Sam & Max: Season Two
- Ice Station Santa
- Moai Better Blues
- Night of the Raving Dead
- Chariots of the Dogs
- What's New, Beelzebub?
The complete season was eventually released electronically on Steam (Windows) as a package but it was already available as a whole if you pre-ordered them by buying the first episode in 2007. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions were only released as a complete bundle following the Windows release.
- Sam and Max: Season 2 - Alternate spelling
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 77% (based on 38 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 35 ratings with 2 reviews)
Sam and Max Season Two takes everything that was great about Season One, and makes it better. Our two eccentric, freelance detectives are back to solve five new cases, which eventually send our heroes straight to hell.
Season Two features the same cartoony graphics, the same smooth, point and click gameplay and the same style of humor. Most of the main characters from the first season return and the game looks and feels just a bit better then Season 1.
Season Two seems less buggy. If you get stuck with a puzzle, one of our heroes will say something that will point you in the right direction. While Season One was a great game, Season Two seems better fine tuned, for a lack of a better phrase.
The Second Season only has five cases, where as the first Season had six cases.
Much like with Sam and Max: Season One, the overall quality of the Season Two cases seems to vary wildly. None of the cases are bad, not by any means, but some cases are better then others.
Season Two let's you visit Stinky's Dinner , something that I felt was missing from Season One.
The North Pole case is one of my favorites, but some of the other cases feel a bit underdeveloped. Even my favorite cases, feel like a bit more could have been with the concept.
I realize that Season Two, much like Season One, was developed with a limited budget. Many of the complaints dont detract from the fun factor and are probably unavoidable, given how the game was designed and marketed.
Yet, when you complete Season Two, all five cases, you will want more. Sadly, Season Three wasn't released on the Xbox 360.
The Bottom Line
Sam and Max: Season Two is great adventure game designed by people who love the genre as much as they love Sam and Max. Old and New fans Sam and Max will love this case. It's definitely worth playing all five cases, in order to get the entire story.
Xbox 360 · by browned (118) · 2018
With the second season finished, Telltale's episodic model for the new Sam & Max games can officially be called a success. It truly is "gaming's first sitcom". The pace at which episodes arrive is reliable and the anticipation is similar to waiting for the next episode of your favorite television show.
Season 2 starts with a particularly weird case involving a possessed Santa. It then sends our heroes to the mysterious Easter Island, a zombie rave club in Stuttgart and, eventually, hell. As you can see, you get around a lot and the humor is as dark and cynical as always. I'd try to give you more details about the lunatic plot but it's really hard to keep it all in my mind. There are only 5 episodes (unlike in the first Season which had 6). Telltale, of course, assured players that the episodes themselves would be even more dense or longer for that, but that strikes me more as marketing babble.
The puzzles can be hard or easy, depending on your experience with this genre and how much you think like the writers. In the end, however, I find them to be just right. There is a pretty useful and un-spoilerish hint feature now that lets you adjust difficulty pretty smoothly. Also a double-click now makes Sam run, which makes navigating around a little less tedious in larger areas.
Before I come to my biggest gripe with the state of the Sam & Max episodes, let me say that there are a handful of new and fun characters. From a children-hating Santa to the new owner of "Stinky's Diner", there are a bunch of new characters to push the story forward.
But then there are the recycled ones...
I know, I know... The only reason those new Sam & Max episodes could even be produced (and I am thankful that they are) is re-using some of the material to save cost and time. "Gaming's first sitcom", that also means getting used to a slightly more intimate feeling of how the stories are presented. I wouldn't mind a few neighbors and friends of Sam & Max to have recurring roles. In fact, I like Bosco, Jimmy Two-Teeth, Sybil, Abe and even the new Stinky character. But it doesn't stop there.
I don't want to spoil anything (and please, stop reading if you're super-extra sensible about this), but there was a minor scene in the last episode, that made me cringe:
So, Abe and a few friends hired a stripper for his bachelor party. The "stripper", turned out to be a Frankenstein's monster you met 2 episodes earlier! Suddenly you have a bunch of people celebrating a bachelor party sit around in Bosco's store, watching a male, undead monster strip. Maybe the scene can get a short "Ha!" out of you for its sheer absurdity. But the childishly harmless replacement of an actual, bare-breasted stripper with a monster made of dead bodies is... weak. I would even applaud Telltale for their brave tackling of homo-erotic allusions (especially fitting since there are... rumors... about the actual Abe Lincoln), but frankly, I do not think that was entirely intentional, or would even work as a joke. It's just one of many, many examples in which the most unlikely casts of old characters have to act as a place-holder for arbitrary scenes. Before the Frankenstripper scene, you actually find out that the true perpetrator behind the whole mess you're in is-- well, I won't spoil that for you, but let's just say Telltale doesn't shy away from recycling old, over-used characters even for leading roles in a grande finale...
Similar can be said about the stages and backgrounds. It's perfectly appropriate for a Sam & Max office to have dartboards, fishbowls, insane scribilings and bullet holes on the wall or even a closet full of souvenirs of previous cases. But by the end of Season 2, there is a monstrous star with a huge plastic head hanging over your desk, a giant Whac-A-Mole arcade machine, a model volcano and a 3-meter high north pole sign besides it. It just looks ugly and messy. You have already forgot about the insane and twisted history behind many of these items, and it reminds you why most sitcom characters reboot "to normal mode" after each episode, to not drift away into some kind of convoluted web of previous story bits.
Similar can be said about Sybil's and Bosco's work places. Both look like those "messy apartments" stuffed with old news papers and garbage you sometimes see on television. If these are recurring characters, it would actually be nice to have anything recurring about them. Sybil's office looks 99% like a tattoo studio, still, yet she is now a... I don't even know? Does she even have a job? And lets not forget that the whole street has been rearranged after a huge explosion. A gameplay-decision, maybe, to have important buildings closer together, but you can still see huge, ugly cracks and smoke reminding you of some random event a long time ago.
Telltale has to find a better feel for how much (or how little) to best connect episodes. I know that it saves work to re-use 3D models, but then again, it seems like many recurring characters are just thrown into the story for the sake of it. Characters I was actually happy to never ever have to see again (Hugh Bliss-- yaiks!). I sometimes felt like less could be more. One new character instead of re-using the Soda Poppers for a millionth time in leading roles. Let some characters die, please. The The C.O.P.S.(a group of computers with semi-advanced artificial intelligence), for example, could be an absolute classic by now, a reason to go back an play "Reality 2.0" from Season 1... but the way they now have to carry 5 puzzles in every episode makes them second-rate supporting roles at best and I'm starting to get tired of them.
If you really want to compare this to a TV "sitcom" model, of course there is always a huge cast of characters in shows like "The Simpsons" as well. But whenever they appear, they at least stay in character. Flanders doesn't turn out to be a secret Muslim terrorist, Mr Burns won't become a school teacher all of a sudden. At least not for more than one episode. In the way characters are used, the Sam & Max episodes are like the "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween specials. You know, in which Homer becomes the President of the United States and Lisa a secret ninja assassin. I know the Sam & Max universe is wackier than the Simpsons, but this is about what characters do within their worlds. It still bothers me that Max, since 7 episodes, actually is(!) the president of the USA, yet that the fact is integrated so poorly into the story (actually it is hardly ever mentioned because it doesn't fit at all with the whole "freelance police" theme).
If this will continue, I will be sick of nearly the entire cast by Season 3.
The Bottom Line
I like Telltale a lot and the Sam & Max episodes are for me some of the best things that happened to gaming this decade. And it looks like they'll be around for years to come. I'm just afraid that Sam & Max might "jump the shark" a little too early (like Sybil and Abe having babies... shudder). I hope the next season will bring less recycled characters while finding more sympathetic roles for the recurring ones.
Windows · by Lumpi (189) · 2009
The season two DVD (available after the completion of the season) has spots that once activated lead to hidden videos.
Related Sites +
X360A achievement guide
X360A's achievement guide for Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space
- MobyGames ID: 34133
- GOG.com: sam_max_beyond_time_and_space_2008_original_version
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Game added by vicrabb.
Game added May 19th, 2008. Last modified August 30th, 2023.