Yayınlanma: 3 Mayıs
A Review From An Extremely Picky Long Time FanOpen Thoughts
The Secret Of Monkey Island holds a dear place in mine and many gamers hearts. My first play through of the game happened in 1998, when I picked up a copy of the "Monkey Island Madness" CD as part of a lucasarts anthology at a local cd and movie shop. I spent countless hours playing and enjoying the unique story and challenging puzzles. I have to admit I fall into the "hardcore fan" category for this series and take it quite seriously. As such it took me a very long time to come around and actually finish playing this special edition.
My first play through had me cursing the controls, hating the new shiny graphics (I know, I know you can switch to the old style), and being unsure of many of the voiceover choices. Dominic Armato returns to voice Guybrush as he has done for every Monkey Island since Curse, which is great because he fits the character amazingly. That is about where my praise stops for the voice actors however. Many of the characters made me cringe because of their bad interpretations of the dialogue. One of the things about 'SOMI' that made it so great was the amazing humour and fantastic character writing. Much of that charm and emotion did not translate well to voice actors (again, I praise Dominic for doing an amazing job despite the other actors). I found myself playing without voices for any cutscenes heavy on the dialogue.
Next I must address the art. Which perhaps I have the most to gripe about (until we reach controls). The original SOMI is a GORGEOUS game, and the included "classic" gameplay showcases just how well the game has held up despite limiting tech when it was created. The carefully utilized colors and pixelated characters retain a charm that is hard to find in most modern games. The characters look terrible in the new art style, though none took as harsh of a beating as guybrush himself. Guybrush was given the neck of an irritated girrafe and the hair of a bad anime character that literally defies gravity. Much of the cutscene conversation interactions are more cartoony looking, and lack a gritty reach for realism that it felt like the original game tried to achieve. The characters lost much of their appeal and had it replaced with cartoon imitations in this new art style. Now before you accuse me of rampant fanboyism, I DO think that the special editon artwork has some charm despite it's faults.
So what's positive about the new art? Many of the backgrounds are fantastic! Melee Island in particular benefitted greatly from this update and if not for the ♥♥♥♥♥♥ character design, I would have found the ambience damn near flawless. I was excited to go places I knew very well and see how they now looked. If there is one thing I LOVED about this special edition it was most certainly those gorgeous painted enviroments. Kudos to the art team for that.
All of this was nitpicking however, and the true reason that despite my love for the series I had to not reccomend this game is that it's controls are simply not well suited for many of the puzzles. There is one puzzle in particular the puzzle in which you must continuously trade out mugs of grog to reach the jail cell
that was literally impossible to do quick enough in the new control scheme. It felt like they wanted to simplify the system to leave the original action menu hidden, but it just ended up being confusing and hard to use, severely detracting from the experience. I was often switching back to the classic gameplay just to finish things quickly and easily without fumbling through the controls.
Am I glad this was released? Hell yes, this series deserves more fans, and more people getting to enjoy it. And I acknowledge that my review will likely not be the typical experience as the special edition of this game is highly recieved by many many critics. If nothing else, I am happy to have a fully updated version of the classic game packaged with this so I do not have to bother with scumm or dosbox whenever I am feeling nostalgic. I promise my review (coming soon) of Lechuck's Revenge SE, is much more positive than this one (because its a much better update than this was).