ravenhoe's Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal (PC) review

It retains the charm and wit of the series but the gameplay and v

Like many others, I am a huge fan of old school Lucasarts (and some Sierra) adventures, the tales of Guybrush Threepwood have been part of my gaming life a long time and the third part in the series (Curse of Monkey Island) is probably my favourite adventure of all time.

Hence, I was delighted to hear that there would be a continuation of the series made by none other than former Lucasarts employees and even featuring some of the original voice cast (most importantly Guybrush himself).

I did not get around to start playing through the series until now and while I am not disappointed at all an am glad to be back in the high seas, it is definitely to the pinnacle of the series and far from an improvement.

My biggest gripe with the new rendition of the Monkey Island adventures is probably the graphics. I loved the vintage visuals of the first two games and while I understand that a modern company could not go back to making games in that look any more (why not exactly ?), I think that handpainted and lovingly designed backgrounds and visuals is still the best way to go. However, a cardinal sin (to me) is making old school adventure games in 3D, including 3D models and 3D navigation. Tales of Monkey Island is just that and as much as I like Grim Fandango as I came, I though that one looked ugly took and Tales on Monkey Island is no exception. The animations of the characters is clunky and looks weird. The game does resemble the art style of Monkey Island and that is the silver lining behind the cloud. I hurts me to see that the visual talent is definitely hidden in there somewhere. When Guybrush inspects the locket he receives in the game, the pictures resemble the art style that I enjoyed so much in the third game and I wish they would have stuck with that.

Anyway, enough of the looks, the game is a solid adventure game and quite short (it is an episodic game so that is fine). The puzzles are fun for the most part. The game has some maze segments, which I hate in adventure gaming but I have seen worse and eventually you will make your way through.

The voice acting is great for the most important with only a few exceptions, especially Guybrush is back to form. The writing of the dialogue is very funny and almost on par with the original games and that is probably the reason why I enjoyed this game the most and while not as good as the others, I accept that it is a legitimate entry in the series. Add the iconic music by Michael Land and you have yourself a goosebumpin' nostalgia trip.

As game, both visually and in gameplay, this is average at best, but for someone who desperately wants to go back to being a mighty pirate, this is a great piece of entertainment.

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