Companies like Telltale Games tend to play on the nostalgia of old school gamers, while trying to retain new players into the genre. This is certainly the case when Telltale and LucasArts joined forces to release a new five part series, Tales of Monkey Island. In the vain of the original, you once again don the buckled boots of Guybrush Threepwood, and have to fend of the infamous LeChuck from getting your lovely wife Elaine. The five episodes mesh together well, as each episode leaves off with a cliffhanger that will bridge the gap for where the next one picks up. It is a pretty decent package for the price you pay, and keeps you interested with twists and turns along the way.
The story as mentioned starts off with you doing battle with LeChuck to save your wife Elaine from harm. However, you manage to lose your ship, as well as blow up LeChuck’s in the process and end up being shipwrecked on an island. When the ship is blown up after you stab LeChuck, you somehow manage to have Guybrush’s hand infected by the “Pox of LeChuck”, giving the hand a mind of its own. Eventually, you are able to make your escape off the island by acquiring the ship called the Screaming Narwhal, and embark on a quest to tackle the mystery of the possessed hand, as well as take down a man known as the Marquis De Singe, and his hired pirate bounty hunter, Morgan LeFlay.
LeChuck ends up helping you for part of your journey, but it soon turns into him working behind your back. You perform a set of tasks to try to stop your enemies until you embark upon your inevitable showdown finale with the double-crossing LeChuck. The story is told very well, and includes many unique characters and pirate lore. I really enjoyed the pirate aspect of the game, as it feels very different from the norm. There are not many pirate games out there, and this one happens to be by far one of the best. The story wraps up nicely, and is pretty complete overall.
Gameplay wise, it is a very traditional adventure game, with you collecting items and using them with other characters to progress further in the story. The puzzles can be challenging, and it can sometimes be a stroke of pure luck that you are able to solve the puzzle. The gameplay overall is pretty simple and straightforward, with no real deviation from the standard formula. It all feels very familiar too, as it reminds me of another recent Telltale game I have been playing, Sam and Max, right down to the movement of Guybrush and also the inventory system. It does feel solid, and plays well; it just feels like I have been here before.
The graphics are very detailed and well done. Each character has his/her own unique style and finesse. The locations each feel varied from the previous one, and there really aren’t many that look the same. The music and voice acting are very strong, as Telltale went through the trouble of bringing back the original voice cast from the first few games in the series. Each character is spot on with their lines, and Telltale’s comedic genius shines through once again. They certainly have a knack for doing comedy right in video games. Overall, I really think they have done a good job with the presentation, keeping the feel of the original game, while still putting a good Telltale spin on it.
The game doesn’t have too many noticeable problems, other than sometimes it is hard to choose exactly what item you want to look at or interact with. This is mostly caused by the limitations of the PS3 controller, as I can tell if you were playing this on a PC, it would be more precise, and you would not have nearly as much trouble. Also, as mentioned, the puzzles can get very challenging. I have noticed this in many other Telltale games, and I wish that with a more lighthearted release like this, they would have gone a little easier on the player.
Overall, this is a good deal for any owner of the PS3. The games are challenging, fun, and full of character. It seems PS3 is beginning to be a good place for Telltale to put their games, as they have been on a hot streak with this and Sam and Max. I give them a lot of credit, as they make some excellent games, with good storytelling and genius humor. This is definitely worth a pick up for the price point, as you get five, three to four hour games in one package. If you love adventure on the high seas as well as solving ridiculous puzzles, add this one to your collection.
Review copy provided by publisher.