Look, even if you’d rather boil your own head than play a 90′s-style point-and-click adventure game, The Secret of Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck’s Revenge Special Edition is still well worth your money. Here’s why: remember in my post about the previous game, I talked about the terrific trio of Dave Grossman, Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer? Well for this version they’ve got together for a director’s commentary-style feature that you can listen to while you play the game. It’s full of hilarious insider knowledge and it’s a great privilege to hear these three revolutionary designers have a little chit-chat, so get your money out and buy this, alright?
I could leave this piece there and just knock off for dinner, but I wouldn’t be the hard-hitting professional that I like to think I am without talking about the actual game aspect of the, well, game. So, without further ado, here are some more reasons to buy TSOMI2: LCRSE, which will hereby be referred to as Monkey Island 2 for the sake of brevity.
Primarily, it’s still just as funny and inventive as the first game, and if you don’t mind having your brain tickled and then gently massaged in creative comedy then there’s really nothing to dislike, at least if you play with the original controls. Speaking of which, the option is still there to revert back to the graphics and sound of the original game, with the added bonus of being able to listen to the (again, very good) voice acting while in the old view.
So far, so good. All in all, the package feels a lot fuller, which is nice. There’s unlockable concept art which gives you an insight into the various stages of the development process, a revision to the hint system which highlights objects you should be interacting with, and you can now move Guybrush around with the analogue stick. Oh, wait, I think I see the problems coming over the horizon.
Analogue control in a game like this just doesn’t feel natural, and while Mr Threepwood is a dab hand at insult swordfighting (which isn’t actually present in this game, unfortunately), womanising and battling ghost pirates, he hasn’t quite got to grips with walking around. He often gets stuck behind objects or walks in a slightly different direction than the one intended, and that’s a fairly serious issue here. At the end of the day, no method of control will ever be as precise as pointing and clicking, and the attempts to modernise the game in this regard fall a bit flat. Thankfully, though, you’re only one button press away from how the game should be played, so it’s fine.
Perhaps it isn’t my place to say that any game should be played in a specific way. Hey, if you want to play using the new control system, that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that, but personally, I can’t see how anyone would prefer not having the accessibility of the original format. Although in reflection possibly because it looks like someone’s drawn rough notes all over half of the screen.
Chances are you already know whether or not you like this game. If you played it when it was first released and you’re looking for a reason to fork out more cash for it, the director’s commentary is probably the major reason to do so. Again, the core design is fundamentally the same, but it’s still as witty and charming as ever, plus you get the added bonus of hearing Tim Schafer’s tender voice lovingly caressing your ear drums like warm honey and — whoops, got carried away again.
It also looks quite nice, so there’s a recommendation if I ever heard one.