Do you remember where you were when it happened? I know I do. I was sitting at my desk, when I heard the chime alerting that I had received an email. The chime would become synonymous with the pain my wallet feels when I pay the bills. Where were you when the King of Town announced the tax on email?
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People: Episode 2: Strongbadia the Free picks up where Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner leaves off. A day has passed since Homestar Runner won the Tri-Annual Free City USA Race to the End of the Race! (do do dooo!). Strong Bad checks his email (as per usual), when all of a sudden the feds (The King of Town, and the Poopsmith) rush the room. Looks like Strong Bad didn’t hear about the email tax! After being placed under house arrest, and of course using his cunning and wit to break free from house arrest, Strong Bad decides he’s had enough and decides that that nation of Strongbadia will succeed from Free City USA and the oppressive rule that the King of Town brings to it. Unfortunately he speaks too loudly and the other citizens decide they want in on the land ruling, and thus Free City USA becomes split into territories.
One of my main concerns from the first episode of SBCG4AP was that exploring the same areas would get stale, but Strongbadia the Free’s narrative helps change things up by making peoples places of living into countries. Also there are new places to visit such as Pom Poms dance club country (Pompomerania), and new areas of places you know (Bub’s Black Market). Overall the episode put those fears to rest.
The story seems more grandiose as well. Where the first episode’s plot line centered around a race, episode 2 explores political intrigue, territorial dispute, and an overhaul of the government. The set piece of this episode is even a Risk-esque strategy game! It feels like something that could be the plot line of a Homestar Runner feature film. The teasing of the next episode has me excited to see what that has planned there as well. I have a feeling fans of a certain popular genre on the consoles will be pleased.
As a longtime fan of Homestar Runner I was glad to see more inside references and jokes. I think if you play the first episode, the transition into this one will help you understand certain things but as a standalone it would work all the same. The game could serve as fan service for those who know the franchise, but it also could provide a good place to start for new fans. It’s sure less intimidating than the hundreds of toons on Homestarrunner.com. It’s a welcome change of pace for players on the Wii, and a great experience for PC gamers that are growing tired of countless FPS’s. As Homsar would say “I’m a crudely drawn Cupcake”!
SBCG4AP: Episode 2: Strongbadia the Free can be bought through WiiWare or as a download on PC (or you could try the demo) right now! What are you waiting for? Your emails are being taxed as we speak! Time to take down the King of Town!