam & Max Season Two: Chariot of the Dogs - Image 1Spring is here and so is the latest episode of our favorite freelance animal tag team, Sam and Max. This time around, these two will be gallivanting from place to place in Chariots of the Dogs. From the title itself, you guys will have to travel a lot. When you do, expect one hell of a ride.

So if your paws, err hands, are itching to know what these two have been up to, check out our review in the full article up next.

Originally posted on March 14, 2008 at 12:39 p.m.

QJ.NET reviews Sam & Max Season Two: Chariot of the Dogs - Image 1  


Before we dish out the latest on what Sam and Max have been up to, we deem it appropriate to give you guys a short history on their past skirmishes. Do take note that the game franchise is unlike any other point-and-click detective adventure game we've seen before. We're dealing with the sequel of a sequel of a sequel. Kind of confusing, eh?

Let's have a recap, shall we? In the first episode, the duo were trekking the snowy fields of the North Pole because of the
Maimatron 9000. In Moai Better Blues, Sam and his adoring bunny companion had to stop a volcano from erupting. As for the Night of the Raving Dead, the tandem had to stop a vampire from creating a ghastly zombie army that would take over the world.

Now, if you thought TellTale Games has begun to run out of bizarre, convoluted plots to keep you thinking (and probably snickering), think again.

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To Space and Beyond:

In Chariot of the Dogs, the story continues with their pursuit of Bosco, whom you guys may recall has gone missing since the past few eps. Along with gung-ho P.I. Flint Rock, Sam and Max tear down the doors into Bosco's Inconvenience store. Doing their own style of investigation by blowing things up, the two set off a signal which attracts T-H-E-M. Or T-H-E-Y, depending on your sentence usage.

The abduction of the two happens quick, and before you know it, they finally encounter the man they've been looking for: Bosco. Or at least what looks like Bosco - a freak set of events has transformed him into a half-man, half-beast abomination. No offense to Sam and Max, of course.

While we're not exactly at liberty to tell you the details, we will tell you that the bulk of this adventure will revolve around your attempts at getting Bosco back to norm...sorry, back to what he was. T-H-E-Y will also be at the center of episode 4's plot, although we leave the details to your upcoming playthrough.


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Gameplay:

What's really great about the fourth leg of the franchise is that has stayed faithful to the gameplay of the three previous games. Chances are that right now you are thinking that the game might be a bore. Well, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

There are plenty of new characters to meet up here, who offer odd plot twists to even those who've run the gauntlet of episode one to three. There's Bosco's mom for one, whom we're happy to say doesn't look anything as kooky as Bosco's horrid impressions from before.

One major gripe we do have is its lack of mini-games, How are we going to while away our time if we're not up to solving another puzzle?

Of course, through the course of the game, you guys will be picking up odd items here and there. Don't worry about it since everything you touch has a distinct purpose. It might not look it at the onset, but the random objects you pick up will eventually serve important purposes as the plot unfolds. So go ahead - tinker with everything that isn't nailed down.

If ever you find yourselves barking up the wrong tree, Max 's handy hints should help. You'll be sailing through the game, and still have room for a chuckle or two as you go follow this hyperkinetic rabbity-thing's off-key notes.


The lowdown:

So what's our final say on Chariot of the Dogs? The latest episode was able to bring out what matters most in the game: the story. Even though it's already the fourth episode, newcomers will be able to quickly catch up with the flow.

Other tweaks we really appreciated is how Telltale decided to give this episode a more linear twist. The puzzles all focus on helping Bosco, which helps to streamline the sort of puzzles you can expect. The game's clever use of the time elevator further ensures that you won't have to move between locations as much as you did before.

Yes, the developers have realized all that backtracking between time portals back in the Santa case was a bad idea.

We appreciate the fact that the developers have decided to remain faithful to the previous games with Chariot of the Dogs. We had fun playing through the game. And lest we forget, we have to tip our hats in admiration for the witty banter between Sam and Max. It's the biggest highlight of Sam & Max 204, and it'd be a crime not to make mention of it.

With that said, we hope you guys get to enjoy the game. Don't forget that there's one more episode still to come. Be sure to check on our site for the latest review when the game comes out.

Originally posted on March 14, 2008 at 12:39 p.m.


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