More Monkey Business on XBLA?
©2010 Gav Ross:
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge sees the enigmatic Guybrush Threepwood return to a world full of dastardly deeds, hidden treasures and involving puzzles. In the beginning of this new tale, Guy finds himself in a bit of a bother as he dangles between life and death and has to journey back in his mind to tell the story of how it all started to go downhill.
Entering the lovely haven known as ‘Scabb Island’ – a place rife with pirate extortionists and other miscreants – it’s time for Guybrush to start doing what he does best: interacting with characters and the environment.
Purists would still say that the one and only way to play a point-and-click adventure such as this is with a mouse and keyboard, but the control design for consoles still works just as good here as it did in the first game.
Guybrush himself is moved around with the left analogue stick and a small on-screen cursor can be manipulated with the right stick; and when there’s something of value to highlight the trigger buttons can be used to choose a different interaction (many of the odd choices, such as attempting to ‘push’ a swashbuckler who’s looking none-too-friendly, still result in comedy gold).
If the player is having a little trouble progressing and needs a nudge in the right direction, the a hint button can be held down for a moment to display all of the screen’s current interactive areas.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of these Monkey Island Special Editions is the ease of which the player can switch from updated high def mode back to classic mode; a push of the ‘Select’ button is all it takes to not only change the visuals back to their sprite-tastic mid-90′s glory, but the music changes back to MIDI too!
Although it’s fun to check out what the game used to look like, the slickness of the new upgrade and the voice acting means it’s hard to stray from the re-release graphics and music for too long. As an added bonus, an in-game audio commentary from the game’s designers can be listened through by clicking the left bumper button at any time.
Monkey Island 2 is one of those games that doesn’t suffer if you’ve played through it all before and can remember the majority of puzzles; it’s still a riot revisiting old characters again and seeing what the HD-facelift has done for them.
There will no doubt be a few who are unfamiliar with the franchise wondering what all the fuss is about during the first half hour or so of gameplay, but it’s almost guarantees to draw in even the most pessimistic of gamers after the pay-off of solving a pesky puzzle dawns on them.
If the player has visited the LucasArts hit before and is just playing through for fond memories, then it will probably all be done and dusted within 3-4 hours. Those setting out on the adventure for the first time will find it stretches out to 4 or 5 solid hours.
The only slight downside is that there isn’t much reason to play through again once you’re done with Monkey Island 2; it’s the sort of game you might go back and look at every 5-10 years for a laugh but that’s about it.
It will be interesting to see whether LucasArts decides to go ahead with a re-release of the third Monkey Island game (The Curse Of Monkey Island – released in 1997 but not designed by creator Ron Gilbert), or whether they’ll leave us with just these two installments.
Time will tell, but XBLA gamers should be thankful that Monkey Island is available for a whole new generation to enjoy.
©2010 Gav Ross:
Filed under: Console gaming, PC Reviews, Steal It For The 360, Xbox 360 Tagged: | "Steal it For 360", Guybrush, Guybrush Threepwood, LeCheck, Lucas Arts, LucasArts, monkey island 2 reviews, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition review, Monkey Island review, Monkey Islansd 2, OXCGN Steal it, Ron Gilbert, Scabb Island, Secrect Of Monkey Island, Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Steal It For The 360, The Curse Of Monket Island, XBLA