The Three Headed Monkey is Reborn.
by Shadow Wave:
©2009 Ben Cadwallader
Prepare to swashbuckle, manipulate and insult your way through Guybrush Threepwood’s very first pirate adventure, brought back to life as a high definition remake! This game is a treasure worth the wait.
Playing as Guybrush Threepwood, you must explore Melee Island to take your first steps toward becoming a pirate. It’s a task that’s not so easy to accomplish, thanks to the Evil Ghost Pirate LeChuck who now controls the seas of the Caribbean, putting fear in the hearts of most pirates.
But since Guybrush is quite the ignorant novice, he plunges into the depths of evil to defeat LeChuck and save the Caribbean, and maybe meet the love of his life along the way.
Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition is a very unique remake. Actually its one of the first of its kind. This game is built right on top of the original 20 year old game.
What this means is that with the touch of a button you can switch between the brand new remake, or play the retro version if you enjoy the pixels! So for long time fans, or people new to the ‘point and click’ adventure genre, Secret of Monkey Island: SE has you covered.
You can switch between the brand new remake, or play the retro version.
Voice acting has been added, hand drawn artwork has been added, and characters have been styled more to the likes of the third game of the series (and arguably the best) The Curse of Monkey Island.
This will please a lot of fans of the more recent titles. The one sad thing about the voice acting, though, is that this was not put into the retro version, which I think will turn a lot of people away from enjoying the 20 year old classic.
Old classic style verse revamped style – much better now
Voice acting really enhanced the humor found constantly throughout the game, having proper voices really helps you follow the emotion in characters voices, and I found I was laughing a lot more when I was playing the remake than when I was playing the original. But believe me, you will be laughing quite often as you journey through this game.
You will be laughing.
Secret of Monkey Island is a classic point and click game, so for console owners you might be a little dazzled by the fact you are controlling a mouse cursor, But don’t worry it works pretty well.
The other side of the point and click coin is the classic puzzle game play that you will experience: find X item, combine it with X item, use it on X character. The sense of achievement you get after completing one of the more complex puzzles is extremely satisfying.
Thankfully Lucas Arts have answered this, and have provided a quick and easy hint system, with its own humor to boot. Hold the X button down and a subtle hint will be provided to you, hold X down again and you will get a detailed obvious hint telling you exactly what to do.
And it really helps the pace of the game flow.
Sadly, I found this hint system very addictive. I found myself hitting that button even just to check to see if my idea was correct.
So be warned, if you use that button you will be drawn to use it again. This turns what was a 10-20 hour game, into more like a 5-10 hour game.
The hint system is very addictive.
The presentation of SOMI is simply breathtaking: the artwork fits in perfectly and just is amazing to look at. If you enjoyed Braid’s presentation there is a good chance you will really like this.
I found myself switching between the original version and remake in each area just to see how the artwork design has changed and revolutionized.
The only downside to the graphics is that the game does not run in full screen; there is a slight black border around the whole game, which must have something to do with it running on top of the original game.
The music and sound effects compliment the art style very well. It all sounds very crisp through your speakers, and though it is all quite simple it’s still a joy to listen to.
Backing up the voice acting is the optional subtitles which I would think most of the fans would be enabling before they started playing.
Generally these accompany the voices correctly, but on a few rare occasions I found the subtitles went out of sync with the actual voices. Sometimes the subtitle colours would also be very similar to the background colour which made them almost impossible to read.
Overall, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition I think is exactly what fans of the genre have been wanting for years on a console. And generally the whole experience is a joy to play through.
If you’re a younger gamer who may have missed out on the Point and Click gaming revolution, this is the game that arguably started the whole craze, and there is a reason why it did: because it is so damn good.
Snap it up now for the bargain price of just 800 MS points.
©2009 Ben Cadwallader
Filed under: 3rd Party Games, Console gaming, Game Impressions, New Xbox 360 Games, XBLA News-Reviews, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 3rd Party Games, Xbox 360 Game Reviews, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | "Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition Review", artwork, Braid, Guybrush Threepwood, LeChuck, Lucas Arts, marketplace, Monkey Island, Pirate, remake, retro, Secret of Monkey Island, Special Edition, The Curse of Monkey Island, Xbox 360