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Monkey Island 1 and 2: Special Editions (XBLA)

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I am all about digging through the backlog hill of shit that is video game history, snuffing out the classic truffles, cleaning them up a bit with my hypothetical pig-man arms, putting quite a bit of HD makeup on them to make them pretty, pretty whores, sprinkling some achievement cocaine on their asses and going to town in their Xbox 360 hole.

God, that sounds awful. I should quit analogies forever.

The point is: I really like these cheap (as in cost) classic game remakes. I think they're a great idea. It's either a chance to replay something you enjoyed in the past with a new coat of paint (and achievements!) or it's a great introduction to a game you may have missed. Win win, really.

I was surprised to hear that the Secret of Monkey Island was receiving such treatment; that game still holds a special place in my mind. Coming off Police Quest 2 and Space Quest 3, Monkey Island was such a huge departure from the FUCK YOU Sierra game design mentality. I fell in love with its charm, wit, and humor. There's really not much more to say. I'd be wasting my breath on anyone who's played it already; they know. If you have NOT played it, then you are lucky enough to be able to on any major gaming platform that matters and that shit needs to be rectified asap. Don't use a walkthrough, even if you're so stuck you have to put the thing down and try again the next day. Never use a walkthrough.

I was even more surprised when I heard that the sequel, LeChuck's Revenge, was ALSO being remade. That means the first game must have sold well enough to warrant this, which is pretty awesome and (to me) unexpected. While the sequel may not have the same massive nostalgia factor of the original game, it's still a very well-made adventure game that is still ridiculously funny to this day. Huge recommendation for this one as well.

Things That Swash My Buckle

- Switching back and forth, on the fly, between the new versions and the old. That has to be one of the coolest things any company has ever put into a game remake.
- The achievements in the original game match up almost perfectly to the predictions that my friends and I compiled before its release. They are good.
- If you are not in the mood to sit there and read through every dialog option, don't even play this game. Some of the funniest, most memorable video game writing is in here and you better goddamn read every fucking word of it, so help me.
- Full voice acting was recorded for every line of dialog in both games, and there is quite a lot of it. Luckily it's done very well. Sit on my lap and take notes, other games! Also try dressing sexier in the future, maybe there will be a bonus in it for you.

Things That Deserve Keelhauling

- SoMI2: LCR: SE starts off with some weird ass control scheme where the left analog lets you control Guybrush as you clumsily collide with every fucking pixel and spend hours trying to get him to go through a door while you point and click with the right stick. OR you could turn that shit off and activate the default point and click walk option which is easy, intuitive and sometimes even speeds up his regular walking speed. Change that shit ASAP. Did someone complain about not being able to control Guybrush directly with an analog stick in an adventure game after MI: SE was released? Those people deserve nothing less than horrid death.
- The card catalog section's control is broken and only works with the right stick, as if you were playing in horrible torture mode.
- The achievements for MI2 aren't as well thought-out and mostly involve not using any of the new features (hints, lighting up usable items) that were built into the remakes. Boring.
- The new art in both games is nice, but it doesn't quite match that of the original art. There's just something so charming about that pixel shit, I don't know. Luckily you can go back and forth, and in MI2: SE you even get to keep the voice acting!
- There are small timing problems in certain puzzles in MI2. I remember (maybe erroneously) having more time to do a few of the sneakier activities that involve some form of distraction. I know that CPU timing has always been the bane of some older PC games when they're dusted off and brought into the here and now (mostly Sierra games), but here it is in Monkey Island 2. Doesn't make anything impossible, but some of it definitely had me questioning my memory of how I'd previously solved some puzzles simply because I wasn't doing it fast enough.

You Fight Like a Dairy Farmer

- How appropriate, you fight like a cow.

Everyone should play both of these games.

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Updated 17 Jul 2010 at 07:41 AM by Mzo

Video Games


  1. epmode's Avatar
    Oh man Mzo, are achievements really worth the borked iMuse stuff (oh god I love iMuse) in the 360 version of MI2? There's even a Full Throttle-style interface in the PC version. Pretty great.

    Anyway. As far as I can tell, the timing is spot-on for both remakes. CPU timing has never been a problem in SCUMM games (Grim Fandango has a timing issue but it's not SCUMM). It's harder to do some of the puzzles because of the interface differences but that's more of an issue in MI1.

    And for anyone keeping score, MI2 is a massively improved remake over the first one. Get it for sure.
  2. Compass's Avatar
    lol, that first paragraph is aces. When did Mzo's writing get so entertaining. ::tips hat::
  3. Mzo's Avatar
    Never noticed the iMuse thing, I must not think it very important. Also, thanks, Compass! Means a lot.

    Ed, I specifically noticed the timing seemed super tight for changing the flags in the spitting contest, and especially handing LeChuck the hankie at the end. That took me like 10 tries to get it to work. I even thought it might not be the correct solution. Could just be the bad control scheme, but I dunno.
    Updated 17 Jul 2010 at 10:28 PM by Mzo
  4. Anthony's Avatar
    I very much liked these games as a kid, I watched my friend play them, never played them myself, and that doesn't bother me.
  5. Compass's Avatar
    You're welcome. I will buy these if they go on sale again. I only played Curse back in the day (which I really liked) so they will be brand new games to me.
  6. its me's Avatar
    You and your Monkey business!!
  7. epmode's Avatar
    Updates to Monkey Island™ 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge™ have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

    * Adjusted timing delays for certain puzzles
    * Fixed missing music in Dinky Jungle
    * Fixed music synching issue with the Bone Dance sequence
    * Fixed various music cross-fading issues
    * Addressed Cursor issues when using an XBox360 controller
    * Added intro and outro credits sequences to the Classic version
    * Added acceleration curve to cursor speed
    * Increased volume level of "Classic" Chester

    But not about the iMuse thing. Monkey Island 2 and the X-Wing games did incredible stuff with that tech.


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