Guybrush Threepwood's Second Youth

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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Version tested: PC

This special edition of The Secret of Monkey Island has several model players. The first is the one who accidentally used the old game floppies as a tumbler. For him, there is the possibility of replaying the whole adventure as it appeared at the time. Then there's the one who boasts that he hasn't bought a game since 1995, but who actually spends hours with Guitar Hero. Here, for him this edition can be played with characters and backgrounds entirely redesigned by hand. Then there is what it has as its only connection with the title, the vacant monkey expression in the face of all this. No problem, The Secret of Monkey Island - Special Edition comes to meet him too, just read the next paragraph to understand how.



We keep you on your toes huh? Sure ... But a little history is needed. It was 1990 when LucasArts (at that time LucasFilm) shocked the world of video games (no, really, it was a great moment), with The Secret of Monkey Island. There were many talents who contributed to making this game one of the most loved point and click adventures ever, and it is important to remember them. The creator was Ron Gilbert, who followed the saga up to the second chapter. That's why fans tend not to consider the third and fourth episodes of the series, which turned out to be disappointing. At his side were also David Grossman and Tim Schafer. Michael Land composed the music, while Steve Purcell did the graphics. Michael Land and David Grossman are still behind the Tales of Monkey Island series developed by Telltale, which harks back to the old 1990 brand. All clear? Good. What happened to Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer in the meantime? The latter has signed masterpieces such as Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle and Psychonauts, and has recently returned to the headlines with Brutal Legends. As for Ron, ask him directly, his blog is GrumpyGamer.



Curiosity

The Secret of Monkey Island - Special Edition is a remake of the almost homonymous graphic adventure released in 1990, revisited in terms of graphics, music and interface. This first chapter was followed by Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1991), The Curse of Monkey Island (1997) and Escape from Monkey Island (200). Recently, Telltale acquired the brand's license for a new series of episodes, titled Tales of Monkey Island. The first of these has already been reviewed by Resources4Gaming.com at this address.

Pixels are lost over the years

Gilbert hopes on his blog that this new edition will attract the attention of those players who only know how to use the console controller (not an offense). To be able to do it, LucasArts has revised several elements of the game, starting with the graphics, which have undergone a significant restyling. On the skin, LeChuck convinced us more than Guybrush, who has a Rotterdam rave haircut from the late 80s; but on this everyone will have their say. In any case, while the backdrops are delightful, the characters often have an amateurish touch, closer to fan-art than to the work of a professional. It should also be noted that the new drawings faithfully trace the underlying structure, and that the animations have remained what they once were: the effect is grotesque at first, but then it adapts so well to the adventure that it is suspected that it is wanted. In short, it does not detract from the spirit of the game. The music has also been remastered, bringing new luster to the famous soundtrack. And we have to say more successfully than Telltale did in the first chapter of Tales of Monkey Island.



The most relevant aspect, however, concerns the interface. This title also comes out on Xbox 360, and must adapt to the needs of a new audience. First of all, the series of verbs is never present on the screen, but must be called up with a key. In addition, the cursor has become a practical icon that immediately offers the possibility to select the most obvious action with respect to an object (such as opening a door). More importantly, the game incorporates a robust hint system. The Secret of Monkey Island, for those unfamiliar with it, is a game where you can stop for hours on a puzzle. Let's face it that the subtitles are in Spanish and that the original actors have voiced the characters again, and we find ourselves with a five-star restoration. And so, some will say, why so much agitation?

The x marks a treasure

In recent days, LucasArts has brought many of its historical adventures to Steam; all splendid, none excluded. Why then was The Secret of Monkey Island chosen to attempt the boarding of new players (who are not necessarily young)? Of course, it's a game full of charismatic characters, the story is so original as to refer to the personality of Ron Gilbert,

and his humor still remains legendary for players who have memorized entire lines of dialogue. Indeed, Monkey Island is a self-sufficient little world, with its islands, its nemeses and its idiosyncrasies. There are monkeys, love, pirates, voodoo, and everything else that can revolve around this Caribbean circus. In short, we don't know how to answer our question. It was the talent of the people who worked on it and the historical situation that made it a timeless masterpiece. Something similar must have happened with the Star Wars trilogy. Some works seem to come out at the right time by divine mandate, while behind there are only men. Men with something extra, and not knowing what to call it, we mark it with an x.



Comment

Resources4Gaming.com

9.2

Readers (145)

9.4

Your vote

We don't know where you were in 1990, or what you did. Maybe you weren't born yet. But now, with a nostalgic marketing operation (we finally said it), LucasArts offers everyone a second chance to enjoy again one of the most beloved graphic adventures of the 90s, or a second chance to not miss it again. Again there is that the graphic aspect has been revised (not always successfully), and that the interface is now more practical and current, while maintaining the main features. On the other hand, the good news is that so many talents have never gathered at once as in that fateful year. Ron Gilbert, David Grossman, Tim Shafer, Michael Land and Steve Purcell were all snacking at the same table, and the result was this first, unrepeatable flash of genius. For less than ten euros, you can take the history home with you. What else can we add?

PRO

  • Irreverent and brilliant dialogues
  • A fury of narrative findings
  • If the devil is in the details, it's hot as hell here
AGAINST
  • If you don't like the new style, it won't be the original one that will convince you

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Video card: GeForce 8800 GT
  • Operating system: Windows Vista

Minimum requirements

  • Operating System: Windows XP / Vista
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 3000+
  • RAM: 256 MB RAM, 512 MB per Vista
  • Video card: 128 MB with support for Shader Model 2.0
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c or higher
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
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