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Escape from Monkey Island (PC)

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  • very disappointing
  • Keyboard interface not completely satisfactory
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      06.09.2010 21:32
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      Another great game in the saga

      Escape from Monkey Island is the fourth game in the Monkey island series released in 2000 and the first introduction of the series into the 3D world.

      The story has Guybrush and Elaine returning from their honeymoon to Melee Island only to learn that they have been declared lost at sea and have a re-election for her office. At the same time a mysterious Australian is buying out various pirate lands and turning it into a tourist attraction. Guybrush has to once again set off on his adventures to try and save the tri island from the evil Lechuck and his allies.

      The game marks the 3D entry and has hence moved away from the cartoon/2D games the previous years. All the characters have received a major overhaul and look good in 3D. However the cartoon versions in curse of the monkey island was seen to be far more accurate to the games entertaining and comical setting.

      The game has you play as Guybrush once again, the pirate we all love due to his jokes, goofiness and his close relation with trouble. You solve puzzles, interact with people and your environment to reach objectives. For example you have to steal some food, distract the guy firing the catapult at your house, tinker the controls so that it would cause the catapult to get destroyed. The entire game is one puzzle after another and the comical setting provides plenty of laughs and good entertainment.

      The music and voiceovers are great with Guybrush's character getting special credit. In addition the cutscenes are truly entertaining and will have you clutching your sides with laughter.
      The gameplay has moved from traditional point and click to keyboard control. This is definitely a step back from the previous monkey island games as the controls are now confusing, difficult and less fun to operate

      However apart from the dodgy controls, the game is excellent and worth a play.

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      12.12.2009 20:14
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      New and exciting for the most part!

      Escape from Monkey Island is the fourth entry into the hugely popular, extremely entertaining series of video games, and shows that the series has no hope of slowing down or dipping in quality yet. This is the first Monkey Island game to be in 3D, and while controversial at the time of release, it proved fruitful, making this a game not only fun, but visually stunning also.

      The gameplay is simple: you search around looking for items, and you can then manipulate and combine them in various ways to help you get to the next obstacle. You play Guybrush Threepwood, the same man from the other games, who has returned to Monkey Island to sort out the political climate, but has become stuck there and must find a way to escape! What's most jarring aside from the 3D is that now you have to use the arrow keys to navigate Guybrush, when I, along with most MI fans were used to the point and click style, which worked fine. They say why fix it if it isn't broke, and that really rings true here. Still, as with the previous games, there's plenty of charm here, and of course, it's very densely packed, with there being multiple side-quests and fun mini-games to partake in.

      As a new visual experience and seeming evolution of the series, this is a thoroughly entertaining addition that ups the game a bit while admittedly making a few strange control choices. Nevertheless, if you loved the other games, there's a lot to like here, and I can't imagine any fan of Monkey Island not enjoying it. For something with more depth than even most RPGs, that's also got barrels of humour and a fun, adventurous story with lush vistas, look no further.

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      26.11.2006 12:50
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      All Monkey Island fans need to get this.

      This is an excellent game and is as funny as the 3 prequels. The forth installment in the excellent Monkey Island series sees Guybrush Threepwood on another quest! I have played the PC and the Playstation 2 versions and have found the PS2 version to be better because it is easier to control. The point and click system does not exist in this game. You need to use the keyboard to control Guybrush now. With a PS2 controller it is much easier.

      The graphics and sound are excellent as you would expect. I think fans of the series will enjoy the game. I can't wait for the 5th installment.

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        22.04.2006 20:28
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        Another great game.

        The 4th and currently final in the Monkey Island series, you play as Guybrush Threepwood, a pirate that has managed to defeat the evil pirate LeChuck 3 times. Now married to the governor of Melee Island, they come back from their honeymoon to find that a mysterious land developer is trying to rid the world of piracy. With Elaine declared dead, the story follows Guybrush Threepwood trying to defeat LeChuck, as Elaine tries to run for governor again. It's an adventure game, meaning it's not an action game and mostly relies on puzzles.
        This time round the series has become 3D, with an enhanced version of the Grim Fandango engine. Of course this changes the controls somewhat. Now it's no longer a point n click mouse operated game, but is instead played with the keyboard. It's not as comfortable as a mouse since you can no longer just click on objects so find out about them but have to walk up to them but it doesn't really become an issue. The controls aren't actually bad, but they're just not as natural as point n click controls.
        Obviously now there's 3D environment and mostly, it works. Being released in the year 2000 it's not exactly winning any awards for graphics but the cartoony environment is portrayed well, even if the graphics don't have the same charm that Curse of Monkey Island had.
        Charm is still there though. Whilst the looks of the environment and to an extent, the characters have changed, the characters remain as lovable as ever. You've got Guybrush, the extremely wimpy pirate with a sense of humour that is just as good as previous games.
        It is also worth nothing that the story has a fair amount of retcons that don't add up with previous games. Whilst it doesn't hinder your enjoyment of the game, it's safe to say that things like this really shouldn't be included.

        The game plays out the same as other adventure games, in that you have to go around speaking to people and exploring to solve puzzles, whilst at the same time unravelling the story and advancing. The puzzles are, largely as good as in previous games and, provided you can do a fair bit of exploration and conversation like usual, you won't find many puzzles that are illogical. They do exist though, with one very illogical puzzle nearing the end of the game that is not only illogical, but doesn't seem to fit within the monkey Island story either. It pushes the suspension of disbelief. And this continues into other aspects of the game as well. When I say your first task though is to go find some lawyers to get your mansion back, you'll realise that whilst the puzzles are logical and fun, they're not really piratey. That is really the games major letdown. Whilst the puzzles are good, as are the environments, they don't feel piratey. One island for example has things like "Planet Threepwood" and "Starbuccaneers", obvious parodies on the consumerist world we live in. Though I love parodies when they're done well, things like that just don't have a place in the Monkey Island world really. I want taverns where humorous puns can occur about Guybrush not looking old enough to buy grog, not being able to buy a coffee.
        The problem, it appears is that this game is trying to be different. For example, instead of insult sword fighting, a brilliant aspect of previous games where your sword fighting skill relied on your wit, not your sword, there is not insult arm wrestling etc. The story is all about the world advancing with piracy getting wiped out, but it just doesn't have a place here. The humour and genius of insult sword fighting in previous games has gone, and instead has been replaced with an unlovable puzzle that thankfully only takes up a very small section of the game.
        The parodies do continue though, including a parody of Mortal Kombat. I won't spoil too much but think of a cross between insult sword fighting and Mortal Kombat. It just doesn't match and provides a low end to the game.




        Extra Information.
        ***************

        I don't understand these at all but I think it will work on most computers really since
        it is 5 years old.

        Available on PC, Mack and Playstation 2 but I recommend PC to keep it retro (it's obviously not on the original Amiga).
        Works on Windows 95 & 98 and also on my PC which is XP home edition. Needs DirectX (7.0 or higher) compatible computer basically.
        200MHz required but 266MHz or higher is recommended.
        Memory: 32MB RAM
        Sound: 16 bit sound card.
        3D accelerator card required.
        CR-ROM: Quad speed IDE or SCSI CD-ROM.
        Video: 4MB PCI or AGP Direct 3D or OpenGL Graphics Accelerator
        Input device: 100% Windows compatible keyboard required.

        A joystick can also be used instead of the keyboard too.

        Can be found for about £8.50 used and new on www.amazon.co.uk

        Sound.
        ******

        Great. Everything from the theme tune to the voices which I think suits the characters perfectly. In the cut scenes you'll hear some of the voices but a lot of talking is done when you choose so it is important that the voices match.

        Dominic Armarto-Guybrush Threepwood
        Charity James-Elaine Marley
        Earl Boen-Charles L. Charles and LeChuck
        Nick Tate-Ozzie Mandrill
        Denny Delk-Murray

        Each voice is as stupid yet as fitting as the next.

        My Opinion.
        ***********

        I've been a little harsh with the game but it can all be summed up in one sentence. It is a brilliant game, but not Monkey Island. Mostly, the puzzles are logical and the characters are humorous. The humour for a start is some of the best in the series, and I'll even say that some of the puzzles in this are amongst the best in the series. However, everything from the story to the puzzles is just a bit too far away from what you are used to when playing the Monkey Island games. It just isn't piratey. If you were to review the game as a pure adventure game and cut off previous ties to the series it is part of, the game would get a glowing review ending in the sentence "Aside from a few illogical puzzles you get an adventure game packed with humorous dialogue and circumstances". However, when something is part of a series, it's only natural that you would compare them. I would recommend this game to people who like adventure games, and Monkey Island games because if nothing else it is an enjoyable adventure. It is just a shame the developers felt the need to put so many references to modern society in the game that the Monkey Island world seems to have faded.

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          23.04.2005 12:30
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          • "Keyboard interface not completely satisfactory"

          Escape from Monkey Island is a slight departure from the first three games Monkey Island games. It features the same sort of gameplay, that is your piratey adventure lark, but this time Guybrush has gone 3D.

          A brief summary of the plot so far… Guybrish Threepwood (the player’s character) was once a wannabe pirate. In the first game he has to pass three tests to prove his worth, after which he ends up on the mysterious Monkey Island, home of the evil Zombie pirate LeChuck. On the way he falls in love with Governor Elaine Marley, who unfortunately happens to be LeChuck’s love interest as well. (He doesn’t let the small fact that he’s dead get in the way too much). LeChuck is in the end defeated.

          In the second Monkey Island game, LeChuck’s revenge, Guybrush loses his newfound wealth almost immediately and goes off in search of a fabled treasure called “Big Whoop”. However, this is not quite the treasure he thought it would be… Not only that, but LeChuck turns out to be not quite as extinct as was thought…

          In the third instalment, Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush unwittingly gives Elaine a cursed ring for an engagement ring (well it happens…) and has to find a more powerful magic to defeat the curse…. Oh and guess what, LeChuck’s still at large…

          Escape from Monkey Island starts with Guybrush and Elaine as prisoners on a ship, though at least it’s not LeChuck’s… but guess what? He’s still around. Once they escape and reach Melee Island, Elaine has a new foe to contend with to retrieve her lost governorship… an Australian who wants to turn the islands into a tourist spot! And that’s just the start… oh and did I mention that LeChuck is still around, with new and terrible plans?

          The graphics are great (back in the days when I had only a Voodoo 2 card (8mb) it struggled a bit, but my nice new Nvidia GE Force 4 (64mb) has no problems with it. But there are several details levels if your 3D card isn’t one of the newer models, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble. The 3D is nice, and especially adds to the atmosphere of the cut scenes, which are again fully voice-acted.

          The interface is similar to that used in Curse of Monkey Island (use three options – Use, Pick Up, Talk), except that you use the cursor keys instead of the mouse. It works okay, but the mouse felt more comfortable to use. It’s not really a problem, but it could have been better to be honest. (Unfortunately due to developers wanting to have games that can be ported across systems - including game consoles - means that this sort of interface will probably become standard.)

          The puzzle element has shifted slightly too. The first two games were pure adventure puzzles – ie find out what to use with what etc. Curse of Monkey Island did have the naval battles, but basically followed the same pattern. There are still plenty of “proper” adventure puzzles here too, but also some logic puzzles and at least one that depends entirely on timing. While this does add variety, the puzzles aren’t really thought out as well as in MI1 and 3, in general, and some of them are ridiculously tricky. Also, many adventure gamers would view these other puzzles as irrelevant and annoyances – after all, you wouldn’t by a racing game only to have to beat a tetris variant to get to the next race… In my opinion, the difficulty is too high. As with the second game, I needed to look at online hints many times before I completed it. Perhaps this is designed to add to the longevity of the game, but adding hours of frustration is not the same thing as adding hours of gameplay…

          Overall this is not as bad as some people have made it out to be. It’s still a good game, and enjoyable. But what really makes a good adventure game is the puzzles, and this game falls down slightly in this regard. Of course, this is mainly a matter of opinion, but my opinion is the only one I can really give. (well I can also give my sister’s opinion – we always used to play this type of game as a team – believe me, the male and female brain combination works ten times better than either on their own. Trust me on this one!).

          The humour, which is a vital part to all of the Monkey Island games, is here in force. With the difficulty of the puzzles, sometimes this is all that keeps you playing. It’s funny throughout, and some parts are simply hysterical. (When Pagnose Pete (who is scared of ducks, the reason he is a pegnose…) is a prisoner, try using the duck whistle on him… Cruel but very funny. Also a quick hint – if you want to save yourself a lot of time, you DO NOT need to get all the prosthetic pieces… I took aaaaaaaaaaages doing it and created an “abomination of creation”, spent the whole game wondering where you used it… and found that you didn’t use it for anything. If you try and use it on someone he cries “It’s Alive!” and throws it, but then all the items clutter your inventory unless you spend the time putting them back together… very annoying. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!).

          If you’ve played the older games, you’ll be pleased to know the old favourites are back – including my personal favourites, Murray (the invincible demonic skull BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!) and Lemonhead, the sensitive former cannibal. The treatment they get in 3D is usually very good.

          I’ve given it four stars because it is a good game. But it’s not a brilliant one. A worthwhile addition to the Monkey Island series, but in my opinion only the third in terms of enjoyment. (For me it goes 3, 1, 4, 2 – though if you’re new to the series you
          should definitely play 1 first).

          (Fans of earlier games in the series who haven’t yet played this one may be interested to know that insult sword-fighting has been replaced by insult arm-wrestling.)

          Graphics: 9 – can’t really fault them on quality, but they don’t fit the game as well as the graphics in Curse of Monkey Island did

          Sound: 10 – great voice acting, good music and SFX

          Playability: 8 - easy to use interface if not my favourite, you can work out what you’re meant to try< to do pretty quickly even if you’ve never played this type of game before

          Longevity: 7 - will last you a fair while, but much of the time will be frustration rather than playing

          Replay Value: 6 - you may well come back to it after you get bored of yet more Doom clones…

          Value For Money: 8 - now it’s out on budget it represents very good value for money

          Overall Rating: 8/10


          If you liked this, you will also like:

          The other Monkey Island games
          Grim Fandango (probably the nearest to this in terms of style, but Fandango is superior)
          Broken Sword 1 & 2
          Discworld: Noir


          Thanks for reading!

          (This is a slightly undated version of the review that appeared on Epinions under my username there, CaptainD.)



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            07.06.2002 22:13
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            The much awaited fourth episode in the Monkey Island series. Unfortunately it's disappointing. If you haven't played the original games then I suggest you do so before tackling this game as it's one long continuous story from the first part through to this one. The plot in this episode sees Guybrush finally married to Elaine Marley, unfortunately she now has competition for the Governor post and while she fights her campaign her bonehead of a husband has to save her mansion and rescue the Ultimate Insult. LeChuck is back with an allie who's just as nasty. I'm not going to give anything else away. There's loads of puzzles to work through, in fact I think there's probably more in this one than episode 3. Jokes are also as frequent. The graphics are excellent with full 3D effects but the contols are a major let down. The problem here is that the game was designed for the Playstation 2 so there's no longer mouse control and it's very tricky navigating Guybrush with a joypad. It is possible to use the keyboard to play but I found it all fingers and thumbs and decided on the joypad. Just like the original episodes this will have you hooked very quickly. It's just a pity that the controls let it down. Lets hope LucasArts remember that the game is also played on PC's as well as Playstations and sort this problem out if they bring out episode 5.

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              05.12.2001 21:17
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              “Escape From Monkey Island” is the fourth in the Monkey Island series and the first to use 3D modelling. It has a rating of “T” for Teen and above and is designed to be played by one person but you can still have fun by teaming up with friends or family. The story takes place in the 1700's in a fabricated group of pirate-infested islands in the Carribean). Guybrush Threepwood (a young wannabe buccaneer) has just returned from his 3 month honeymoon to find his Caribbean island (Meleé) almost deserted, a pirate with a Brooklyn accent lobbing boulders at his home, his wife (Elaine) ejected from her job as governor and a crooked Australian real estate developer (the ruthless Ozzie Mandrill) threatening to turn the place into a tourist trap. Your challenge is to guide the charming Guybrush though a number of islands until he solves enough puzzles to uncover the meaning of The Ultimate Insult, which is the key to defeating Ozzie. Ozzie has snatched most of the island properties from their owners by beating them in insult competitions (eg. Insult Arm Wrestling, Insult Sword Fighting and Insult Gin Rummy). Guybrush discovers that delivering The Ultimate Insult to Ozzie is the only way to defeat him and return the islands to a state of normality. The puzzles are fantastic - mostly quite difficult, but usually logical – however, there a few puzzles that defy all logic and can only be solved by pure guesswork – I had to resort to using a walkthrough a few times but whenever I did the puzzle ended up being impossible to solve by pure logic, so I didn't feel like too much of a cheat. All in all you'll have a great time racking your brains trying to piece together solutions to some pretty strange problems. It has fantastic quality graphics, with superb visual and sound effects - when Guybrush walks on a wooden floor, his footfalls echo or when he crosses a rickety bridge, it creaks just as
              a real one would. The realistic lighting is especially good, with flickering candle flames and torches, and characters that can move in and out of shadows. The background music ranges from orchestral arrangements to tinkling Caribbean steel drums. Most scenes also include subtle atmospheric sounds – if the background music becomes irritating simply select F1, options and change the level of the sound. I bought this game for my little brother and I think I’ve had as much enjoyment from it as he has had!

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                10.09.2001 20:15
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                • "very disappointing"

                I had been looking forward to this game for ages, i rushed to the shops when it was first released and purchased a copy. I am a huge fan of the previous 3 games, and would definately rate them as the best adventure game trilogy ever. I had high hopes of this game, i mean how could it be bad, its monkey island. But... It is bad. Well its not gut wrenchingly terrible like some recent additions to the genre, but its mediocre. It nothing special in any way. I think the biggest problem is the transition to 3D. The reasons for the transition to 3D are very clear. Basically every game has to have a 3D engine nowadays, to be seen as a modern game, even if the game is not at all suited it. The main reason though is so the game could be released on the consoles, as the controls are much more suited to a joypad. The problem is the 3D engine just doesn't work for this sort of game. I found movement hard to control, the inventory system unweildy and having to run around each area in the hope i looked at something useful just plain irritating. Give me back my mouse control. The other problem is that the characters in it seem to have lost a lot of their charm and expression in the 3D world. They dont seem nearly as expressive as before. The world itself seems much more bland and empty. The puzzles were mildly diverting, but nothing amazing. There a few illogical puzzles but most make sense. Its quite a tough game tough. The humour is not a patch on the first 3 games, relying nearly entirely on established jokes from the previous games. There is a lot of unfunny stuff in this game. I have to admit that the voice acting is quite good though, its just that the scriot is poor. It is still one of the better adventure games about at the moment, but that is saying something about the lack of quantity and quality of current adventure. If you are looking to play this type of game, go back and play day of the t
                entacle, sam and max, toonstruck and the original monkey games, and you will see what graohic adventures should be like.

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                  05.06.2001 01:51
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                  The adventure continues with LucusArts fourth installment of the Monkey Island series of games. Unfortunately also back are the scenes and dialogue that we are familair with. This game is so much like LeChuck's Revenge you'll be double taking the box lid just to make sure you didn't make a mistake with your purchase. Don't get me wrong the acting is superb and the cartoon setting work brilliantly, it's just that if you've played any of the previous games it will seem like you've been here before. And when you take the price into account £39.99 seems an extortionate price to pay for a game whose structure has barely seen any major changes since its first outing. Unlike earlier incarnation of the game the humour level is wryly amusing rather than hilarious. The puzzles are often non linear and banal.

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                    19.05.2001 22:52
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                    Hoist the sails! It's time to embark on yet another journey with the mighty Guybrush Threepwood! How many monkeys is too many monkeys? A question for the ages. Indeed, for centuries now it has remained unanswered. The great game designers of ancient Greece, dressed in their No Fear togas, spent countless hours debating this cruel riddle, but to no avail. Recently, the Monkey Island franchise walked a thin line, offering a decent number of simians, but without truly testing our fragile psyches. The fourth installment changes all that. Some brave, mildly disturbed game developer had the guts to stand up and shout, "We must have more monkeys!" In doing so, the old-as-dirt question was finally given an answer: there's no such thing as too many monkeys. Escape from Monkey Island launches players back into the role of the ridiculously lovable Guybrush Threepwood. Now married to Elaine, they've just returned from a lengthy honeymoon at sea, where they proved once and for all that it's not the size of the pirate, it's the motion of the ocean. Upon their arrival at Melee Island, they find that many things have gone extremely awry. They have both been pronounced dead, leaving Elaine stripped of her job as Governor and your mansion under threat of demolition. Naturally, it's up to you to set things straight, and it's not going to be easy. Presentation Ah, how I missed that funky Monkey Island style. All fans of the series know that this game is all about the humor, and the fun wastes no time in getting started. The box and menu system alone are host to more laughs than the Sunday funnies. I particularly like the exclamation "Now In Scurvy-Inducing 3D!" Eat that, Family Circus! Graphics I was so ready to hate this game's visuals. When it was announced that the game would be made in Grim Fandango-style 3D, m
                    any Monkey Island purists cried foul, myself included. As I started playing, however, I found my steely resolve quickly crumbling. Oh, how I fought it. No...can't give in...must fight the 3rd dimension...losing power...blaaargh. I caved. So, here goes: I really enjoyed the change to fully 3D graphics. There, I said it. Trust me, fellow fans, you'll be surprised at how well the game retains the unique style of the original titles, especially with the environments. Admittedly, some of the character models are a little rough, but they aren't bad and the animation is solid. Once you learn to get past your anti-change sentiments, you'll come to appreciate exploring the Monkey Island universe in 3D. With its vibrant colors and carefully detailed scenery, it's hard not to appreciate this excellent visual effort. Sound The sound of perfection is sweet, my friends. The upbeat musical score is always fun, without feeling tacky, and the sound effects are delightfully silly. The real beauty, however, lies in the voice acting. In a word, it's flawless, and single-handedly keeps the gameplay from ever feeling boring or uninspired. Even dialogue from the most minor of characters is delivered perfectly. Oscars all around! Gameplay The first thing returning fans will have to get used to is the new control scheme. Disconnect your mouse and sell it on Ebay, 'cause this game is all about the keyboard. Moving Guybrush and managing your inventory are both done with keystrokes, and it's pretty simple. As you run around, the various actions you can perform, relative to your location, appear at the bottom of the screen. This system works fairly well, though sometimes controlling Guybrush is a little slippery. Angling him to acknowledge whatever item you are interested in is sometimes harder than it should be. Additionally, Guybrush will open and wal
                    k through doors without having to be told, but ultimately this creates more problems than it can make up for in convenience. Neither of these issues are constant annoyances, but any point 'n click loyalists will occasionally find themselves grumbling about the good ol' days. Despite the other changes, the actual gameplay remains entirely the same. Puzzles consist mostly of saying the right things to the right people, and combining and using items at the correct places. While all of the puzzles are quite goofy, none of them felt so insane that solving them was too hard. Generally, the difficulty level is pretty well paced, and, especially towards the end, some of the challenges you will face are brilliantly creative. While much of the dialogue can be skipped, talking to the many NPCs hanging around is the game's most charming aspect. Even as a fan of the previous titles, I was amazed at how often the dialogue had me laughing out loud. As an additional bonus, many old characters from the series will make appearances, such as Murray the "eeevil" talking skull, and Meathook (wait 'till you see what he's been up to). Don't worry, newcomers, you don't have to know these characters to find them totally hilarious once you meet them. I have just one major complaint about the gameplay: the bugs. The quality of the game is so high that I don't understand how so many errors avoided detection. A recent patch took care of many of the problems, but I suspect all players will experience some sort of flaw, even if it is just a minor dialogue bug that only lasts a second. These little moments of sloppiness caught me completely off guard, but thankfully weren't bad enough to replace my amused smile with a frown. Depth I sort of wished EFMI had been a bit longer, tho
                    ugh I think a large part of that is a testament to my attachment to the characters, rather than it just being too short. The game has four acts, but that is somewhat misleading, because while the fourth act is very cool, it's basically just an interactive ending with very little real gameplay. The third act really shines, sporting some of the games most fascinating and humorous puzzles. I don't want to give anything away, so let's just say my monkey-themed introduction wasn't just for show. Things get pretty zany as the game comes to a close; you certainly won't be disappointed. Overall Any adventure fans who pass this swashbuckling title up are either fools or under the influence of way too much grog. An incredibly amusing experience from start to finish, die-hard fans of Monkey Island shouldn't let the game's new look scare them away; when it comes to heart, this is the same old Guybrush. Rating: 9/10

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                    13.05.2001 09:52
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                    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana and in Escape from monkey island, a game that features few arrows and a lot of bananas, you wonder just where that time has gone. When you compare the number of Monkey Island games made in the past 11 years with the number of Tomb Raider games made in the past 5 years, you just have to wonder. The Monkey Island series of games has been a bit of a strange saga, like the James Bond movies, they never have quite the same team of people working on it, yet there is a formula that will always ensure that it entertains as much as the previous instalment. The future of the Monkey Island series looked uncertain when the original designer Ron Gilbert left Lucas Arts and adventurers the world over held their breaths in the hope that one day someone would dare and walk in Mr Gilbert’s footsteps but many people went blue in the face before Jonathan Ackley and Larry Ahern finally picked up the baton in 1997 with the Curse of Monkey Island. CMI boasted high-resolution 640x480 graphics and film quality animation, sadly this wasn’t enough to please every one and the game received mixed reviews, some calling it the worst ever Monkey Island game and some calling it the best, but the game sold and Lucas arts believed they could do better and so as 2000 drew to a close another Monkey Island game arose from the depths of the Lucas Arts studios entitled Escape from Monkey Island. As any self respecting adventure gamer will know, Sean Clark and Michael Stemmle are the two warped minds behind ‘Sam & Max Hit the Road’ and these are the same two people who have been chosen to show the world that the Monkey Island series is still alive and kicking. You can tell almost instantly that this is a Clark and Stemmle game with the pert little jokes and just the overall scripting of the whole game. The main story is that Mr and Mrs Threepwood have arrived back on Mêlée Island to find that Elaine has been declared dea
                    d and the Governor’s mansion is scheduled for demolition. There is also a strange new guy running for Governor by the name of Charles L. Charles. Your first major task is to stop the governor’s mansion getting knocked down and then finding a way to get to Elaine’s family lawyers on a neighbouring island. As usual, to complete these two tasks you must first complete a series of smaller tasks such as finding objects and persuading other people to do things for you. The first thing you might notice when you begin playing EMI is the fact that you don't use the mouse. The whole game can be controled using a keyboard, joystick or joypad and it is quite easy to get used to the method of control. For people who have difficulty trying to manoeuvre Guybrush to look at things he will handily turn his head in the direction of the nearest object of importance. The puzzles in EMI are well balanced and progress in difficulty as you go through the game and none of them are illogical ‘use the turkey with the car to make a washing machine’ kind of puzzles. Some puzzles are quite hard though and the less experienced adventurer may require a walkthrough for a bit of assistance. For anyone who hasn’t heard the news or seen the screen shots, the latest in the Monkey Island series features 3D graphics using the same, yet slightly tweaked, graphics engine from Grim Fandango. Colourful pre-rendered cartoon backgrounds fill the game and are occupied by even more colourful characters such as Stan and Pegnose Pete. The characters are each given a real sense of identity by the wonderful voice acting in which Dominic Armato, Earl Boen and Denny Delk reprise their roles as Guybrush, LeChuck and Murray. EMI is a bit of a hard banana to peel but I do admire that wacky humour displayed by Clark and Stemmle. The game comes together well with impressive graphics, a very entertaining story (with a twist) and some of the mos
                    t memorable and well-created characters ever known. In the end it all boils down to just two faults. 1) It was a bit too short for me. Ideally I like a game to last around 2 weeks whereas EMI only lasted about a week, but I think I probably played it a bit too much or it might just be that I’m good at adventure games from having played so many (fat chance). 2) Although it won’t affect the game play much, it is better if you have played the previous 3 Monkey Island games otherwise you may miss out on some good jokes. Since you can now buy Monkey Island 1,2 & 3 in a ‘bounty pack’ I suggest you go buy them first to fully enjoy this less than perfect yet worthy addition to the Monkey Island series.

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                      25.04.2001 02:29
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                      having played monkey island 2 and 3 i can't say this game wasn't enjoyable but it didn't meet my expectations. in this game the mouse is left out of use so going from place to place takes a lot longer as you cant just double click where you want to go. in case anyone didn't know monkey is land is a "swashbuckleing adventure" with pirates and gags through the whole story. the dissapointing thing is that monkey 4 didn't really carry on the tradition vil pirate le chuck story line. if you are confused already, don't buy the game. there isnt much introduction to the game so if you don't know who the voodoo lady, lechuck, guybrush and elain are, you wont get much of the story line. another dissapointing thing is some of the puzzles. for instance one is to bring hermans memory back. there is no logic to it and i couldnt work it out. in the end i reverted to an online guide from which i learnt you have to chuck about ten things at his head in order, this isn't a puzzle, its just a pointless waste of time. this scenario compares well to one in monkey 3 where you have to cure the barmans headache. in that case you found a recipe book containing a cure and so you had to find the ingredients using differn't methods which puzzled you but at least you knew what you had to do. if anyone has the game and can't get a 10 from the splash diving contest judge, you obviously havn't worked out the stupid puzzle where when in the school you must get every question completely wrong, how stupid is that!. for anyone looking for a puzzler i would storongly reccommend the monkey island series but in perticular monkey 3 - it rocks as it has logical puzzles. all i can really say is if you have played other games in the series buy monkey 4, if not vote for the cheaper and better game monkey3, and you won't even need a 3d card.

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                        31.03.2001 23:32

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                        The ever popular monkey island series sees the addition of "Escape from Monkey Island", being the funniest and most original yet. Escape from monkey island is a adventure/ role-playing game set in a wonderful and hilarious time of pirates. Basically the game consists of your character "guy" talking to other witty and amusing characters and collecting items with the intention to solve the vast array of puzzles throughout the game. The puzzles range from fairly simple to how the heck am I suppose to think of that and remember that you may not be able to solve a particular puzzle until a certain point in the game. When talking to other characters you are given different options of what to say back. These can range from insulting (but hilarious comments) to almost intelligent questions. The the other games in the monkey island series have used a point and click interface system, but this game sees the replacement ofthat with a superb joystick/keyboard interface system. This may dissapoint those of you who like the old point and click adventure game genre, but trust me this game still has so much to offer. This game will probably be the most funny and brilliantly 3D rendered game you will ever play. The jokes and puns come thick and fast throught the game dialogue. The game script is so well thought out and funny that is nothing short of absolutely superb.

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                        15.03.2001 03:33
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                        I brought this game 2 weeks ago and so far, I have been amazed at the stunning graphics and great game play it has. I should also say I’ve nearly completed it (not because its to short) because I am always playing on it none stop. I used to have an Atari and on it I had the 2nd monkey island game (LeChucks revenge which I really enjoyed. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that this new game was coming out for pc. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it when it came out straight away and had to wait even longer but it was well worth the wait. So now with this game being the 4th in the long running series being on the graphics are now in 3d which makes it a lot more fun to play. The minimum system requirements for this game are: Operating System: Windows 95, 98 CPU: 200 MHz required; 266 MHz or more recommended Memory: 32 MB RAM Video: 4 MB PCI or AGP direct 3D or openGL-compatible graphics accelerator Sound: 16-bit sound card CD-ROM: Quad speed IDE or SCSI CD-ROM Directx: requires directx 7.0a or higher (don’t worry this comes on the cd itself) The new monkey island game contains some of the old characters such as Guybrush Threepwood, Murry (the skeleton head, the game wouldn’t be the same without him), Stan, Meethook, and lots more. If you have played the other monkey island games then you know that you really will enjoy this game and Guybrush is really easy to control. Also if you have played the other games you will know how hard the puzzles are and don’t worry the are still as hard as ever. For those who don’t know the plot of the monkey island game here it is: You take control of Guybrush Threepwood as he goes on another one of his wacky life threatening adventures. Basically what you have to do in this game is find the secret of the ultimate insult, this can turn fearless pirates into being scared of everything including ants. This
                        4th game is a lot harder than the rest with more adventures and puzzles to solve this will take an ordinary gamer (with no cheating) a long time to complete. Just so you know a little more about Guybrush I’ll tell you what he is like. He is a mighty pirate who is incredibly stupid and doesn’t realize that his wife takes the piss out of him. His wife basically controls him and tells him what to do and he can’t get grog form the scumm bar because he looks 14. In the game you’ll meet some pirates who went with Guybrush to monkey island and hate him for leaving them there and they are always insulting him which I enjoy. This game is full of new jokes, puns, and insults. So if you are looking to by a new computer game for the pc then get down to the nearest shop now and buy this. You know you’ll regret this if you miss out. I think it is the best game ever and highly recommend it. :O)

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                          04.03.2001 03:58
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                          The very first computer game I ever bought, even before I owned a PC, was The Secret of Monkey Island by then Lucasfilm Games. It might not seem like much today, but the 16-color graphics and mouse-driven interface were quite respectable by 1990 standards. It was the first computer game, aside from ZORK and other early text adventures, that appealed to me--I didn't have to have fine-tuned hand-eye coordination and lightning-fast reflexes like my brothers to succeed at this game, just a keen eye for detail and the ability to solve puzzles. And it was FUNNY. Along with a burning desire to be a pirate, protagonist Guybrush Threepwood had a great sense of comic timing. Monkey Island quickly became my personal benchmark against which all other adventure games were judged. You need to know this before you continue with my review, because I don't entirely come to this game bias-free. In fact, I have purchased and played all three previous Monkey Island games and enjoyed each one. And although Escape from Monkey Island is still a solid addition to this series, and among the best of current adventure titles in the market, it's just not as good a game as its predecessors. What to Like Hey, it's a Monkey Island game. That means a lot of wisecracking comments, unwashed scallywag pirates, and puzzles ranging from the simple to the very difficult. This is also the first title in the Monkey Island series to be produced in 3D. Despite some misgivings on my part when I first heard about this, it works surprisingly well. If you're a seasoned adventure gamer, the look--which more closely resembles a console game--may be a little disconcerting at first, but it doesn't take long before you get comfortable with it. The graphics are good and look acceptable even on a low-end graphic accelerator card. LucasArts once again scores high on the audio meter, with near-perfect character voices and a stirring piratey soundtrack all t
                          he way through the game. Although most voices are crystal-clear, LucasArts also wisely included a voice-and-text option to make sure you don't miss a word. For first-time gamers, a bare-bones walkthrough has been included in the package. It's sealed so you don't prematurely spoil any puzzles. Take it easy on the walkthrough, though--the game will be over far too fast if you spend too much time using it. The key is to look over everything carefully and listen to everyone's comments--they often contain very subtle clues. What not to like EFMI feels like it was rushed to market in time for the holiday season--insufficient play testing means lots of bugs. LucasArts already has a patch available on its website for some of the more annoying ones, but even with the patch installed I had some problems. At one point, other characters simply stopped responding--they'd gesture, but no words would come out--so Guybrush started having some very one-sided conversations. Technical support had a workaround for this, but in a game that depends so much on conversation, that's a MAJOR bug that should have been caught in the development phase. This is also not a newbie-friendly game. Unless you've played this series from the start and you know who Carla, Otis, Elaine, Meathook, the Voodoo Lady and LeChuck are, you may be at a bit of a loss over all the in-jokes. There is a quick summation at the beginning, but it's sketchy at best. I can't really put my finger on it, but the humor in EFMI doesn't always measure up. Yes, it's definitely funny, but it doesn't quite have the spark of earlier games. (The series did change quite a bit between MI2 and MI3--the original creator left LucasArts to start his own company--but MI3 still had that indefinable buzz.) One thing I consider a major drawback to the game is the "Monkey Kombat" mini-game (you'll know it when you get to it). Althou
                          gh Mortal Kombat fans may find this funny, it gets old really, really fast. Conclusion Despite the bugs and problems, Escape from Monkey Island is a good title and worthwhile to play; I enjoyed it a lot. Fans of the series may notice this title doesn't get as much bang for the buck as the earlier games, but it's still fun. If I could award half-star ratings, EFMI would get three and a half stars; as it is, I'll err on the side of overall enjoyment and give it four stars.

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