The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

LucasArts

 

The Preamble: I first played this back when I was a wee nipper on the Amiga and I thought it was the best thing since, well, ever. The problem was this was the days before the internet so when I got stuck I got well and truly stuck; no nice walkthroughs handy back then. You'd go to school and ask around to see if anyone else had got further than you; that or just resort to the old try everything with everything technique. As a result I never actually finished the game first time around and I'm loathe to review games before I'm done so here I am what feels like a million years later. Read on to see if it was worth the wait...

 

 

Ah classic Monkey Island... How I loved you...

 

The Plot: You play the bumbling wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood who arrives on Mêlée Island to seek his fortune. He seeks out the island's pirate leaders, who set him three trials that must be completed to become a pirate, mastering the sword, the art of thievery and the art of treasure huntery... While competing his trials he meets and falls for the Govenor Elaine Marley who is then kidnapped by the evil Ghost Pirate LeChuck. Now he must journey to the infamous Monkey island to save his beloved and put an end to the LeChuck threat.

 

 

The Review: This is basically the same game I played back in the day but with some spiffing new graphics and sound including Dominic Armato reprising his role as everyone's favourite wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood. The new graphics looks great, hand drawn, packed with detail and quite remeniscent of the Tales of Monkey Island games made by Telltale Games; you know the ones who struck gold with the marvellous Walking Dead series. There is also the added bonus that you can switch back to the old style graphics  on the fly at the click of a button toi scratch that nostaligic itch or just compare the old and the new. The voice acting is excellent with Guybrush in particular perfectly captured, I couldn't imagine anyone doing a better job that Dominic Armato.

Oh... Pretty!

 

So it looks good and sounds good but how does the gameplay and story hold up after al these years? Well to be honest it is just as good as it always was as I mentioned above the special edition keeps all of the glorious gags and randomness of the original. Insult sword fighting, vegetarian cannibals and everyone's favourite rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle are all still in attendance. There are a couple of issues, some of the puzzles can be a little obscure and there is a bit of going from one place to another when you reach Monkey Island that is assuming that you can find the paces you're looking for; the map when you reached monkey Island can be a little difficult to follow if you don't know exactly where you're looking; I'm looking at you Fort, well I'm trying to where have you gone again?!?

Yep you could clearly see the fort on the map if the pointer wasn't there... Possible Fact

 

The fact is that all of these gripes are soon fogotten thanks to the fantastic writing; there are few games out there that are as laugh out loud funny and quotable as Monkey Island (Ed: I'm selling these fine leather jackets). Take away the fact that Monkey Island was a game changer in the industry, look at it as just a game and it is still better than 90% of adventure games that have come since.

 

The Score:  9/10 - Beautiful, fun and down right hilarious it is easy to see why The Secret of Monkey Island is one of the most beloved adventure games of all time. Some of the gameplay may be a little old fashioned but the characters, humour and situations are timeless and with the new lick of paint the game doesn't show it's age. If you've never played it before buy it now; if you haven't played it for a while this is the perfect package to get back in the saddle and give Guybrush another run out.