PC Review: Strong Bad Episode 5: 8-Bit Is Enough

Does anybody know how to kill a dragon?

Trogdor must be stopped! The beefy-armed dragon of legend has broken free from his arcade cabinet and is burninating the land. With classic 8-bit games leaking into the real world and Strong Badia a fiery mess, only Strong Bad can take back the night and conquer this scorching menace once and for all.
Last month’s episode of Strong Bad was a nice break from the main story of the series with the cast parodying many spy/action films poorly. The finale takes place instantly after the end where everyone argued with Strong Bad over cutting out parts of the film and so he leapt into the air. The episode begins with the leap and he accidently falls on the Trogdor machine, breaking it more than it ever was throughout the season….It grows legs and arms and runs out of the house.

Strong Bad seems content to let the dragon-machine run wild, until Strong Sad points out that reality and the gaming world will collide, causing him to hear 8-bit music forever which sounds good until Strong Sad imitates what that would be like. He then goes outside to see his precious Strong Badia in fiery ruins, leaving him little choice but to KILL TROGDOR!

The game then takes an odd turn as the two worlds do collide, so videogame characters from the arcade games from the season show up to help and other cast members become other characters, for example the Poopsmith thinks he’s Mr Fixit which you can use to fix ladders and bridges. Each has their own use for the right moment, the puzzles are fairly straightforward…although more tricky than usual, I had a devil of a time figuring out how to smash the crates throughout the game….then I learnt to place snakes on it and unleash Snake Boxer on them.

This episode is a little weird as you’ll see many pixelated levels, including one of Peasant’s Quest which looks ugly as hell, but on purpose. Leading upto the final fight, the game takes a different view in the form of an FPS like Doom and then…well, its best you see that for yourself as it’s pretty awesome. When you enter the mainframe you’ll see access to different games and each are well done. One is a platformer with a Japanese version of Strong Bad and you have to get him killed to get on the stage as you remain in the extra lives box at the bottom of the screen.
The script for 8-Bit Is Enough is pure comic gold. Everything from Trogdor to the arcade parodies should have you in stitches. The trailer for the game was once again misleading and I thought it wouldn’t be a good finale to the series…how wrong I was. It’s the perfect ending to a near-perfect episodic first season. I must point out that Videlectrix who the game has arcade references to, has made their own Strong Bad game because they were unhappy with Telltale’s efforts. The whole thing is incredibly immature and having played their game, it’s clear that Telltale’s is far better.

8-Bit Is Enough is clearly the best episode in the entire season, which was hard to call a month ago since each episode has surpassed the previous one; the quality of each has been outstanding. Sure, the game doesn’t have much in terms of replay value and after 1 or 2 playthroughs you probably won’t play it again, but it’s still a series that almost everyone should try.

The final episode lasts a few hours, depending on how quickly you solve each puzzle. A second playthrough will be even shorter as you know exactly what to do, Telltale also release a walkthrough with each episode on their website for those who get stuck. I had completed the game before it was officially released, so I didn’t have the joys of a walkthrough…and I’m glad I didn’t as it would have spoiled a few things for me.
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The game looks the same as in past episodes except for the obviously pixelated areas and a few other surprises. Animation is fluid as always and voice-acting is excellent with hilarious dialogue once again. Humour is important in games like this and it doesn’t disappoint, perhaps the funniest of the season but definitely the best game regardless.

The Verdict

8-Bit Is Enough is the perfect finale to the first season of Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People. It’s very memorable and incredibly funny, making it one of my personal favourite PC games of 2008.