Posted: August 10, 2014
A sprawling, humorous adventure in the old style, beset by enough problems that it's better to save yourself from the frustration and forget about it. Lots of pretty decent voice acting, even if it's all hammy and silly, but few of the belly laughs of the Monkey Island games they tried to emulate, only with too much heavy sarcasm and not enough absurdity. The graphics are bright and shiny, the characters even occasionally have a bit of real-life spark to them, and there are a hell of a lot of puzzles to solve (plus a few fetch quests). When the occasional hilarious moments clicked, it almost made it all worth it.
My biggest problem with it was the utterly plodding pace everyone shuffled at, and with such a huge world, you could catch a nap walking between areas. With zero in-game tutorial, there was no way to know that a double-click made you run, until a puzzle near the end through was unsolvable if you didn't, so I had to go online and find out that the game screwed me. Combine that with terrible pathing, where you take the longest route and walk in circles to get to anything, and it was a dull, frustrating game. The horrible camera contributes significantly; they tried to make it as cinematic as possible with fixed cameras that turn with you, but half the time that just means you have to click every two seconds to keep walking. Some of the swooping effects are nice, but interfere with gameplay whenever you want to click on something while you're walking. The cinematic experience was kind of broken anyway, when everyone looks off into space while talking to each other and uses the exact same hand gesture.
Compared to that constant irritation, the occasional insane puzzle (or insane chapter, as Amanda's seemed to be), and the expected heaping bugs that every adventure game has weren't as bad. They just meant I ended up leaning on a walkthrough at times to figure out what one thing I'd missed somewhere, and occasionally rage quitting for a few days when it crashed again.
I think I truly came to hate it when I found a good fix, and Jack said, "No, that would be the obvious solution. I feel like some challenge. Let's try it another way...."
Ultimately, I grimly finished it just because I'd already invested so much time, but it became an endurance that I wouldn't wish on anyone. A little polish would have taken the game into the timeless classic realm, but instead it ended up average and forgettable.