Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands (WiiWare) Review

Review for Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Telltale Games have been onto a winner so far with its point and click adventure game adaptation of Homestar Runner’s Strong Bad. Now into the third of its five planned monthly WiiWare/PC releases, can it continue the series’ momentum after the superb second episode?

Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People: Baddest of the Bands starts off in a slightly different fashion to the other episodes; rather than being inspired by his laptop, the trauma of the day is his ancient and beloved Funmachine finally giving up the ghost. Naturally, the only guy able to repair it is Bubs (is there anything this man cannot do?), who of course wants a big stack of cash to run his magical healing fingers over it. True to the strange nature of Homestar Runner, and preventing us from playing the most tedious game known to man, Strongbad rejects the idea of working like a slave for the necessary coins and instead opts to run a pay-to-enter Battle Royale of the Bands contest. Aiding him in the organisation is Bubs, who turns out to have had experience and great success in the music industry. Again, is there anything this man cannot do?

The gameplay is the same sort of fare once again: you point, you click, you adventure. With the genre’s trademark humour and the bizarre nature of the Homestar Runner world, Baddest of the Bands is funny throughout and has a few hysterical laugh out loud moments too (particularly the exploitation of Coach Z, the inevitable fire and the appearances of Homsar and the King of Town). It’s certainly one of the funniest games of the year, up there with the other two episodes, and while there are a few references that only fans or people who have played the other episodes will get, it all hangs together well.

Other than the main adventure, you get to play around in the photo booth and take photos with the costumes that you accumulate, send emails to Wii friends with Lappy and play another arcade game (once the story is finished and the Funmachine reigns once more), this time a shoot ‘em up affair. The broken Trogdor arcade machine still taunts us in the basement; we’re hoping for something special from it come the end of the series. Episode three, sadly, is missing sections to mix up the gameplay, as stealth sections and strategy games mixed up the first two. The closest it comes to variation this time is a tiny rhyming puzzle which doesn’t work too well due to the names of the items not matching up with what Homestar actually rhymes about them, so some guesswork is required despite there only being a few choices. Annoyingly, you get no say in how Teen Girl Squad goes this time, either.

Screenshot for Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

We would have to say that Baddest of the Bands is the weakest of the episodes to date, we’re afraid. That’s not to say it’s bad, far from it, it just has things that don’t sit so well with us. Firstly, some of the leaps of ‘logic’ are awkward, moreso than in the other episodes; we expect a modicum of absurdity with an adventure game, but some of the puzzle solutions are tenuous at best. The security robot puzzle is a prime example, as it seemed to me that the actual solution was completely disconnected to common sense, mainly due to a key characteristic of the item needed not being referenced beforehand. Secondly, the back-referencing. It’s fine for the humour side of things, but when several puzzles rely on locations that are only made known explicitly in the second episode there’s an issue; not an issue for us, having played all episodes, but surely something that will only be solved by newcomers by randomly clicking and/or reaching for an FAQ. Clue: the grass around Bubs’ shack is a large circular area that scrolls round. It would have been easy enough to have some indication to show that the environment continued over multiple screens. This may not be as big an issue to some people as we’re making out, but as the games are set out as separate episodes you’ve got to assume that they play well standalone as well as parts of a greater entity. Finally, some sections, such as parts of the final act, seem to be more about guesswork that anything else, which was severely disappointing.

We hope that Battle of the Bands is a blip in the Strongbad series; next month’s looks like it will deliver in the humour stakes again at least. Luckily for fans of the series, a blip here is still better than most games out there, it’s just a letdown after the great heights that episode 2 reached. If you’ve played the others, get this; if not, go for the initial episodes first and see if you want to continue, as fans of the genre owe to themselves to introduce themselves to Strongbad in some capacity.

Screenshot for Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

It's more of the same - if you like adventure games, you'll love it. There's more guess work involved in this one though, and less variety in the gameplay.

Graphics

Nice big chunky colourful visuals. Much the same as the other episodes.

Sound

Voices are superb, nice little retro ditties.

Value

Baddest of the Bands seems to be slightly shorter than the other episodes released so far, and there aren't as many mini-games to be getting on with. It's still definitely worth 1000 Wii Points, though.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Baddest of the Bands is another fine addition to the WiiWare catalogue from Telltale Games, and is a must-buy if you're a fan of the other Strongbad episodes. However, be warned that this is the weakest one released yet and there are some strange leaps even by adventure game standards. Here's hoping episode 4 moves back towards the first two episodes...

Read and post comments

 Buy Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands (WiiWare) Buy Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands (WiiWare)

Buy Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on AmazonBuy Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on Shop To Buy Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on GameBuy Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on TescoBuy Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands on The Hut

Share this Review Share this Review

28.10.2008

7

4077

Games you may also like...

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Pretty much agreed on all points. Still a cracking game, but there was one point towards the end where I just gave up because I got so frustrated. A quick peek at Telltale's own walkthrough and I slapped my head...'NOW it makes sense, kind of'.

Interestingly enough, this is the first episode where the director or writer changed (can't remember exactly, but a change WAS made). So perhaps that's why it seems so different from the previous two.

The trailer for the fourth episode looks great. Could be a killer penultimate episode! Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

5 episodes in total? o.o
They make it seem cheap at 1000 points each...but if you need 5 of them for a full game,that's the same price as a normal game! Smilie Can't comment to say if it's worth it though since I haven't played it Smilie...but it seems a bit pricey seeing as I think it would be a budget game if released as a disk...

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

Why would it necessarily be a budget game? Each episode has been a few hours so far, and that would translate to about 15 hours of play time...well worth a standard price point.

Cheers for reading guys!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Nice one Mike Smilie Shame to see it dipping with this latest episode but good to see it not dip too much with a decent all-round score.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

٩๏̯͡๏)۶ said:
5 episodes in total? o.o
They make it seem cheap at 1000 points each...but if you need 5 of them for a full game,that's the same price as a normal game! Smilie Can't comment to say if it's worth it though since I haven't played it Smilie...but it seems a bit pricey seeing as I think it would be a budget game if released as a disk...

But you don't need all 5 of them, their stand alone episodes around 4-5 hours each.
Thier each thier own game, it's not some kind of evil scheme where they cut up a whole game and relese a bit of it everymonth knowing users have to pay more to continue the story.


^^Click for a wallpaper version^^
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

And anyway, if you want all of them on one disc, Telltale is releasing a PC edition with the all together for a slightly reduced price. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Wii disc as well.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I'd be very annoyed if they released all 5 on a Wii disc after I'd undoubtedly already downloaded them all. I'd much rather have a proper boxed game given the choice. Maybe I'd pick it up if I saw it cheap somewhere...

Nice review, shame it doesn't sound quite as awesome as the first two. Still can't wait to download it though. Smilie

3DS Friend Code: 4425-1453-7061

Comment on this review

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.

Follow this topic Follow this topic

Keep up with new comments with the RSS feed for this topic, or subscribe via email above.
Turqoise Radio - Cubed3's Glass to the Wall
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Latest news and updatesSite Feed
Vote on our latest community pollNintendo Poll
Vote: Which eShop Games will you Download this Week?
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl Demo
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
Golden Sun
I am in the Movie
Mario Golf: World Tour Demo
My Exotic Farm
My Farm
Nintendo Pocket Football Club
Putty Squad
Tiny Games - Knights & Dragons
Member of the weekMember of the Week
This week's top member is jres80, awarded the most stars for great posts.
Online Play and ChatOnline Nintendo Play & Chat
General Chatroom: Click here to chat Wii U Nintendo Network Codes - Find other Nintendo Wii U users 3DS Nintendo Network Codes - Find other Nintendo 3DS users
Listen to our Nintendo Jukebox - Classic Mario, Zelda, Metroid songs and more Nintendo news and reviews on the move