Publisert: 4. november, 2014
Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition is a 2009 remake of old classic DOS point'n'click adventure title, that came out back in 1990. This version actually allows switching between original and remake on-the-fly. If you just want to play original, you can do it pretty much from beggining to the end, with almost no changes!
Monkey Island itself is a classic LucasArts adventure game. It's well remembered for it's pirate (including voodoo) setting and humor, having world to expore and having puzzles to break head against, guessing what they want player to do. By that point, adventures games already had point'n'click setting in place, just clicking on needed verb and using it on object. Just clicking on object itself always uses the most logical verb (and often the only one possible), so you may just forget of this aspect.
The game is divided into three chapters, the first one being the biggest and most open one, travelling on Melee Island, talking around and trying to complete three main objectives in order to become pirate, while starting to figure out what Le Chuck has to do in this game. Second chapter has you on another island, bigger in space, but less in NPCs, just having this funnily annoying slightly crazed inhabitant of island dropping in and out. Final chapter, "Kicks Butt", kicks some serious butts. Linear, short, but bumps you up and is very worthy compared to Adventure games.
Now, being classic adventure game, it's more concentrated on non-stop solving of 'puzzles' and interaction, with the only action sequences being sword fighting. Well, not exactly what you think. INSULT sword fighting, used only in chapter 1 anyway. Worth noting, you have to beat such "battles" by choosing correct reply to insults, while later throwing your own. Heck, most of them is spend on "farming" new insult and replies, by losing, to collect them all and beat the Swordmaster.
Otherwise, standart classic LucasArts. Which means few things. First, there is no way to die or get stuck in dead end in this game, so you can do stupid things all the way you want, unlike classic Sierra. Second, you can choose few options in conversation, but none changes the plot or progression - it's either a puzzle by itself or "choose your own joke to make". (You can even choose "what we have learned" reply in the end of the game!). Third, the puzzles are either easy and logical or they are hard and make no common sense. Quite a common thing in classic adventure games, doing something unexpect for goals that plotwise aren't the ones you would want to do, Like, suddenly finding out that you have and actually can 'combine' items in your inventory, for single puzzle, to rescue some shady figure who probably wouldn't be much of good if freed.
Special Edition keeps all of those and provides an upgrade to both graphics and sound, while messing around controls. Hands down, music is superior to soundblaster and art has more resolution than what original offered. But the gap is too big and those who grew with original may be put off. Difference between pixels-art that leaves something for imagination and defined art, you see. Where main character, Guybrush, was a normal guy in black and white in original, with who most people could reliate, becomes character in it's own with that hair. And sure thing, close-ups aren't drawn in same realistical way. But otherwise, it's fancy in it's own!
It also added voice acting to it, but because of limitation of original engine, it has awkward pause between each line, putting some players off. And once again, "it's not the way we imagined it when we played original".
And you can switch between original and remake on the fly, with press of single button, no loading required! Nice! Though, you can notice that animation in remake somehow feels to follow animation of original closely, having same amount of animation frames, not always having art to make same sense in these cases.
Actually, it switches not only visual and audio, but interface too. And it's another reason to stay on original, being made with in way to allow it to be controlled by gamepads on consoles as well. It tries to be as good as in modern point'n'clicks, but clumpsier. Much. Main fault comes from technical aspect, actually, where for some reason sometimes it playes like the actual cursor is placed lower/higher than it's actually shown.
And sure thing, to keep modern players sane, it incorporated hints system, when on the magical press of button, you get a hint hint hint. Good joy, much needed. Not always as straight as you would want it to be though, but anything helps.
Thus, nice remake of classic adventure game, which most recommend to play at least once, having humor, story and some puzzles that make no sense, this fault of adventure games eased up with hints. Not too long either and with charm.