Today, after many weeks of waiting, package containing my Sam & Max: Season 2 stuff had arrived. To my surprise it wasn't a cardboard box like the usual Telltale packages, but a regular envelope with bubblewrap. Fortunately nothing got damaged.
I was lucky this time around and I didn't get slapped with additional tax fee. I've also noticed that instead of the usual green declaration sticker, they used a different one. Well, the customs declaration information is basically the same, buy maybe it was the different look that threw customs off. Again, lucky me.
The way things work with Sam & Max these days is that the game is split into episodes which later become seasons. These episodes are released once every two months or so and are distributed via Telltale's website. You can buy a single episode or you can buy a whole season, which is of course cheaper in the end and you also get a disc release, once the season is complete.
The disc contains all of the episodes that you can also download via your Telltale account, plus some extras. We have trailers, outtakes, special movie features and hours of developers' commentary for the ingame cutscenes. The disc is a hybrid, so you can pop it into any DVD player and watch the extras. Stick it into a DVD drive and you can access additional goodies like wallpapers or a soundtrack sampler.
In other words, there's a ton of content to keep you entertained. It will take some time to play through all of the episodes and add to that many hours of extras and you have a game worth everything you paid for it. If the game and extras aren't enough, Telltale can supply you with some additional junk.
The case file. It's basically an envelope filled with items you see in the game. It's rather cheap. For $5.99 you'll get some neat collectibles so if you're a fan, imagine how neat it would be to have a napkin from Bosco's or a postcard from the moon [both of these came with season one case file]. If you're unsure whether you should get it or not, let me just tell you that season one case file is already sold out and people are paying $50 for it on eBay.
So, what's in the case file this time? Telltale really did a great job, surpassing what they did last time, and I was already impressed back then. You get a punch card, a Tiny Tiki coaster, a Soultrain token [made of metal and really heavy for its size], The Friendly Demon Song mini CD [which contains six tracks plus a hidden message - a definite highlight of this eclectic item package] complete with vinyl print on the disc and scratchy vinyl sound and a postcard.
I am really happy that Telltale is doing this. There was little to none merchandise sold when the original Sam & Max: Hit the Road game came out back in '93. Plus if you didn't live in the US, there was no way of getting a hold of anything. Today we have internet and everything is easy, so buy your collectibles while you still can. If you delay, you might regret it in a few years.
The soundtrack, as usual, doesn't disappoint. Jared Emerson-Johnson did a great job composing some fine jazzy beats and catchy tunes. This kind of music won't appeal to everyone, so of all the items here, this is the one you should buy only if you really enjoyed the music while playing the game. Or if you're a collector and you just have to own it along with every single piece of Sam & Max merchandise.
We get two CDs packed with audio directly from the game. One thing I've noticed is that some of the tunes loop a couple of times. That's fine, but the second CD has some additional audio stored on it in mp3 format. I'd rather have the looped tracks shorter and have as many of the mp3's as possible present on the disc as audio tracks.
There is plenty of additional mp3 music on the disc two. Music from cutscenes and trailer is included here, along with an explanation why Telltale chose to include compressed music. The fact of the matter is, there was simply too much music composed for Season Two and Telltale had a two disc limit for the soundtrack. That being said, I still would have preferred the loops being cut down to size so at least one more track could fit.
At least the mp3's are encoded in 320 kbps and the bitrate is constant. Let's hope that for the next season, if the amount of music will be equally huge, the two disc limit will change to three. I'll pay the extra buck, Telltale. Don't worry. I'm a loyal customer and a loyal Sam & Max fan.
So now I have two seasons, two case files and two soundtracks before me, and even though I have damn cold and a headache, I'm happy as a peach. Season One for the Wii is out, so if you haven't bought the PC version and you feel that pointing and clicking with the wiimote is more up your alley, buy it, play it and laugh, laugh, laugh.
- 「『 Games + Supermarket = My Gain 』」
- 「『 A cartridge without a home 』」