This double review format allows me to do something that has never been done before in the history of reviews, with the exception of the times I did it in my other reviews, and possibly times that other writers have done the same thing: I can present a paragraph of things-that-are-the-same-in-both-games so that I don’t have to repeat myself! Let’s start with that paragraph.
I really should’ve done a quintuple review, because the stuff I’m about to mention is stuff I already mentioned three other times. These games, again, have nifty sidequesty things to do, such as videogames to play and items to collect. One note, though. Neither episode 4 nor episode 5 has Teen Girl Squad in it. Teen Girl Squad is the choose-your-own-adventure comic drawing that you could mess around with in the first three games. If it is in episodes 4 and 5, it must be well hidden because I didn’t see it anywhere. Maybe it concluded or something in episode 3, but I wouldn’t know because it’s a pretty boring feature and I almost completely ignored it every time I saw it. The interdimensional photo booth is still there, though, and you can collect even more costumes to dress Strong Bad up in. The humor in these two games is also exactly the same thing you’ve seen three other times. There, I think that about covers the “you’ll-see-the-same-stuff-you’ve-already-seen” paragraph.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have labeled that last paragraph as THE “you’ll-see-the-same-stuff-you’ve-already-seen” paragraph, because it’s more than likely the case that most paragraphs in this review will be that paragraph. In other words, a.k.a. i.e., there’s a whole lot of “more of the same” in episodes 4 and 5.
Let’s start with episode 4, not because it’s chronologically first, but because it is decidedly the worse game of the two I’m reviewing. This episode begins with Strong Bad showing his companions a movie he has just completed, and all of the gameplay actually takes place within the movie. You must solve the same sorts of puzzles you’ve solved in the last three games in order to move the plot of the movie along. This is pretty cool, because, while you visit the same locations you’ve already visited in three other games, the locations are now dressed up with fancy movie scenery. That’s actually pretty much the only difference between this game and the last. It’s still fun, and the detective drama is a step up from the previous episode, but if you’re looking for something really new and exciting, you’ll need to wait for Episode 5.
Strong Bad Episode 4 – Danangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective (PC):
Replay Value: 4
Overall: 6.3 – Above Average
Episode 5! Episode 5 is far and away the best episode in the entire game. In this episode, the fearsome dragon Trogdor finally makes an appearance! The plot of this episode is that Trodgor basically breaks out of your videogame and goes on a rampage, and you must defeat him to save Homestar, who is trapped in a pop-up advertisement and will annoy you until he is freed. You are able to visit most of the same locations from the previous games, but you are also given completely new areas to explore, which are all various videogames that you magically enter. The structure of the puzzles is pretty much identical to previous games, but the new scenery and comical new scenarios that play out make everything about this episode seem fresh and exciting. It is also awesome for long-time gamers, because there is a lot of fun poked at videogame clichés and such. Of course, it’s sort of cliché by now to make fun of videogame clichés, but it’s still entertaining.
The ending of this episode is particularly amazing, due to a certain graphical enhancement, but I won’t spoil anything more than that. You’ll just have to play this episode to find out what I’m talking about.
And play episode 5 you most definitely should! In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you only play one episode of this five-episode game, make it episode 5. In order of coolness, I’d probably rank the episodes like this: 5, 1, 3, 2, 4. If you really like Strong Bad and co., I can recommend buying the complete set. However, if you are more of a casual fan and are just mildly interested in adventure games, I will only recommend episode 5. Warning: I’m totally serious when I say episode 5 is significantly awesomer than the rest of the episodes. Do not blame me if you buy episode 5 and then buy the remaining episodes thinking that you’ll get more of the same level of awesomeness. There; you’ve been warned. Now get out there and play episode 5 immediately!
Strong Bad Episode 5 – 8-Bit is Enough (PC):
Replay Value: 6
Overall: 7 – Good