Friday, January 19, 2007

Look what I came across by accident...

Well if that ain't a good starter for a post, I don't know what. This is the dynamic duo of crime-solving anthropomorphic wack-jobs we have all come to love in the classic LucasArts adventure and their new plasti-mensional form in TelltaleGames Episodic Renditions.

As a youngster who got the game for Christmas back then in 1993/4 on CD in German, I was intrigued by some of the one page comics by some Steve Purcell included in the Step-by-Step-Hint-Guide (a Sam'N'Max kind of a walkthough). They were in English as far as I can remember and were of a level that I could only barely master at that time (with only a three or four years worth of School-English). The art and wackyness however came across and I distinctly remember that at this time I wished there was a Comic book for the self-proclaimed 'FreeLance Police'.

Sam and Max as they looked in the intro of the first computer game by LucasArts, called 'Sam'N'Max hit the Road' back in 1993. Oh the pixel glory.

Well in America there actually were several such releases, rare and not in great numbers, but they did exist. None were ever released here in Europe, not even the Sam and Max - Collected ("Surfing the Highway") Edition (see cover at the top) that included most of the previous works and is now considered the 'standard volume' on Sam (the wise-cracker dog) and Max (the totally insane rabbit).

I just happened to pass by some flea-market at our Uni and saw a slightly ruffled book with a dog and a rabbit on the cover. Something inside me went 'click' I had a blackout and when I woke up, I found myself the proud owner of the above mentioned paperback comic book. The events were a blur, I think I might have threatened several people with an axe at some point, jumped on one table and acted like a gorilla to scare an old lady away, but yes in the end it was mine, better yet it still is mine!

If you got any fond memories of Sam and Max or just want to contribute in any way with other memorabilia. Feel free to do so in the comments. By the way: I just saw that the exact same edition I got at the flea-market for 5€ for about $280 on - yeah I am a lucky bastard...soon to get rich, maybe...

Well if you liked the classic gameplay of the Lucasarts game and still have the CD or floppies lying around somewhere like me, the you can enjoy the old game again under Windows95/XP/Vista with the help of a little tool called ScummVM. ScummVM allows you to use filters to upgrade the graphic quality, with in my opinion stunning results. You should definately check it out using the HighQualityX3 filter...

This is TelltaleGames Rendition of Sam and Max in funky new 3D. The game itself however plays like a classic 2D and the jokes are great.

If all this is an old hat for you and you like some more modern looking action, I bestow upon you the link to the genious minds of TelltaleGames. These modern bards have acquired the license to produce new games featuring Sam and Max from Steve Purcell their demi-god-like creator and have thus far spun out two hilarious episodes, the next of which will be released in the beginning of February. No endless wait like in the time before LucasArts cancelled their second game in the universe of the philosophically inclined dog and the schizophrenic rabbit anymore.

No, there's 4 more monthly episodes on their way for all of us to enjoy. The entire season comes at a decent and affordable $30 something price, or if you rather just test the season there is a demo version available (you could also download each episode for 9$ but doing the math - that costs $20 more... which at least for me doesn't make it an interesting option).

And if you still don't have enough, Telltale also has a webcomic on their site featuring the crime-pummeling duo-infernale in a story about cockroaches. Scrolling over the panels will reveal the text-bubbles, if you haven't figured that out already.

In this spirit: "Holy jumping mother o'God in a side-car with chocolate jimmies and a lobster bib! WE'RE ON OUR WAY!"

Thank you Steve Purcel, Sam and Max

Yours Staroc

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