Sunday, 3 October 2010

Tales of Monkey Island Season 1 Review

I grabbed the entire season on the $5 special and managed to play through the entire season in about a week or so.

Overall I quite like the new season. For me, although I played the first Monkey Island when I was ten, I didn't really understand what I was doing (I used a hint book I borrowed from my cousin) nor the funny dialogue except for the sword insult fighting. So I replayed the first monkey island about a year back and played and finished the second after I did that. Monkey Island 2 in particularly seemed way hard than 1 and completely sucked the joy out of the game for me in many ways.

Is the humour of the new series comparable to the first two games? I think the tone of the games has changed a little from the original but overall it delivers the same sort of feel I got from the original games. I think the easier difficultly also made the game much more accessible and enjoyable for me.

The very awkward controls which have been covered enough by most reviewers so I'm not going to say too much about them.

Anyway, here's a short summary of what I thought of each episode (some minor spoilers):
Episode 1: Solid intro the series. Travelling around the jungle was a annoying. Overall okay but not great.

Episode 2: Disappointing episode compared to the rest. The siege itself was broken fairly easily. I was hoping for more excitement, more explosions and puzzles. The intro to Episode 2 sets up Morgan LeFlay as a major rival but she only makes an appearance at the beginning, in a number of cutscenes taking place in different locations from Guybrush and the end of the game. I think plot wise there could have been more interaction between her and Guybrush to make it more interesting.

Episode 3: Now this is what turned a solid series into an excellent series for me. Completely new location, new characters, Murray the talking demonic skull, interesting fresh puzzles and just overall more punch and interactio, especially the rivalry between Morgan and Guybrush.

Episode 4: A very fun episode would have been as good as episode 3 if not for the fact that you are back on the Flotsam island in the exact same environments again. Sigh. I also think the court room sequence could have been done in a more Phoenix Wright style to spice it up a bit. Otherwise it's pretty much a standard talking sequence in a single room. I actually quite enjoyed the maze sequences in this one and its a good example of mazes done right.

Episode 5: Overall good solid ending to the series. Reviewers commented that walking to each location when portals were open was annoying and I have to agree. Lots of good puzzles and overall solid ending very enjoyable but ends on a bit of a cliff hanger and lots of loose ends. Also, I think the underworld could have been a bit more interesting and detailed similar to Grim Fandango.


Overall a solid adventure game series which I enjoyed. As mentioned earlier, environments are a bit too repetitive and I personally think that Telltale seasons at 5 episodes a season is too short.

My favourite episodes in order of ranking are:
Episode 3 and 5 tied
Episode 4
Episode 1
Episode 2

If you're an adventure gamer I'm sure you'll be pleased. I bought it at US$5 and I certainly got my money's worth. I say a fair price would be around US$15.

I can't wait for Season 2!. It just can't come soon enough!

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