Product Type: LucasArts PC games
Newest Review: ... the game remains logical in all but one puzzle, though this is not an easy game. Fortunately the game comes with a built-in hint syst... more
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (Special Edition)
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge (PC)
Member Name: butters
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge (PC)
Advantages: Fantastic puzzles and brilliant updated graphics.
Disadvantages: Voice acting of the minor characters
After the success of Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, it was inevitable that LucasArts would cash in on the renewed interest of the classic series to remake the 1991 game LeChuck's' Revenge, which continues the story of Guybrush Threepwood on his goal to become a mighty pirate.
After defeating LeChuck, we catch up with Guybrush at the end of his current adventure. Dangling into a huge hole, rope in one hand and treasure chest in another, he then proceeds to tell Elaine Marley exactly how he got into this situation. We are then greeted with a flashback of Guybrush on Scabb Island; basking in the glory of his defeat of LeChuck, we find out that Guybrush is now going after the biggest treasure of all - the aptly named Big Whoop.
Unlike the most recent title in the Monkey Island series, which could be criticised for simple puzzles, the second game has no such issue. Quite possibly the hardest in the series due to the relatively infamous 'monkey wrench' puzzle, completing the game is truly an achievement. Unlike the first game which was certainly not easy but unquestionably linear, this game aims to be more ambitious with a large part of the game spent hopping from island to island trying to find a logical use for your multiple inventory items. Thankfully the game remains logical in all but one puzzle, though this is not an easy game. Fortunately the game comes with a built-in hint system. At the click of a button you can get an obscure hint that will aid you in your journey without spoiling the fun. The more you click the less obscure the hint becomes until it bluntly tells you what you should be aiming for.
For those new to the genre however, be slow with the 'H' button. Much of the joy in the series comes from solving the creative puzzles which make great use of random objects. It is the mark of a great adventure game when you wander around for hours not knowing what to do next, only to solve the puzzle and immediately think "of course!" not understanding why it took you so long to use a certain two items together. The game undoubtedly isn't for everyone - by their very nature the point and click genre is slow paced, an obvious change from most modern games, though it is through the pacing that the game shines. It is through the exploration and examination, through the dialogue and frustration that the humour shines. As with the original the humour is mixed, ranging from innocent japes about the main characters inability to grow a beard to hilarious innuendo. Guybrush oozes charm in a way no other character does, having all the allure of Jack Sparrow and them some. You could spend hours engaging in useless dialogue with every character there is, going through every dialogue option available. It's largely useless - only small amounts of the conversation will be useful though it will put a smile on your face.
The game has two sets of graphics - the original graphics and the wonderfully hand-drawn graphics of the remake which you can switch between with a button press. It allows you to enjoy the game in both its new form and the pixellated form that the old fans will love. Along with the change of graphics the atmospheric music has been updated, and voices have been implemented, with an option to have voices even in the classic mode of the game. The new graphics capture the atmosphere of the games perfectly, a (more basic) Curse of Monkey Island style with a darker, yet equally vibrant palette of colours.
The voices could do with some work however. As with the first remake, though the voices of the main characters are charming, the side characters could do with some work. Dominic Armato delivers another excellent performance of Guybrush Threepwood, though the voices of the minor characters largely have a wacky sound that doesn't quite fit the Monkey Island world. The same could be said for the narrator - a pointless voice that adds nothing to the experience.
The updated music on the other hand is merely a touch up to keep with the updated graphics and is nothing less than perfect.
To better show off the updated graphics, the old-style SCUMM engine is gone and replaced with an updated version which allows the game more use of the screen. The inventory is now accessible by pressing 'I' instead of being at the bottom of the screen and the verbs (pick up / use etc) can be accessed via mouse wheel of right clicking on an object. Right clicking brings up an interface not dissimilar to the Curse of Monkey Island SCUMM engine with the verb choices easy to use, providing a better experience than the engine in the first remake which at times felt clunky.
As an extra when playing through the game is an audio commentary delivered by the creators. Their commentary is amusing at times though is one for the old fans more than anything else.
In short, it is a fantastic game. The Monkey Island series possibly has the best game humour, and you won't find many point and click games with better puzzles. The slow paced gameplay will be off-putting for some, but for everyone else, you will find a great game. A lot of games are being remade these days, and it is brilliant to see one stay so true to the original.
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is available on Steam for Ł6.99. It is also available on PSN, 360 and the iPhone.
Summary: A fantastic remake that stays as true to the original as possible.