The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

Welcome back to the Gamer Emporium.

Short Version

If you are a fan of adventure games, please do yourself a favor and purchase this remake on Steam right now or on the Xbox 360. Yes, now you can show your console friends what they have been missing out on. So go and buy this now, you will thank me later.

Long Version

Ok, if you need more convincing here is the long version of the review. The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition is a remake of the classic 1990 LucasArts (then under the Lucasfilm Games moniker) classic adventure game. The remake receives completely revamped graphics that provide a gorgeous image designed to be viewed at a resolution of 1920 by 1080. If fancy graphics are not your thing, you can instantly switch back to the original 1990 vga graphics. This particular feature allows you to seamlessly switch between the two graphics at any point, even during dialogue. In addition to the revamp graphics, the game features newly recorded dialogue by the same principle voice actors as the third Monkey Island Game, The Curse of Monkey Island.  The new vocal tracks enhance the game and give the characters life.

The story of the game follows the protagonist, Guybrush Threepwood in his quest to become a mighty pirate. The games uses the traditional LucasArts point and click interface to guide Guybrush during his journey. Through the course of the game the player must solve different puzzles in order to help Guybrush become a pirate captain. In order to solve some of the puzzles, the player uses different items that were acquired during the course of the game. These items range from pewter mugs all the way to a rubber chicken with a pulley. The puzzles can sometimes stump you, but the feeling of satisfaction you receive from completing the puzzles always makes it worth while to solve on your own. In case you do get stuck, the game can provide you with hints that can guide you through the challenging puzzle. This new features will help players that are new to the adventure game genre adapt to the unique gameplay.

This game combines the right amount of humor, fun, and wit to keep the player entertained throughout the game. It is refreshing to play through a game using only your wits.

However, this game is not without its flaws. First, the new interface can be a bit sluggish and makes certain parts of the game slightly frustrating. In addition, the animations seem a bit stiff at certain points and the game has the occasional graphics glitch. Also, it is not always clear what your next task should be and this could lead to a frustration.

Overall, this is a great game to play with your friends and family or to play by yourself. I give it a solid 4.5 stars out of 5.

If you enjoy this game, I also recommend that you pick up other LucasArts adventure games available on Steam which include: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Dig, and Loom. Also, Telltale Games (a company made of former LucasArts employees) has released a brand new episodic series of Monkey Island entitled the Tales of Monkey Island.

Also the compilations of Sierra’s classic Space Quest and King’s Quest games are now available on Steam.

From the Rumor Mill

The rumor of the month is that LucasArts is looking to re-release or remake the classic Star Wars space sim games, X-Wing and Tie Fighter. Hopefully, this rumor will turn out to be true. Here is one gamer that is glad that LucasArts is revisiting its classic franchises. There is a lot of good gaming here.

For you Nintendo DS gamers out there, the second Professor Layton puzzle game is due to launch in late August. I highly recommend the first Professor Layton game if you have any interest in solving classic riddles, logic puzzles, chess problems, math problems, and other mind teasers. Look for my review of the second game in an upcoming column.