Episode 3 of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, Baddest of the Bands, has just been released for PCs and Wiis and, like the previous episodes, is still a quirky and humorous point and click adventure. It may not be as much fun as Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free, but Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands comes close and definitely is a solid entry in the series.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands begins with Strong Bad sitting down to play Limozeen Hot Babelian Odyssey in his Fun Machine. Unfortunately, the game starts to glitch while he plays. Time to go to Bubs, the only person in town capable of fixing it.
There’s one problem. Bubs actually expects Strong Bad to pay him for fixing it. A huge sack of cash, to be specific. Since getting an actual job is out of the question, Strong Bad decides to create a Battle Royale of the Bands and use the money he makes from it to fix the Fun Machine. So he has to get celebrity judges, security and bands to perform. Of course the security and bands will all be people from around town.
Like all of the previous Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People episodes, Baddest of the Bands has clever writing and quips, simple and smooth point-and-click controls and just enough of a challenge to keep you from racing through the game in a single afternoon. Baddest of the Bands also has new, rock musak playing in the background to keep up the rock star atmosphere.
It also is the first episode to really feel completely devoted to one theme. While Homestar Ruiner and Strong Badia the Free each had general themes (sports and government), there would be remarks and asides pertaining to other subjects. Baddest of the Bands is the first entry to really make the most of its music theme and takes the opportunity to make jokes, quips and asides about the rock and roll lifestyle.
Baddest of the Bands also offers opens up some sections in familiar locations that were previously unable to be accessed. You can now visit Strong Mad’s room and enter Marzipan’s house. There isn’t much to see in each area, but at least they’re now open to visit. It seemed awkward in Strong Badia the Free and Homestar Ruiner when you couldn’t enter those places.
Baddest of the Bands also a lot of items to collect and use throughout Strong Bad’s quest to earn cash. Within the first fifteen minutes of Baddest of the Bands, you’ll have collected at least 10 items to use to recruit a security guard and create an album cover. Its helps making progressing through the first portion of the game a bit easier, since you can usually tell after clicking or attempting to use an object where it belongs or and its purpose.
Instead of collecting instruction book pages to unlock a new game though, you’re collecting shot glasses with pictures of members of Limozeen on them. Cardboard boxes bearing these glasses are also tricky to find, as you have to use the microphone in an area to make hidden boxes appear. This kind of diminishes the joy of the scavenger hunt experience.
After playing the three episodes of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, I have to say the best is easily Strongbadia the Free. However, Baddest of the Bands does come very close to stealing the affection I have for the previous title. Telltale Games is obviously doing a great job, as each entry in this point-and-click comedy series seems to get better and better.
While it is also a small matter, and not totally related to the games, I’m also quite smitten with the desktop icons for each episode. Seeing Strong Bad, Homestar and The Cheat on my desktop in silly attire never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Images courtesy of Telltale Games.