MSRP: $9.99 / 800
by: Sam Tyler
Back in the early 90s my gaming was dominated by the PC, and in particular the point and click adventure genre. In this golden era of ‘annoying-item-combination’ gaming, one studio stood out; Lucasarts. They had countless classic games, but my favourite was always ‘Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’, one of only a handful of games that I have completed more than once. Therefore, after the recent success of the original ‘Monkey Island Special Edition’ I highly anticipated the inevitable updated sequel like a Pirate for his first pint of Grog of the day.
‘Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge’ is an updated version of the original game with new artwork and voice acting throughout from the usual cast. Guybrush Threepwood, the pirate stud responsible for the destruction of the Ghost Pirate LeChuck, returns in an adventure to find ‘Big Whoop’, a hidden treasure horde. The game is bigger in scale than the first game with several islands in which to explore.
In terms of the core gameplay ‘Monkey Island 2 Special Edition’ is essentially the same as the original, but prettier and with specific console based controls. Imagine it as the botoxed version of the old game, but in a nice looking way, rather than an expressionless Hollywood auto-bot look. The game takes the same artistic direction as the first game’s special edition, but has richer environments and better hair for Guybrush. The controls can be a little confusing as one joystick moves Guybrush, whilst the other moves the ‘mouse’ icon. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for an old fashioned, well tested, mouse and SCUMM engine.
The sense of humour and taxing puzzles that made playing the game in 1991 so great hold up as well today as they did back then. Many of the people playing this version of ‘Monkey Island 2’ will be familiar with a lot of the game already, but there is plenty of new things on offer to keep them happy. The price itself is a steal; you not only get the updated game, but an informative developers commentary with three of the original masterminds behind the game: Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman. Throw in the ability to revert back to the old school graphics and you have a game that should cater for both old fans and new.
If you strip away the updated graphics, new audio and commentary, you still have one of the best adventure games of all time. What these new elements give the game is accessibility to a new audience as it now looks as good as it plays. If you are looking for a game that will make you laugh, but also test your intelligence then ‘Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge’ is a must buy, especially for such a reasonable price point.