REVIEW : Return to Monkey Island (PC)

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REVIEW : Return to Monkey Island (PC)

Return to Monkey Island, the series creator Ron Gilbert’s surprising and thrilling reappearance, continues the storylines of the critically acclaimed adventure games The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, developed in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games.

It’s been a while since Guybrush Threepwood and the zombie pirate LeChuck squared off in a battle of wits. Guybrush is lost and unhappy since he has never learned the Secret of Monkey Island, and Elaine Marley, his true love, has turned her focus away from politics.

REVIEW : Return to Monkey Island (PC)

Melee Island has deteriorated, hip, youthful pirate leaders commanded by Captain Madison have ousted the old guard, and wealthy entrepreneur Stan has been detained for “marketing-related offences.”

Chat with familiar faces and old ones on islands that have scary new leadership. After that, set sail for unexplored lands and explore them while navigating difficult situations. All that stands between Guybrush and success are clever riddles, strange circumstances, and lethal ripostes.

Return to Point & Click Swashbuckling

Intrepid pirates will solve puzzles and explore the islands using a smart development of traditional adventure game controls that bring classic point-and-click action to the present. Context-sensitive interactions, responsive chat trees, and an easy-to-use inventory system make it simple to engage in piracy.

Set off on an Archipelago Adventure

Navigate Melee Island’s sometimes-friendly boundaries, a well-known place now governed by new authorities who have tightened the noose around old friends and new ones. Discover new areas to encounter both allies and enemies, including the aptly named Terror Island and the spooky outposts of Brrr Muda.

REVIEW : Return to Monkey Island (PC)

The acclaimed adventure series Monkey Island’s sequel is finally here, but was it worth the wait?

I believe the response to be yes. It’s a mild one, but it’s still constructive.

Which wasn’t a given because I didn’t like Guybrush’s new appearance. He looked more like a drinker than the figure I fell in love with all those years ago because of his blocky face, scarlet nose-tip (which is generally a sign of a phallic nose), and a stubble beard.

But as I got used to it and in-game, it became less of an issue for me; the humour, the characters, and the setting made up for that design choice.

Given some design and narrative choices, it is undoubtedly a more contentious game, but in my opinion, they have managed to make it work (mostly).

Even though I’ve already mentioned Guybrush’s design, I think the artstyle as a whole is rather good. I do believe that some characters have an odd appearance or clash somewhat with the style, but these instances are few and far between, and overall I truly liked it.

You have undoubtedly already realised that there is no verb interface in the gameplay. The days of clicking on “Talk,” “Open,” “Use,” and other buttons are long gone; today you can either right-click or left-click on objects, people, and other hotspots.

Even while you might miss some amusing commentary when experimenting with various, less obvious combinations, it is streamlined and, in my opinion, works in favour of a suitable tempo.

REVIEW : Return to Monkey Island (PC)

Most of the puzzles are, in my opinion, manageable in terms of difficulty, but if you get stuck, a clue book is provided. However, there was one instance in the very last puzzle where I was stuck for a longer period than I’d care to say because I failed to see an object that was necessary for resolving the puzzle.

You will recognise many of the characters and the world’s inhabitants, and they are all brought to life through superb voice acting and animation.

The planet and the many islands and locations you visit look great, albeit you do go to some recognisable locations from the series. I would have liked to visit a couple more places that are brand-new to me.

So, how does the narrative hold up, and can it successfully wrap up the series?

I suppose that at this point, players’ opinions might differ greatly.

REVIEW : Return to Monkey Island (PC)

I believe they did something that many gamers would not have anticipated, but which in my opinion beautifully linked things together.

Although it might not have been what everyone wanted or expected, I doubt that anything could have completely or even largely satisfied them.

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review-return-to-monkey-island-pcI recognise the polarising nature of what they did, but I couldn't help but smile at the conclusion and express gratitude for the opportunity to have one last trip with the characters in the universe of Guybrush Threepwood, LeChuck, Elaine Marley, Murray, the Voodoo Lady, Stan, Otis, and the others. I suppose the trip itself IS more significant than the destination.

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