Sam and Max Save the World Remastered isn’t a brand new title, but it’s out now as a physical edition from Limited Run, and to complement that… here’s a Sam and Max Save the World Remastered review for the PC.
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It’s been a good amount of posts since the last disclaimer, so let’s make one here to set the tone: Sam and Max Hit the Road is one of my all-time favourite games. Though Grim Fandango had the slight edge, this bustin’ crime duo is timeless, and I can’t wait to see them again in the upcoming VR title Sam & Max This Time It’s Virtual!.
Despite that affinity, I passed on Sam and Max Save the World when available on the PS3. Something about the episodic nature and 3D stance put me off, as it no doubt did with other traditional point and click fans. Perhaps it was fidelity to the original?
Sam And Max Save The World Remastered Review
Since playing this remastered edition by Skunkape on PC, those views have been dropped. Let’s put the original to one side; it’s a title from 1993, and things have changed. The 3D in this game is impressive. Looking back at a couple of YouTube videos, it becomes clear how this remaster differs; textures, lighting and even the camera placement is vastly superior.
That might have something to do with it all being new, but there’s no mistaking that this is a Sam and Max adventure, and that’s not solely the characterisation, but the brilliant surrealism. If I could choose to inhabit any fictional world, it would either be Rocko’s Modern Life or this.
Sam and Max Save the World Remastered is split into six independent episodes interwoven with a prevalent theme of hypnosis. That’s what all those dastardly villains use, from has-been actors to the President of the United States. No, not being political here – it’s in the game. There’s a mixture of zany characters from the outset, and the soundtrack throughout is like listening to a Dick Tracy or Batfink episode. Bloody marvellous.
Sam (the dog in full freelance police attire) is the ‘good cop’. He’s a little naive with a heart of gold and has an incredibly calm and patient demeanour. Max, on the other hand, is a complete nutter who can’t keep still. The two will frequently bounce off each other with quips and “do you remember the time when…” moments. It almost always involves Max doing something idiotic, eating something he shouldn’t, or perhaps sticking things where they shouldn’t go. It’s family-friendly.
Unlike the classic LucasArts or the resurgence of point and clicks, Sam and Max Save the World Remastered is a straightforward setup, incorporating that early Telltale user-friendliness. The right mouse is solely to skip repeated dialogue – there are no verb wheels, and you can play the game with a mouse, keyboard or controller.
Clicking on anything in a scene will trigger a pithy comment or dialogue exchange between the two. If it’s useful, it’ll be automatically added to your inventory. An icon to the inventory remains on screen and accessible at any point, or you can use the middle mouse button to bring it up. Selecting an item and clicking outside the inventory window will allow you to interact with the scene without the need for any dragging and dropping.
The only niggle is both of them try a bit too hard, and when it’s a joke every minute, it loses the impact. Practically everything Max says is facetious, which is embraced with a welcome hug, but Sam’s constant irrelevant analogies grate a little.
Each episode is self-contained, though there’s an underlying thread throughout. In retrospect, these sequences are short; however, I did spend a good deal on them despite being a point and click veteran. Whether or not that was the difficulty, or just because it was sheer heaven reliving these two’s capers, remains to be seen. Sam and Max Save the World Remastered gameplay does present quite a lot of illogical solutions, but there’s a tremendous amount of hints in the game.
This Is Great (Hint, Hint)
In hindsight, many solutions are practically given away, pending you listen to the conversations. Sam and Max Save the World Remastered was a bit of a rarity in that the subtitles were left off as I could listen to these two all day. Because of that, I was paying more attention than usual, and that’s when it was evident when they insinuate what you need to do next.
That doesn’t mean it’s a complete walk in the park. On more occasions than I’d care to admit, there were dialogue paths that have to be followed in the correct order to get past a section. While these won’t result in any loss of life or game overs, getting stuck in a loop got mildly frustrating, but due to the love for the game, didn’t want to spoil it with a walkthrough.
It’s a bit tricky putting together this Sam and Max Save the World Remastered review for a few reasons. It’s a game from 2006, so most adventure fans will have played it, or at least in December 2020 when this remastered version came out. I also wanted to be fair without being too much of a fan (not a true fan – I still haven’t seen the animated series or played this when released).
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The presentation is superb, and I loved every minute of it. Even though it has a console feel due to the accessibility of the controls, Sam and Max Save the World Remastered can still be challenging in many places, and its longevity can be taken with a pinch of salt, based on your problem-solving skills. In short, this is essential for Sam and Max fans.
- The best point and click duo!
- Six wacky adventures.
- Fantastic visuals, voice talent and score.
- User friendly controls.
- Heaps of dialogue variations.
- Sam and Max!
- Each episode is fairly short.
- Other than the gorgeous remaster, the same game as before (apparently). Not a con?
- A few illogical solutions as expected.