Guybrush seems to keep putting himself in worse and worse situations. At the end of the last episode, he managed to be eaten by a giant manatee, and now he has to find his way out and remedy the Pox problem. It seems a little strange that as this game progresses, each episode just gets a little better, and stranger, than the last.
Monkey Island is the current revival of the long dead PC adventure game series in a newly designed updated format. This doesn’t just have to do with the graphics or the usability of the interface that most adventure games have experienced over the last 10 years, but also with its episodic delivery format. Each month a new episode comes out, delivering another chunk of Guybrush’s story and several more hours of gameplay. Up to this point in the series, every single episode has been delivered on time and with an amazingly self-aware sense of humor.
The game allows the player to move around the environment with the WASD or arrow keys, as opposed to most adventure games that require a click to send the character towards an object. This is an amazing advancement that smoothes out the flow of the game and stops Guybrush from feeling like he exists in the environment instead of being jerked around like a bad marionette. While Telltale has used this before in some of their other adventure games, it still doesn’t seem like many other adventure games have caught on to this interface.
One of the other clever things that Telltale manages to do in almost all of their adventure games is have an integrated hint system that spouts out clearer and clearer hints the longer that a player is stuck on any given puzzle. While this does take away the need to ever really break the experience of the game and look up the always supplied official walkthrough, it isn’t always amazingly wonderful in the ways of what should be done next. The game seems to latch onto the closest puzzle in the game and suggest that the player solve that one, instead of ones that might be the most useful for progression at that moment.
The game returns with the same stylized graphics that have been in the last two Monkey Island games, and don’t really seem to have any massive improvements. Although there really isn’t anything to complain about because the game does an amazing job at displaying the cartoony feel of the world and giving everything a good sense of place and texture. The game does manage to do a great job of displaying everything at a rather low screen resolution, and sadly it still doesn’t improve that drastically when turned up.
While this is probably the one example in recent memory that had a very small, mainly returning cast of characters in the Telltale episodic series of games, they all managed to do a wonderful job with the roles that they were given. It seems like every single month the person that does the voice of Guybrush falls deeper into his character and makes every line more and more enjoyable. The other actors in the game are also spot-on, but it seems that Guybrush managed to steal the show with an amazing performance.
The game itself needs to be bought all at once, which seems to be a little odd considering the delivery method of the game. Although the more that time moves forward, the more that this starts to make sense as every single episode takes place directly after the last. If someone were to jump into this episode, it would be entirely confusing for them, also most of the play mechanics aren’t given to be explained either making it a bad spot to jump in. That doesn’t mean that this game isn’t worth the entire season’s asking price, because it is.
The third episode in this series does an amazing job of proving that this game is a must have for anyone that can run it. If you are reading this article and have a computer that is capable of running almost any video game from the last three years you owe it to yourself to go out and purchase this game. This game, or that, this series is worth it.