The third part of Strong Bad’s episodic series is pretty much the same as the previous two. You’ll visit various locations and obtain a variety of items, which you must use on the correct objects to advance the plot.
The plot in this episode is just what you’d expect from the web cartoon - Strong Bad’s beloved Fun Machine breaks down, meaning he can’t play any videogames, and just when he got a new game as well! A quick visit to Bub’s place informs Strong Bad that he’ll need one big sack of cash to pay for the repairs.
Thankfully, Strong Bad is a master of cunning plans, and he quickly thinks of one: after seeing an advertisement for a contest - the prize of which is a meet and greet session with his favourite band, Limozeen - he gets the idea of organizing a rock concert (or a Battle Royale of the Bands, as he calls it). According to Bubs, signing up three bands and organizing security, plus a celebrity judge panel, should cover the costs of the repairs.
As in the previous episode, you’ll visit numerous places from the previous instalments. The Field, Strong Bad’s house, Club Technochocolate and others return, including new areas - for instance, you can now access Strong Mad’s bedroom in Strong Bad’s house, and you can enter Marzipan’s house instead of lingering around the yard.
You can probably imagine how ridiculous the bands you need to sign up are. If you watched the game’s preview in the previous episode, you’ll know that the Cool Tapes, consisting of Marzipan, The Cheat and Strong Mad, are one band, but the other two bands will have to be “formed” before they can be contracted. Eventually there is a fourth band as well – but we’re not going to ruin the surprise by revealing who it consists of.
The game’s length is around the same as the other two episodes – two to three hours and you’ll be done with the main game. You then unlock extended play, although there’s really nothing new to do in it except having some new conversations. Sadly, unlike the previous episode, which had three minigames (an improvement on the two included in the first episode) this instalment only has a single minigame!
There’s a Teen Girl Squad comic again, but this time, it’s automatically written, with no involvement from the player. That means there’s no make-your-own-comic game, so if you were looking forward to that you’re going to be disappointed. The only game you can play is Strong Bad’s new game for the Fun Machine – Limozeen: Hot Babelian Odyssey. Like the previous “retro” games this parodies certain classic games – in this case, multiple shoot ‘em ups. You fly Limozeen’s spaceship around, blasting multiple clones of Nebulon (nobody likes his style!) and rescuing the titular hot babelians with your tractor beam. It’s a pretty shallow game, but it offers some entertainment.
As can be expected, the humour is at a typical Strong Bad level: aside from a cameo appearance by a certain monster lurking in Strong Mad’s closet, you will have to create the coolest album cover ever, make Coach Z commit crimes, and even help Homestar to sing!
Baddest of the Bands sticks with the same formula seen in the previous two episodes and it's still as entertaining as it ever was. Sadly, this episode doesn’t offer any improvements and if you didn’t like any of the other titles then it's not likely to make the entire 'Strong Bad' concept suddenly appeal to you. On the other hand, if you giggled your way through the other two episodes and had a whale of a time, then you simply cannot go wrong here.