A fun and enjoyable return of a classic series. Yargh!
As a fan of the long running series, I was a bit worried when I first saw this game when they announced it. The graphics seemed not nearly as good as past games such as The Curse of Monkey Island. As soon as I played the game for the first time though all my worries were extinguished instantly. The game in motion looks just as you'd want it too and gives that Monkey Island feel to it.
The game starts off with the same basic Monkey Island story line. Elaine, your beloved wife has been captured by LeChuck, the cursed, undead, zombie, ghost, pirate. After a few simple puzzles and quirky chats to Elaine and LeChuck, Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate™ tries killing LeChuck with an enchanted sword, but as always, he screws up. The result is he gets his own hand cursed with "The Pox of LeChuck" and turns LeChuck back into a human. Oh, and also blows the whole ship up. Nice one.
After washing up on a beach with nay Elaine or LeChuck in sight, Guybrush sets out on the main quest of this chapter which is to escape the island and start searching for your wife. As you'd expect from a Monkey Island game, there are plenty of funny moments, bumbling screw ups by Guybrush that actually ends up working out for him and a nice list of characters to bump into.
One thing I love about this game is the audio. Every part of it is fantastic with authentic music and voice work. Thankfully, Guybrush is yet again voiced by Dominic Armato who played him in both Curse, and Escape. Other voice actors are decent too giving a unique feel to each character, which is important considering there are very limited character models. I was disappointed by the fact that some of the dialogue options were pointless. For an example in one conversation I choose "Deep Gut? Elaine's mother is here?" while all that he actually said was "Deep Gut?". Why give me an option of three or four dialogue choices to say if he is going to say the same thing for all of them?
Apart from those few times, the dialogue is funny, entertaining and most of the time he does actually say the full sentence you picked.
Control's are fairly basic with both mouse or keyboard to use. For these type of games I usually pick mouse but rather than point and click like most games of this genres(they don't call it point and click adventure genre for nothing), it's a click and drag style which really doesn't work too well. Keyboard is fine though so I stuck to that but you still need the mouse for other actions like clicking on objects and selecting items out of you inventory so I couldn't help but wish that the mouse had a better control scheme.
Overall the game gives you about 3-4 hours of gameplay, depending on if you get stuck easily or not and is entertaining through-out. It also ends on a cliffhanger, which is perfectly acceptable seeing how soon as the next chapter will be out. You won't be left with a 2 year wait and thinking what type of crap you just witnessed. I'm already excited for the next chapter to be released.
While it drops the odd reference("Murry?") to the old games here and there, it makes sure that you need no knowledge of past games or characters to understand what's going on. Tales of Monkey is one mighty pirate, I mean, game and a strong return of the series.