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Wii Fanboy Review: Strong Bad Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner


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When booting up my review copy of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, I thought about how long it had actually been since I took a trip around the Homestar website (plug). Sad to say, it had been years. So, I was curious to see where these characters had gone in the long time since I laughed at their antics.

Thankfully, they haven't changed much over the years.

The first episode opens up with Strong Bad doing none other than checking his email. Thanks to a helpful French person, he's presented with the idea to just plain old beat up Homestar. Like, with his fists. So, with our premise set, it's then that I was able to take over Strong Bad and do some poking around.

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For those of you unaware, this is a point-and-click adventure, so controlling Strong Bad is a snap. You point the cursor at things of interest in the environment and click them, then get an interaction animation. In classic form, nothing is what it appears to be and interacting with things in the environments often lead to funny one-liners and odd observations.

As funny and zany as the title is, it's not without flaws. Most of these are evident after only a short amount of time playing. For one, Homestar Ruiner is really a linear affair. Unlike Sam & Max and other adventure titles, you're pretty much told where you need to go next and what you need to do in order to progress. Of course, you don't have to go immediately, as you're free to poke around wherever and whenever. Another issue is that there just isn't much gameplay in the first episode. Sure, you go places, click on objects in the environments and even have conversations with the other in-game characters, but for those that don't enjoy the genre and are looking for a bit more substance, then Homestar Ruiner is going to disappoint. But, odds are if you've been following the game, you're a fan of the genre and that point is moot.

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Homestar Ruiner is total and complete fan service. There are things you can do in the first episode of Strong Bad's Game that many might have dreamed of in the past. For one, you can check Strong Bad's email, which are often pretty funny. Also, you can make your own Teen Girl Squad comics. The tool set here is rather limited, so your comics won't come out too different each time, but offering the player the ability to do this is a great addition. Just to be clear: I totally spent like 20 minutes just making comics. It was great.

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And, finally, what about this Snake Boxer 5 business? Well, with each episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, one retro-type game will also be included into the mix. The first episode features Snake Boxer 5, where you (as a boxer) must fight your way through snake after snake. This is handled with an overhead view, as you move your boxer up and down to dodge the snake's strikes, all the while throwing your own punches in an attempt to pummel it into mush. The game is charming at first, but really loses a lot of its appeal after you get through a few snakes.

In the end, the first episode of Telltale's game based on the email-checking dude is quite fun and an excellent piece of fan service to folks that love the universe here. You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll kick The Cheat into the dryer like a million times. So, if you enjoy point-and-click adventures or the whole Homestar Runner thing, then be sure to give this a download.

Final Score: 8.5/10

Be sure to check out our other WiiWare reviews, which are all organized for you right here. If retail game reviews is more your fancy, then be sure to check out that page here. Keep up to date with the Wii scene by keeping up to date with us!

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