Tales of Monkey Island

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GAMER
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Tales of Monkey Island

Post by GAMER »

So i just finished playing episode 1 of the new Telltale series - Launch of the Screaming Narwhal.
I was wondering if anyone else bought / downloaded / whatever the series as well?

Personally, i think Telltale did a much better job with Tales of Monkey Island (albeit i've only played the first episode) than even LucasArts did in Escape From Monkey Island.

I think the main reason i enjoyed the episode is that before it's release i was very concerned with what graphics would be employed. I was horrified when i first played EFMI and discovered they had ditched the wonderful 2D cartoony style of COMI. I was very pleasantly surprised by the graphics of TOMI however. The artwork was never going to be a problem, with Dave Bogan at the helm - who worked on COMI and GrimFandango, among others. I'm not sure what the style of the graphics is called, but to me it appears as a seemless merge of 2D and 3D - a beautifully interactive 'world' where you feel as though your character can walk wherever he wants...

Which brings me to the controls of the game. I really enjoyed the new control system, though it threw me at first. Using a rotating axis type idea, Guybrush can spin in 360' and moves according to your click and drag movement. I found the curser in the game to be slow and laggy, and no adjustments seemed to help this. I'm not sure whether this was a game problem or a me problem, but nonetheless i got used to it after a while. With no 'action' elements it was not really an issue.

The puzzles of the game were not very difficult. This was something i had considered before playing the game - who would be the audience? Would the game have grown up with the kids who played it a decade ago, or would it be on the same level? I think that maybe they tried to do both, but didn't really engage an older mind in a lateral thinking way. There were only two puzzles that i had trouble with, but they were solved relatively quickly. I was somewhat dissappointed by a repetition of a puzzle twice in the one episode. I fear that this lack of originality may reoccur throughout the series.

The dialogue was not dissimilar enough to the other games to notice TOO much - apart from a distinct lack of humour. I giggled occasionally, but i was not overwhelmed by the comedy as i was in other games of the series. An annoying element of the dialogue (for me) was that Guybrush rarely said the actual dialogue written on the select menu. As would happen OCCASIONALLY in other MI games, he instead said something similar or in a lot of cases in this episode, something completely different. This was a mild con that was definitely outweighed by the huge pro of the original voice acting from COMI. Guybrush sounded like Guybrush, Elaine like Elaine, LeChuck like LeChuck. VoodooLady however, sounded a bit like a man... Moreso than in other games.

On the topic of characters, i raise an interesting point about this episode that i would like opinions on if others have played it yet. I found that Elaine's character was rather subdued and painted as a less dominant female figure. Being a woman myself, i much admired Elaine in the previous games for being strong-willed and defiant. I felt she was a real icon for feminism in gaming, and i am somewhat saddened by her reincarnation. She did not play a large role in the episode however, so i am hoping that the remaining episodes do her justice.

There were a few minor problems i had with the actual programming (i guess, i'm not sure if that's what it was) though, but i'm sure these will be worked out before the release of the hard-copy in 2010. There were times where the scenery appeared to have a black horizontal slash in it, and where Guybrush's movements were not fluid. In some instances, the dialogue selection menu would not highlight the line you were trying to select. One major failing of the game design in my opinion was in one particular puzzle sequence where you had to find a destination and then do something there... if you did not do the 'something' there and instead went somewhere else first, intending to return (or if perhaps you didn't have a particular item needed and had to retrieve it), you did not get a marker on the island overview for having found the destination and the map you used to get there dissappeared from your inventory. At this point, i had to return to a previous save game. I thought this element was very UN-MI and UN-LucasArts. Another minor, but possibly notable problem i had with the game was that a particular item needed for one of the last puzzles in the game was able to be interacted with at nearly the beginning of the game. A key piece of the last puzzle, it was quite sad when i realised my last move, i had already made at the beginning.

All in all though, i really enjoyed the episode and hope the others continue to build on this solid foundation. The story was good, the characters (excluding what i saw of Elaine) were good, the dialogue and music were good and the puzzles were good (for the intended audience). Estimated hours of gameplay was roughly 15hrs. I give it 9/10.

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Post by Dogbreath »

Oh Elaine!
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Post by Vangar »

Everything's been great so far, but I'm very disappointed with that 'puzzle' you mentioned they repeated in the first episode. They repeat it again in the 4th episode, but even longer with collecting items and following bugs. Ugh.

Luckily I have the full season bought and i skipped right on to 5. Everything's pretty good.
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Post by jack2smith1988 »

Tales of Monkey Island is a 2009 graphic adventure video game developed by Telltale Games and LucasArts. It is the fifth game in the Monkey Island series, released nearly a decade after the previous installment, Escape from Monkey Island. Developed for Windows and the Wii console, the game was released in five episodic segments, between July and December 2009. In contrast to Telltale's previous episodic adventure games, whose chapters told discrete stories, each chapter of Tales of Monkey Island is part of an ongoing narrative. The game was digitally distributed through WiiWare and Telltale's own website, and later through Steam and Amazon.com. Ports for Mac OS X, the PlayStation Network, and iOS were released several months after the series ended.

Players assume the role of pirate Guybrush Threepwood, who while attempting to destroy his nemesis, the undead pirate LeChuck accidentally releases a voodoo pox across the Gulf of Melange. With the assistance of his wife, Elaine Marley Threepwood, Guybrush seeks out a cure. The game was conceived in late 2008, due to renewed interest in adventure game development within LucasArts. It was developed concurrently with LucasArts' special edition of the 1990 title The Secret of Monkey Island; LucasArts oversaw production of Tales of Monkey Island, and ensured that it matched the remake in certain areas, such as art direction. Production began in early 2009; franchise creator Ron Gilbert was involved in project planning, while development was led by Dave Grossman, who co-designed the first two Monkey Island games. The game's music was composed by Michael Land, and the core cast of The Curse of Monkey Island reprised their voice roles.
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