Sam & Max Save the World Xbox Review

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Note that the score reflects the conversion of the game. For a review of the actual gameplays, check out the PC review.

I'll admit it: I was a rabid supporter of the computers when the great computers VS consoles war of the early nineties was raging. When Amiga Format proclaimed that the Amiga version of Jurassic Park would have textured 3D sequences, as opposed to the "console toys", I was right there with them, jeering more against the "console <em>toys</em>" than for the computers. This despite the fact that I had no intention of ever playing Jurassic Park, let alone watch the movie.

Times have changed, and these days I rarely touch PC games. I mean really, what was I thinking back then? Why would I not want to lounge down and play 360 and Wii games on a 42" HD TV? (Granted, those things didn't exist in 1992, but you get what I'm saying.)

Thus I was glad to see a 360 version of the first season of Sam & Max (here known as Save the World). In retrospect, I think I might have been a bit too harsh on the PC version. Seen as a whole, the season really worked quite well with its humor and puzzles, and I would now consider it one of the better adventure games over the past fifteen years. And with Tales of Monkey Island coming up in just a few weeks, a replay of Telltale's first blast from the past just seems appropriate.

The 360 version is, for the most part, pretty good. The graphics look really nice in HD, and the control system, which is identical to the PC version, works surprisingly well with the Xbox controller. (The pointer is responsive, which doesn't always seem to be the case with "mouse-like" interfaces.) Enhancements, like allowing Sam to run, has made its way over. There is also a "leaderboard" feature, where you can see how well you are performing against friends and other players.

This is all well and good, and the game in terms of dialogue and gameplay is every bit as good as the original version,yet there are some strange bugs to be found. The most jarring one pertains to some strangely stuttery graphics. This is evident already in the background menu scene, which jerks and stutters around in a highly odd manner. Not the best first impression to give. The problem persists throughout the game, though possibly more during the first episode than the rest.

The sample rate of the voices seem a bit low for a 360 game, though I suppose this might have been a way to keep the download smaller. This is not a big deal, however at random points, when you click a dialogue line, the voice sample is not played. Not a showstopper, but it's certainly annoying.

When all is said and done, though, I would still recommend the 360 version over the PC version of the game. Sure, there are bugs to deal with, but the HD graphics just gives the game an extra dimension on a larger TV set, while the gameplay is as great as ever. And at 1,600 Microsoft points, it really is a steal.

Now hopefully the bugs won't be as plentiful in season two, Beyond Time and Space.

A review by Remi Olsen, who is still waiting for the Amiga to make a comeback.

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Pros: Looks great in HD. Controls work well. Nice achievement integration. Same great game.
Cons: Stuttery graphics. Some audio issues.

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