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A perfect re-imagining of a classic – Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

July 15, 2009

It’s easy to worry when you hear a classic is getting a remake, for many movie fans the word brings up horrendous images of The Thomas Crown Affair, The Day the Earth Stood Still, or perhaps Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, depending on your position on Tim ‘Gothic exaggeration’ Burton but whatever feelings it arises in movie goers, it’s not normally good…

And it’s not like video games have escaped the increasingly annoying trend of remakes either, Bionic Commando and Alone in the Dark are two recent tragedies of this growing trend.

However video games can get away with something that video games can’t, re-imaginings. A splash of HD polish here, an updated audio track there and a game is ready for an XBLA release, whilst sometimes an exercise in polishing turds there are some games that come out looking and playing like they were made just yesterday.

The new art style takes a little adjusting but new details, such as the ships in the background here, give more life to classic scenes.

The new art style takes a little adjusting but new details, such as the ships in the background here, give more life to classic scenes.

And I’m happy to say that Monkey Island is one such game. Whilst the facelift may take some getting used to the additional details and sleek character models are an obvious improvement but second to this is the new slick as grease animation. Several other HD re-makes such as Street Fighter have kept their old frame rates, making the gorgeous HD art simple window dressing on the sprites of old, of course in a fighter it’s acceptable but Monkey Island benefits now from sleek art and polished animation.

More importantly however is the addition of voice overโ€™s, and this is no phone in job. The most important voice in Monkey Island(tm), Dominic Armato returns to reprise his role as Guybrush Threepwood and proves once again that he is the man for the job but it’s the supporting cast that truly shines, each voice actor fits their character and what more, they give a real sense of feeling and life to their performances, even small insignificant characters ooze personality as they animate lines left unspoken for nineteen years.

And that’s all there is to say really, Lucas Arts have done the job and delivered a version of Monkey Island for the 360 generation, visually slick and with voice talent far beyond the usual quality delivered for a video game, the graphic adventure is back in style. For those lingering on a purchase, the new hint system will ensure newcomers don’t get too stuck however don’t lean on it too heavily, as it could turn what could be an absorbing eight to ten hour epic into a swift jaunt, just sit back, enjoy the ride, and live the adventure of Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate.

The Music and sound have been improved as well, this bar now buzzes with the chatter of drunk pirates whilst the clock ticks in the town square.

The Music and sound have been improved as well, this bar now buzzes with the chatter of drunk pirates whilst the clock ticks in the town square.

Sam and Max Hit the Road next please.

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for the info. I’ve not had a chance to check it out yet.


    • No Problem ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the comment!



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