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Sep 24, 2009

Review: Tales of Monkey Island - Ep.2 - Siege of Spinner Cay

Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 2 – Siege of Spinner Cay
Telltales Games
Available as a PC Download and as Nintendo Wiiware.

Avast ye scurvy dogs, tis time for the next episode in the Tales of Monkey Island story. In July, Telltales games released the first episode in the Tales of Monkey Island series which received excellent reviews from the fans and the game media. On August 20th, Episode 2: Siege of Spinner Cay was released and I’m here to tell you if it’s worth following Mr. Threepwood’s adventures past the first cannon shot and witty remark.

If you managed to pick up the first episode, you’ll remember that we left our hero at the end of a pirate’s blade which we soon find out belongs to a famous pirate hunter hired by the Marquis who is still trying to catch Guybrush. After a few witty remarks and some quick reactions, Guybrush manages to escape the hunter with only a minor problem and decides to head off to find Elaine.

Arriving in Spinner Cay, he finds his sweet Elaine in good health but also trying to track down La Esponja Grande in order to remove the voodoo pox which is now affecting numerous pirates throughout the area. Elaine has teamed up with the now human LeChuck in order to convince the Merfolk inhabitants of Spinner Cay to give them the sponge. This does not make Guybrush happy and he does everything he can to save the day on his own in order to impress Elaine.

From here out, you must use Guybrush’s usual problem solving skills to search the island for the clues to finding the La Esponja Grande. You must collect items, talk to the natives and use your noggin to help Guybrush navigate all the problems he encounters on the islands. The puzzles were a lot harder this time around compared to the first episode and I’m ashamed to admit even I had to cheat on a puzzle or two.

Fans will be happy to know that even more Monkey Island references from previous games popped up in this new episode like insult sword fighting and the inclusion of the original Monkey Island theme. The humour in the game ring true again whether in it be in the dialog or the puzzles. You honestly can’t help but chuckle playing these games.

The controls are still the same in game with the option of using either the mouse or the keyboard. I still found the keyboard controls were much easier to move Guybrush around on screen. Though I found a few glitches in the first episode, I found no problems this time around but keep in mind that PC versions are different from computer to computer.

The graphics were still the same beautiful 3D models used in the first episode which are created on the same engine that Telltale games using in their other series like Sam & Max. I really can’t get over how spectacular the characters look in this game, especially after the disaster that was the 3D Playstation 2 version of Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island. That game is the reason no one originally liked the idea of another 3D Monkey Island game because it fought like cow. How appropriate you fight like a dairy farmer! Wait, what?! Never mind.

Still happy to see original Monkey Island veterans, Dominic Armato and Alexandra Boyd voicing Guybrush and Elaine as the game wouldn’t be the same without them, but I also would like to point out the grand job that Adam Harrington and Kevin Blackton are doing for LeChuck’s voices. I know a lot of fans are mad that veteran actor, Earl Boen didn’t return but he’s retired apparently.

Now most fans would have been smart and probably purchased the whole series when Telltale games offered it up for a discounted price but for those who haven’t purchase any episode yet or just bought the first, I can’t stress how great these games are. Telltale Games has not only breathe new life into an amazing series for new & old fans to enjoy but they have also inspired the dinosaurs over at Lucasarts to finally start re-releasing all the old titles from their catalogue starting with a Special Edition of Secret of Monkey Island. I personally can’t wait for titles like Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max: Hit the Road.

If I could kiss each and every one of the employees at Telltale game for what they’ve done for old school Lucasart fans, I would but hopefully they will consider this review like one big smooch instead. Definitely buy this and share it with a future gamer.

Rating: 10 out of 10
Buy it!

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