Thursday, March 16, 2023

Point-and-Click Adventure Review: Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space: What's New Beelzebub?

The final episode of Sam & Max not only closes the second season with a bang but effectively closes the story started by Telltale's first Sam & Max episode, Culture Shock.

In the game, Sam & Max discover a passage to hell under the building that houses the Freelance Police office. They find that hell is run like a corporation and that Satan is just a figurehead. They have to discover who are the real brains behind the torture and torment.

Telltale gets super creative in this episode, to the benefit of the whole series up to that point. Once Sam and Max discover the room of ironic punishments, they find they can interact with each of them. This allows Sam & Max to interact with people from their past, as well as people with whom it is a surprise that they are now in hell.

The art design in each of these punishment dioramas is really fun and creative. The puzzles are also just as creative. Telltale used the crazy logic of the Sam & Max universe to its advantage in the finale of the first season. However, they have outdone themselves here. Everything including the story, the characters, and the puzzles are suitably weird, wacky, and really enjoyable.

Jared Emerson-Johnson and Bay Area Sound have once again delivered fantastic music that fits the game really well. The voice actors, likewise, have delivered some of their best performances of the entire season. You can tell that everyone had a lot of fun doing this episode, as everything shines.

What's New Beelzebub? is the finale that Sam & Max truly deserve. The music, voice acting, art direction, and story are great. The villain reveals, in particular, is fantastic. This episode satisfyingly closed the storyline of the first two seasons, allowing Telltale to go in a completely different direction in the third season. Whether it's the original game or the remastered high-definition version by Skunkape Games, it's a fantastic game that any fan of Sam & Max, or just point-and-click adventure fans in general, should experience at least once. 

Final Verdict:
5 out of 5

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