|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Telltale Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Telltale Games / Gametap||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 10, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
What's New, Beelzebub? plays like a double episode. It's longer than other episodes in the season, and every time it seems like the game is about to conclude, some new development extends the gameplay just a tad longer. Telltale is sticking with what works in terms of graphics, controls, and audio. It seems like minor improvements to the game's visuals have been made as the season goes on, but the game looks and plays the same as it has for every episode this season. However, a few visual effects in the finale episode stand out nicely, and the excellent voice acting remains as solid as ever. I guess there's no need to mess with a good thing once you've nailed the quality as consistently as the Sam and Max series has.
It's becoming increasingly important for players to pick up and play through earlier episodes in order to fully enjoy the most recent one. You'll miss out on half the jokes, and parts of the great plot reveals won't make much sense if you haven't played through the rest of the second season at the very least. At this point you should be able to pick up both seasons in their entirety for a reasonable price.
Initially, it was hard not to feel some level of concern about the potential for disappointment with What's New, Beelzebub?. Following on the heels of what is easily the best and funniest episode in the season is a tough order, but once things get underway, What's New Beelzebub? lives up to and eventually exceeds expectation - particularly by the end of the episode when the final showdown may very well reduce you to fits of tearful laughter. It's certainly a satisfying conclusion.
On the whole, this season has progressed by leaps and bounds beyond the first. What's New, Beelzebub? is a great ending to an amazing season, and it ties a lot of things from both seasons up nicely. An official announcement on a third season hasn't been made, but there's a strong likelihood we'll see more Sam & Max before the end of the year. It would be foolish not to continue the momentum the series has gained. Here's hoping the freelance police will be back for more comedic atrocities in the near future.
CCC Staff Contributor