Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

16 09 2009

I didn’t play a ton of games when I was younger and as such missed anything and everything in the adventure genre. Over the last year I’ve been playing some older games and was delighted to see Secret of Monkey Island receive a makeover.

My main gripe about point-and-click adventure games are the ridiculous item based puzzles one tends to fine. I remember looking at a guide for the Dreamfall demo and about fell out of my chair after reading how I was supposed to solve a puzzle… in the demo! Thankfully, excluding one or two puzzles all of the item based puzzles are very intuitive . The inclusion of an extremely detailed hint/guide system removed all frustration making my experience smooth and enjoyable. One of my favorite moments came from an early cinematic poking run at ridiculous puzzles in this style of game.

The updated audio/video presentation is a knockout and goes to show how big an impact it can have on a game. Voice work has been added and is spot on. However, dialogue pacing was often slow and awkward but this is an issue associated with the fact that LucasArts built the Special Edition directly on top of the original code. In fact, my only real problems with the game come from the certain elements that were not updated so that both games could be switched between at anytime (slow camera, having to choose how to interact, etc.) . The dialogue is well written; being both clever and funny with a cast of great characters. I hope some of the smaller bit roles receive a bit more attention in Tales of Monkey Island; particularly the old shop vendor.

score: 95% | metacritic: 85

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