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Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 5: 8 Bit is Enough (PC) artwork

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 5: 8 Bit is Enough (PC) review


"All in all, it's a pretty great ride, but it's somewhat telling that even Strong Bad seems bored when you go to pick up the metal detector and shovel for the fifth time. There's plenty of more standard and less inventive ambling about which I admit has gotten a little old by the fifth game. The game is still short, and only flirting with the fringes of frustration by the end. Episode 5 is easily the best game in the series, but it's probably a good thing that they're taking a break after this one, at least for a little while."



Save the best for last is a pretty well known idiom. In this case, it's one that needed to be followed. On the fifth game in as many months to follow the same formula with the same world and characters, Telltale needed to step up their game and produce something above and beyond or risk falling to stagnation.

And they stepped up in a big way. It has some of the best moments, and probably all of the best puzzles in the series.

The big problem in this one is that Strong Bad's head collided with his Trogdor arcade machine. Normally those things are sturdy enough to take a blow, but Strong Bad's head is the same size as his body and about twice the volume. The resulting force was enough to break the game's logic board. So of course the previously dormant arcade machine came to life, wreaking havoc on the countryside in the way only a fire-breathing dragon with stick legs and a humongous muscled arm could do..

A few puzzle segments later you've fixed him, but for some reason this causes the world of video games and the real world to merge into a soupy mess of alternate realities. So basically, you're playing a video game about a man trapped in video games, and trying to escape. I initially found myself wondering why anyone would want to escape something so awesome, but then Homestar popped up via text box and revealed that he had the power to pop up via text box whenever he wanted. That was motivational, I'm sure we all know that guy who we'd go to great lengths to stop from being able to show up in our head on a whim.

Since the very world you live in has been merged with the games around you, the puzzling opportunities are pretty limitless. One new feature is that in addition to collecting items, you can also have various characters join your party, and they'll help you out when you need them. Functionally they work just like items to, point and click, but the recruitment process at least gives you something new to think about.

The more prominent bonus of the merge is that some of the sequences are just downright awesome. There's one segment where you go into an old style 2d action-platforming game, but you appear as one of the extra life icons at the bottom. So you have to convince the enemies to stop being so stuck in their ways and change their pattern up so that they can kill the hero and get you out onto the screen.

The merge also opens up the opportunity for tongue-in-cheek references to pretty much everything. The game parodies so many genres and does them all so well that everyone can find something they like. How many other games have nods to both Mega Man and Wolfenstein?

All in all, it's a pretty great ride, but it's somewhat telling that even Strong Bad seems bored when you go to pick up the metal detector and shovel for the fifth time. There's plenty of more standard and less inventive ambling about which I admit has gotten a little old by the fifth game. The game is still short, and only flirting with the fringes of frustration by the end. Episode 5 is easily the best game in the series, but it's probably a good thing that they're taking a break after this one, at least for a little while.

Rating: 9/10

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Freelance review by Josh Higley (March 14, 2009)

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aschultz posted June 14, 2009:

Thanks for all five of these reviews. I'd been curious about if these games were actually good and given that I like Homestar Runner but can be astoundingly cheap(plus I'm a latecomer to HR,) I never really considered buying the games til now. Even now it's more, I don't mind paying since they already have all that free stuff.

You only get one review to leave feedback on per thread, but I thought I'd mention you did well spinning off succinct entertaining reviews for all 5 of the SBCG4AP games and showing that they do have substantial variety.

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