Monkey Island 2: Special Edition

“Ooh it has voices!”

For a lover of the retro this is always a good initial reaction to a re-release of a classic.

Remakes should make you smile, bring feelings of nostalgia for gaming years gone by and yet still have the ability surprise you! It is quite easy, when riding on the coat tails of a game that you know is going to be popular, to take the easy way out and just make it available (I’m looking at you Sega!) but thankfully the team at LucasArts, with all their classic style, have opted to go full hog (or parrot as the case may be) and completely revamp the second instalment of their Monkey Island series: LeChuck’s Revenge!

It was a given that releasing the sequel to Monkey Island on Xbox Live Arcade and various other platforms would be an immense hit with fans after the popularity of the first game, and with such fantastic playability, even 20 years after its original creation, it will undoubtedly be lapped up by old and new players alike.

But for those of you who don’t remember PCs before Windows XP, or think that an Amiga is a type of Pokemon, here is the score: You take the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a handsome wanna-be pirate who in the previous game single-handedly (but with a lot of comical luck and perseverance) managed to destroy ghost pirate LeChuck and win the affection of Governor Elaine Marley; what a guy!

Having successfully defeated the notorious pirate scum, Guybrush has now set his sights on finding the legendary treasure of Big Whoop! Along the adventure you can guarantee on meeting a host of hilarious characters, infuriating puzzles and some of the best scripting a game can offer!

The real beauty on this version, however, is the fantastic way in which Lucas Arts have balanced the original version of the title with completely new ways of controlling, playing and also listening to the game! In the previous Monkey Island re-release I was particularly fond of the way in which players could switch between the original version of the game and the modernised edition. This time around, they have pushed it one step further by offering a series of variables that can be fine tuned to create an original experience custom made at your fingertips.

Features such as brand new voice overs (which seamlessly fit in to the original style of the game thanks to the voice talents from the cast of The Curse of Monkey Island), point and click vs analogue control, hint systems and object highlights are all available, along with a choice of original or enhanced graphics. Put it in a giant voodoo boiling pot and it really shows everyone the potential of retro revivals; if only all developers put in as much time and effort in their gaming experiences!

Those who are used to the point and click affair may find the shortcut menu buttons a little confusing at first, (I did find myself scratching my head for the first 5 minutes wondering how I could interact with the environment!) but after half an hour’s play it will feel more natural than swigging grog!







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