Monkey Island 2: LeChucks Revenge Special Edition – Review

Release Date: Out now!
Developer: Lucas Arts
Publisher: Lucas Arts
Singleplayer: Yes
Splitscreen: Nope
Multiplayer: Nope
PEGI: 10

(Xbox Live Arcade Title priced at 800 Microsoft Points)

Ah fond memories of moving my pixellated Guybrush around a screen whilst randomly clicking anything that even looked remotely like a usable item brings tears to my eyes.
In many respects modern day gaming has been shaped by such games and it’s through fan demand that we’ve had the return of this celebrated series onto Xbox Live Arcade.

Once again you take the role of Guybrush Threepwood, the rather hapless yet vastly entertaining pirate as he attempts to find Big Whoop, a lost treasure.
The original script is all intact so the humour and downright wackiness is still accounted for and present and it’s stood up to the test of time with ease.
One liners, daft puzzles and more still bring a smile to your face even if some of the more odd puzzles will leave you wondering whats going on.
Thankfully the Hint system from the first has returned though oddly it’s taken a bit of a step backwards.
Hold X for a tip, do it three times and the game will tell you exactly what to do but often it gives tips that don’t help or aren’t even for what your doing.
It can lead to some frustrating moments for newer age gamers who have never played such games and have to rely on the tips to help out.

Just like the Special Edition from last year Monkey Island 2 has gotten quite the graphical overhaul to bring it into the modern day and it’s been successful without a doubt.
Guybrush’s rather odd hair-do from the first is gotten and now he’s looking sharper than ever with environments all looking very nicely done with a great cartoonish style to it all.

Another new twist is direct control over Guybrush which is a big change from the point and click origins of the game however the option is still included which is good news as direct control feels a little off thanks to some odd controls.
And that’s something that still hurts from last years Monkey Island, the controls still feel out of place and take a little while to get used to.

Other new features include an Item Highlighter which allows you to see all items that can be interacted with clearer by holding LB.
It’s dead useful at times.

Along the way you’ll unlock concept art as well, but this pales in comparison to the stand out feature of Audio commentary by the games creators.
Pressing RB when prompted will activate this awesome feature (though you need to activate it first via the Extra’s menu) and gives you some great insight into the game as well as a laugh thanks to the weirdness of the trio.
And of course the ability to morph the game into its original version returns.

The gameplay has also stood the test of time, puzzles are still challenging as you venture across the games 3 islands.
Most puzzles require items from each Island as well leading to some constant travelling but it never takes too long to do.
Some can be frustratingly peculiar and some will just make you cry when you realise the answer was so obvious.
They’re well designed and often test your deductive skills to the max and ask you to thing outside the box, and often outside the hexagon as well.

Sadly it’s a fairly short game, in face it has an achievement for completing the game in less than 3 hours and those who played the game when it was first released and have a good memory will breeze through.
Newer players may find it more tough with around a 4-6 hour completion time.
Of course there is little replay value due to it being puzzle based unless you can wipe your short term memory.

Monkey Island 2 is fun to play and funny to listen to, its stood the test of time like a rock and with updated graphics, new voiceovers and the extra commentary it brings a smile to your face as you play through it all. Whether you’ve played it before or it it’s your first time.
And for just 800MSP it’s a steal.

The Good:
+ It’s just so dam funny!
+ Well priced
+ It looks great!

The Bad:
– The Hints system is a bit off this time round
– it has to end 😦

The Scores:

graphics: 8.5
Monkey Island has never looked so good with sharp vibrant graphics and amazing art style.

Sound: 9
Brilliant music and the voiceovers are all very well done!

Story: 8.5
Classic Monkey Island humour woven into a fun, if fairly simply tale that keeps you smiling all the way to the end.

Gameplay: 8.5
The puzzles keep you on your toes throughout but it’s a shame that the hint system is a little flawed this time around. Direct control as well feels a little off.

Lifespan: 6.5
Your looking at an average of 4 hours with no real replay value.
But for 800MSP it’s pretty decent value for money.

Overall: 9
Monkey Island returns in a big way with updated graphics and sound along with a few nice features and it’s still a classic with great humour and personality that keeps you playing.

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