September 1, 2018 at 6:11 pm #1820
I’ve played this game a lot over the years, so it’s hard to really remember what my first impression was like back then. But playing it now, the first thing that strikes me (and which is quite funny to me) is just how grumpy or miserable most of the characters you meet are, haha. Almost everyone is either sceptical about you, or even outright aggressive towards you 😀
FatherbeastParticipantSeptember 1, 2018 at 10:27 pm #1822
OK, I’m new and registered today in order to converse about this game. I also have played this many times over the years, but I remember playing it the first time.
I got this for free in the PC Gamer disc, in what they called “The Classic Gaming collection.” My daughter and I worked on this game for quite some time. It was quirky and weird from the start, but what made us laugh the first time was the very important pirates describing just what is in rum.September 1, 2018 at 10:30 pm #1823
Hello and welcome! Awesome that you decided to join and share some memories with us 🙂
The list of ingredients of grog is indeed quite something, haha!
FatherbeastParticipantSeptember 1, 2018 at 10:41 pm #1827
I should mention that we had windows 98 at the time, and there was no sound in DOS games. I never heard any sounds or music in this game, or in LeChuck’s Revenge, until the coming of SCUMMVM. We still played this game to death.September 2, 2018 at 10:55 am #1830
Wow, that’s amazing. I suppose the sound isn’t vital for beating the game, but the music is really great though and provides tons of atmosphere.
Playing the game some more this morning, I realised how cinematic it actually is. Most point & click adventure games are quite static, but there are quite a few dramatic scenes and even some interesting camera angles and such things going on in this game. I don’t think I had realised that before.
CorgibuttzParticipantPodcasterSeptember 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm #1831
Looking forward to returning to Monkey Island! This is another game I played with my dad at a young age. We had the original game w/ the spinning code wheel. Unfortunately a pipe broke in my parents house a few years ago and Monkey Island was one of the PC games that was destroyed in the flood. I did manage to harvest the original Disks out of it… which are a bit funky smelling… I’m sure they’re dead…but I still keep’m in the collection for the memories.September 5, 2018 at 11:33 am #1838
I’ve played way too much Monkey Island to be able to offer a first impression any more. I’m amazed how well it still holds together though. The humour is still fresh, the puzzle design spot on, the graphics have aged well and the music is as catchy as ever. It’s a game where everything seems to have gone right. About the only criticism I have was the amount of silence there was in the soundtrack which surprised me a bit going back. The version I was playing didn’t even have most of the sound effects if you were playing with MT-32 music.
I’ve moved onto the sequels and while it’s still a classic, I enjoyed Monkey Island 2 less than I expected. Guybrush was a less sympathetic character and there seemed to be a good deal less humour with more high adventure in its place. The production values were certainly better with a full iMuse soundtrack and more animation. It could just be a case of playing it to death years back having spoiled it for me these days but I think it lost a little of the charm. Some sections were quite dark really so maybe it was going for the moody second entry in the series like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. God knows there were enough references to both of those elsewhere. Some of the puzzle design was definitely worse than anything in #1 (e.g. the infamous monkey wrench).
I might even prefer Curse Of Monkey Island which isn’t something I expected to say. The humour fell flat on a few occasions but it had enough memorable sections to make up for it and the graphical and audio overhaul were fantastic for the time. I particularly loved the sea shanty bit and the banjo dueling.
Playing all these games back to back, it’s noticeable how inconsistent they are with the characters and world. Personalities change every time and each sequel appears further removed from the original. Monkey Island was vaguely true to the historical period of the game but by Monkey Island 3 we’ve got beach clubs with cabana boys, amusement parks of death with roller coasters, radar guided cannons, etc.. It isn’t just the graphics that got more cartoony as the series progressed.
I’m on to Escape From Monkey Island now which is going to take far longer as unlike the first three I don’t already know how to solve all the puzzles. I did play it back in the day but only once and I’ve forgotten it all. I’m hoping I like it more now than I did then but I’m not hopeful.September 10, 2018 at 11:35 am #1865
I’ve made it through the rest of the Monkey Island games so I may as well give some opinions on them. Escape From Monkey Island used the Grim Fandango engine which meant 3D characters and Alone In The Dark style tank controls. This interface is fairly horrible with Guybrush bouncing around all over the place when you try to walk down narrow paths. It was a massive step back and clearly designed with consoles in mind at the expense of PC gamers. As for the game, there were sections I liked but a lot of the jokes were painfully unfunny. I really didn’t enjoy the whole tourist resort theme – it just didn’t feel like a Monkey Island game any more. The game as a whole was maybe slightly above average but a huge step down from previous entries. It’s arguably the worst adventure game Lucasarts ever did, the only competition being Labyrinth and I have far more sympathy for a game that had to run on a C64. MI4 was the game that killed off adventure games at Lucasarts and we should probably be glad Sam and Max 2 and Full Throttle 2 never happened on the whole.
I really enjoyed Tales of Monkey Island on the other hand. It had the most plot of any of the Monkey Island games, some great puzzle design and a lot of fun new characters. I’d go as far as to say that out of the 5 games, this was the one I had the best time with. A large part of that was not knowing it inside out already of course. I just wish Telltale were still doing these sorts of games. They were my favourite developers for a while in the noughties but I got bored with their modern day interactive movies years back.
I have to say I find it hard to believe just how little I remembered about these last two games given that I’d played them both before. This may as well have been the first time so that’s one advantage of a dodgy memory.
I had a very quick look at the Secret Of Monkey Island remake. I don’t know what anyone else thinks but I absolutely hate the new character designs. The originals almost had an oil painting look about them in closeups, I don’t know what Lucasarts were thinking about with these angular cartoon versions. The backgrounds look nice enough at least. I wasn’t entirely convinced about the voice acting either, I think it always works best in games where it was designed that way from the start. It seemed quite stilted and unnatural to me but I didn’t play very far. Maybe as a new player the remake is an improvement but I couldn’t see it myself.
That was way too many games in a short space of time anyway. The constant rain recently was a large factor but if I ever try something like this again, I’m pacing myself a bit better.September 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm #1866
Wow, so you played all the… let me count… 10 Monkey Island games? That’s counting each chapter of the “Tales” games as a separate game.
I’ve never really played Curse or Escape myself, nor the Tales. It’s interesting to hear you enjoyed the Telltale series, I might check those out myself.
I’m currently playing through the sequel and I must admit… I’m enjoying it less than the original. The original is so fully packed with jokes and silliness, it’s just great. The sequel feels more tedious, where you constantly have to move between places to get a little further with the intricate puzzles. It’s not unfunny though, definitely still very good.
I think they felt maybe Secret was too easy and they wanted to offer the player more of a challenge? I don’t know, but for me the original is still absolutely fantastic. It all works so well and is so unbelievably goofy, it’s really great.September 10, 2018 at 3:30 pm #1867
The 5 from Telltale only really add up to the one game but it’s clearly way too much gaming. I’m not going near another PC game for at least a week.
I’m with you on Monkey Island 2 yet I remember absolutely loving it when I first played it. It was probably the first Lucasarts adventure I played so I’m wondering if that coloured my opinion. A couple of the puzzle solutions are so stupid that the answers are jokes in their own right. The only way through those is trial and error really. This sort of design is really unusual in a Lucasarts game and I can’t think of any other examples outside of MI2.
firefyteParticipantPodcasterSeptember 11, 2018 at 5:16 pm #1869
As someone who has played through all of them, I’ll chime in on MI2:
The basic ‘not mega monkey’ difficulty wasn’t that bad, it was fairly easy to follow, but the developers in the special edition of MI2 made it so that you had to run around every island to fully complete a puzzle.
MI3, for me, always felt a bit more polished (and Murray was always my favorite) vs. the earlier ones, while I preferred the ‘rougher’ look of Guy.brush in MI2.
Tales is really a spiritual successor, with the same world and characters, some of it was fairly hard, but otherwise quite worth the 1-2h per chapter. This of course after playing the Sam and Max sequels.
Having thrashed various versions of Monkey Island, I always preferred these over Sierra adventures for their forgiving nature. Monkey Island had better humor and the fact that taking a wrong turn didn’t kill you (Space Quest, anybody?).
There is a slight attention to detail that is quite fantastic, even going as far as the vultures that like to circle you on Monkey Island(tm). Some puzzles are stupidly difficult to figure out, at first, but that’s the way of an adventure game you can otherwise complete in 30 minutes if you ignore all the story and neat stuff hidden around (like skipping the guard in town in the last bit).
Overall Monkey Island, even as a series (not MI4, really), stands out as a benchmark of what point and click can be, as its best.
P.S.: I do own the Tales of Monkey Island Tankard
PixelProphecyParticipantPodcasterSeptember 14, 2018 at 8:58 pm #1896
The last time I “seriously” played the game was over 20 years ago (on a monochrome screen, PC speaker sound only… a tragedy!) so I was a lot younger and much less game-literate back then.
While I recall that I still liked it, the current play-through painted a different picture and suppressed suddenly reared up and forced me to realize that, no: Monkey Island had not been a pleasant experience for me as a kid back then!
Bit by bit I realized that many adventure game puzzles I had hated over the years actually stem from The Secret of Monkey Island! I think I am going to record a little voice note for the podcast on this, I think it’s quite entertaining.
That realization was a bit surprising to me as I meant that I had loved that game since I saw the first pixel. I attribute my mis-memory to being exposed to reading and hearing almost overwhelmingly good things about Monkey Island over the years…
Apparently one’s memories can be deceiving. 🙂
dr_stParticipantSeptember 15, 2018 at 6:02 am #1897
While not being generally an adventure/quest type player, I’ve played Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2 pretty extensively back in the day and loved the atmosphere and humor. I never played any Monkey Island games (shame on me), but from a first glance it looks like it can be very similar, and I might enjoy it as well. Probably need to set up the Talkie Edition first…
yozyParticipantPodcasterSeptember 16, 2018 at 8:09 am #1898
As a complete neophyte to the Monkey Island franchise I have really enjoyed the first one. Most of the puzzles were quite logical. Now I am on the second game, but I already feel that this one will require a lot more work to complete.
For now I do not have much grief except for objects that are really tiny and hidden in weird places.
I am playing the game on the phone and regularly switch between the touch and touchpad modes to scan the screen for pixels.
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