Sam & Max: Reality 2.0 Review

So what can trump the insane plot from Episode 4? How about a viral video game taking people hostage and the threat of virtual reality consuming the world? Replace the flowing fields of the White House with vibrant colors of virtual reality! With Season 1 winding down and the creative juices of Telltale Games finally being unleashed, the last few episodes will definitely be the highlight. Episode 4 took the craziness to the presidential level; now Episode 5 takes it to the virtual level. So how is Reality 2.0? In a few words, it’s absolutely wonderful.

The plot spin certainly fits in today’s age — Internet, video games, etc. — and there are a lot of subtle and hilarious jabs to the video game market and Internet users. Sam’s Internet dumbfoundedness compared to Max’s Internet suaveness opens up a lot of hilarious quips. When Sam is trying to reach some coins that are out of reach, he performs the classic Mario jump, which is accompanied by the sound effects and 8-bit music. Bosco’s new persona is a weird combination between a half-elf of any D&D-based game, and any medieval tradesmen. One of the puzzles involves buying a weapon to defeat a guard, and Bosco offers some nice ravishing items including a nice wooden sword for your wonking needs.

One of the lingering problems with Season 1 is the repetitive environments. In Reality 2.0, it’s a mixed bag. Some people are going to praise Telltale’s decision of re-using the town environment, especially since they converted it into virtual reality. The colors of the ‘real world’ are replaced with bright and vibrant colors that any TRON fan would immediately feel at home with; even Sam & Max’s teeth get the virtual touch-up. On the flip side, others will not like the repetitive use of the same environment slapped with some small touch-ups. For every single episode, you’d have had to travel to and from the town and after a while, it does get a little dreary. But for the sake of Reality 2.0, many of the objects have been given new dialogue when examined; for example, now that Max is president most of Sam & Max’s office has been redecorated with newer accommodations.

Puzzles are noticeably easier in Reality 2.0, but are tastefully implemented into the game. One such puzzle involves retrieving a sword high-above Sybil’s store. When you transition to and from virtual reality, your inventory changes. For example, in the regular world you’ll have your listening bug, but in virtual reality the bug changes to a computer bug. So it’s only a matter of figuring out where to use that computer bug to change some of the world’s dynamics so you can jump and get the sword.

The other big pluses are the voice acting and the music. In Reality 2.0, the music mirrors and recreates many of the old 8-bit songs so fans of the older consoles will immediately feel at home when going through the game. Of course, the voice acting is once again spot on. I would run up and hug all the writers that give Sam & Max their wonderful and colorful humor and charm, because it’s characteristics like these that really make this adventure series what it is, and do a good job of keeping gaming fresh.

Reality 2.0 gets bonus points for its atmosphere and its humor. I feel that the first two or three episodes were more of a trial run, and now that Telltale has gotten their feet wet in the episodic game mode — along with getting responses from the community — these last few episodes will surely shine. It’ll be kind of sad to see Season 1 end at the end of this next month, but it’s already confirmed that Telltale will be pursuing another Season, so fans will definitely get their fix of the dog and rabbit duo.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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