Game Review

Strong Bad Episode 2 - Strong Badia the Free Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Strong Bad is placed under house arrest. Can you still handle his style?

If you're a fan of Homestar Runner and you downloaded the first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People, Homestar Ruiner, you probably enjoyed it. It was hard not to notice a few minor flaws though; some solutions were a bit strange (you had to use certain items on stuff you’d never think to use them on), the game was quite short, and there wasn’t much replay value when you were done. This second episode has fixed some of the flaws, but ultimately, it’s more of the same.

As in Sam & Max, each episode in the series has no relation to the others aside from some minor references. This means that if, for some reason, this second episode sounds more intriguing to you, can you pick it up before the first and not have to worry about spoiling the plot of the previous game.

The storyline is typically zany. The King of Town has had it with Strong Bad, and has instituted a tax of one creamy ding cake per email answered. He has sent Strong Bad a reminder of this email. Unfortunately for Strong Bad, his Idiot Filter considered the message to be spam, leaving him blissfully unaware of this new ruling. The King of Town and the Poopsmith later pay Strong Bad a visit, putting a collar around his neck that will make his head explode if he leaves the house. If you’re a fan of the series then this ridiculous plot will no doubt sound perfectly sane!

After finding a way to remove the collar in a short introductory segment, Strong Bad wants to get revenge on the King of Town (who Strong Bad, from then on, only refers to as “The of Town”, as he plans to take over the throne himself). However, everybody else in Free Country USA also wants revenge – they’ve all started their own countries with their own politics. Strong Bad must find a way to please each leader, coercing them to ally with his own country: Strong Badia. They won’t allow Strong Bad passage through their lands in order to reach the King of Town’s Castle until he does! The game map has fittingly changed – it is now the map of a board game, with the names of each fictional country scribbled on it.

From here on the game is rather simple: each leader can generally be pleased with a single move, so it’s just a matter of figuring out which item to use where. Unlike some instances in the first episode, the items you use and the things you use them on generally make a lot of sense, meaning there’s no cursing and raging involved when you finally find that the one correct solution is the one you thought wouldn’t work.

Although the length of the game (About 2-3 hours) is the same as the first episode, there’s more to explore this time. While the Field, Strong Bad’s house and Marzipan’s house return, there are a number of additions and changes (such as being able to enter Strong Bad’s bedroom and bathroom) and a few completely new locales.

Certain other things from the first game return in some way or the other as well: there’s a new episode of do-it-yourself Teen Girl Squad to fiddle around with, a new “retro” game in the shape of Math Kickers: Featuring the Algebros (a Double Dragon homage, you can even find the missing manual pages to unlock combo moves), a photo booth (which has all clothes from episode 1, whether you collected them or not, plus more to find) to take pictures in, and a third mini-game, one that’s actually part of the story. You won’t find it until near the end, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find out what it is, even if it is relatively simple.

Finally, the humour in this episode is once again top-notch. If you want to finally decipher Homsar’s strange language, or visit Bubs’ secret black market, then you will definitely enjoy what happens here.

Conclusion

All in all, Strong Badia the Free is more of the same. If you’re familiar with Telltale’s other episodic series, then you should have known that that was going to happen though! The game doesn’t substantially improve on the first so we can’t give it a higher rating, but if you enjoyed Homestar Ruiner then it’s safe to say that you will probably like this one just as much, if not slightly more. Those you left scratching yours heads in puzzlement first time around won’t be converted, however.

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User Comments (42)

DrakeStaff

#3

Drake said:

I played the PC version, which was sent out to the press a few weeks in advance. The WiiWare version is EXACTLY the same aside from the ability to send photos to friends (In the PC version they can be saved on your computer), so no complaints about this please :p

Gitaroo_Dude

#4

Gitaroo_Dude said:

Ah, and I was going to insinuate that you had insider information. :(

That, or you were another tester at Telltale's office.

And I shall be downloading this at the first opportunity. Really enjoyed Ep. 1, and can't wait for more. Not to mention this one has a much better premise.

Jazzem

#8

Jazzem said:

Good review Drake!

I love Homestarrunner.com and did enjoy the first episode though found it a bit easy. Looking forward to getting this on its EU release :)

Wiiloveit

#9

Wiiloveit said:

Nooooo, we have to wait... (at least) 11 more days!!! Still: it looks as good as the first, which is a good thing, but I'm still more excited about the concept of episode 3.

Twilight_Crow

#12

Twilight_Crow said:

Great review Drake, using the PC version knowing that is the same, great way of getting ahead.
I don't like Homestar Runner so, all these Strong Bad games ain't for me.

AlexSays

#13

AlexSays said:

Drake might just set the record for the number of reviews in a two week period. :P

DrakeStaff

#14

Drake said:

Well, the next time I may have to review something isn't for another week and a half, so probably not :p

Drizzt

#15

Drizzt said:

Nice review. I just downloaded the game. Funny stuff, so far.

Keep it up!

MarkyVigoroth

#16

MarkyVigoroth said:

Even though I am not really interested in Homestar Runner (even though on top of that I redesigned Trogdor), I always like that snake with the sword (look at the 4th screenshot).

Objection

#18

Objection said:

Drake=win. I do think that as we go through the episodes, you should have a list of which ones are better, etc. for those who don't plan to buy the whole saga, (like me.) I do have my friend, Mr. J, who will download this so I can see it then...

DrakeStaff

#19

Drake said:

@ Objection_Blaster: Good idea, we'll probably do a small feature on it once all five are out.

Megaace

#20

Megaace said:

Drake said:
"I played the PC version (...) The WiiWare version is EXACTLY the same".
¿The same? I can play the PC version at 1920x1200... :P
It is a funny game, but I prefer Sam & Max... And I can't wait for Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures...!!!! :)

PHANTOM93

#21

PHANTOM93 said:

Great review! I'm going to pass on this one for now though. Just because if I get it I won't have enough points left for a certain game that includes the words "Mega", "Man" and "9" in its title :-P

WeeGee

#22

WeeGee said:

Nice, good thing I got the review before I bought it this time, Maybe I'll buy it today.

Rawk_Hawk

#23

Rawk_Hawk said:

Snake Boxer 5, Math Kickers featuring AlgeBros. Thats a riot!!!
Who comes up with this stuff, its so funny:)

shadows262

#24

shadows262 said:

dude does anyone recommend me to buy strong bad 2 because i`m not sure yet i want this game. I need your guys opinion

breaderer

#25

breaderer said:

I haven't beaten this one yet, but I think its better than the first

@tony
Matt and Mike Chapman are who you have to thank for homestarrunner

Ian_Daemon

#26

Ian_Daemon said:

Strong Bad Episode 2 is different enough from Strong Bad Episode 1 to warrant a purchase, yet Strong Badia The Free still contains all the same humor and references... I'm diggin' it.

Gitaroo_Dude

#27

Gitaroo_Dude said:

I'm kinda surprised this Episode didn't warrant an 8.

The humor is much better than Episode 1. More focused on an actual scenario than the last one's random humor, and more spot on imo. What's not to love about Bleak House?

Taking into account that a 9 or 10 should be saved for episodes that actually take the mechanics and go above and beyond what the last two episodes have offered.

TokiToku

#28

TokiToku said:

i need help in strong bad 2. where is the 4th homsar artifact. i found the binder, power strip, and fork.

breaderer

#29

breaderer said:

@ Toki Toku
ask strong sad what the symptoms of pretendicitis are, then try to make him think his pretendix is inflamed. (Hint: for one of the symptoms you have to heat his thermometer with the lighter)

MarkyVigoroth

#30

MarkyVigoroth said:

Hnn... the 4th one had the sword-snake, yet the last time I saw this, there was a cheetah (which I like nonetheless) on the 4th and the sword-snake in the 1st. Now, the cheetah is still there, but the sword-snake is gone!

By the way, what is that cheetah?

lucario13

#31

lucario13 said:

@ markyvigoroth

Do ya mean the cheat? He's sort of strong bad's sidekick.

Does any1 know when its comin to europe?

naisatoh

#33

naisatoh said:

As a long time fan of Homestar Runner, it's hard for me to say anything bad about these games. That being said, if you're not sure about whether or not to give this series a try, I would actually recommend Episode 2 over Episode 1. In my opinion, it's an easier game that's a little more straightforward.

I say give it a shot, and if you like it, then go back and get Episode 1. Also, for those of you who don't have any more room left on your Wii (like me), opt for PC version.

Saki

#34

Saki said:

I loved these games.....that being said, they aren't for everyone. I loved 2 better than 1.

Kaluba

#35

Kaluba said:

This game looks better than the first episode. I downloaded the first episode's demo version onto my computer, and I really enjoyed it. I also want to know, which one is better, this, or Bomberman Blast? They both look good. I want to know which one I should download?

WiiMan192

#36

WiiMan192 said:

@Kaluba
Depends on what your interests are. Bomberman is a multiplayer puzzle/strategy, while Strong Bad is a humorous point/click adventure.
You can always watch videos and research reviews if need be :)

Kaluba

#37

Kaluba said:

Thanks WiiMan192.:) I think I will end up downloading both. But first, I will download this one because I have been waiting for a Strong Bad episode that I am interested in. By the way, have you downloaded one of them or both of them, and if so, which one did you like more?

Garrett

#38

Garrett said:

theres something about strong bad i dont really know if i hate him or love him...

cheeseman

#39

cheeseman said:

I found a spoof in the review
"(such as being able to enter Strong Bad’s bedroom and bathroom) and a few completely new locales." It should say:(such as being able to enter Strong Sad’s bedroom and bathroom) and a few completely new locales.

cheeseman

#40

cheeseman said:

@Kaluba
I've played and beaten every episode so I can show you my favorites:
1: 8-bit is enough
2: Strongbadia the free
3: Baddest of the bands
4: Homestar Ruiner
5: Dangeresque 3
They are all fun though and I give the series an 9/10 :)

-TR

#41

-TR said:

@Cheeseman

I haven't played 8BIE, but for the others I'd say

1). Dangeresque 3
2). Strong Badia
3). Homestar Ruiner
4). Baddest of the Bands

I can't see what you didn't like about Dangeresque, compared to the others at least.

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