A Great Relaunch of the Franchise
The original Secret of Monkey Island series is a worthy set of games to make a follow up to. Ever since the original release of the series in 1990, people have fallen in love with Guybrush Threepwood and his nemesis LeChuck. The previous Monkey Island games have gotten so much praise that Telltale Games decided a new follow up series was necessary. Telltale’s attempt to renew the series was an ambitious project that turned out to be pretty much what one would expect.
There was a lot of pressure on Telltale to deliver on the same level of humor that the previous series was known for. Having too many corny jokes or overly goofy situations could have easily made the game a lot less appealing, but Telltale struck a fair balance with the humor. Sure there are a few corny lines of dialogue here and there but it really wouldn’t feel right without those lines either. Overall the humor may feel a little underwhelming compared to the original series. That’s not to say the humor is bad, it’s just extremely difficult to live up to the fond—maybe somewhat inaccurate--recollections of exactly how funny the series was.
On the technical side of things, the game looks wonderful. The art style Telltale decided to go with really suits the series. Imagining a more “realistic” version of the Monkey Island world just isn’t appealing. Basically I think the look of the game is spot on and is exactly what the series should look like. The controls are a little troublesome at times however. The game is designed to be played by holding the left mouse button down and dragging slightly in a direction to walk. This works OK because the player isn’t constantly clicking just to move around; however it is a hassle to navigate due to the sensitivity of the system combined with the way the camera angles are set up. Generally navigating isn’t too tough but it has its flawed moments.
As far as the story goes, it is as great as one would expect. It begins with Guybrush attempting to rescue his wife from the clutches of evil pirate extraordinaire LeChuck. There is a bit of unexplained back story going on in which Guybrush has seemingly just returned from a lengthy adventure and now has the means of destroying LeChuck. This may be explained later in the series, but was left ambiguous for now. Well in the story that the player does get to experience, you spend the majority of the time on an island called Flotsam Island. Guybrush is unable to leave the island until he can solve the islands mystery pertaining to the winds. The story is really well put together which is expected due to the majority of Telltale employees are former Monkey Island creators. There are lots of shenanigans to be had on Flotsam Island. Said shenanigans could last the player a good 7-8 hours depending on how often one is stalled by seemingly unsolvable puzzles.
This is really a great start for Telltale’s promising new series. The Tales of Monkey Island games are sure to please old fans of the Secret of Monkey Island games, and will leave a great impression on anyone who has never played those previous games.
Thanks for reading and please leave comments if you see anything I could improve in my writing! : )