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Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

An improvement over the first Special Edition, possibly even better than the original!

They’ve changed some things for the better when compared to the Special Edition of Monkey 1: object highlighting eliminates pixel hunting, the added “director’s commentary” by Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman is a nice touch (and not too intrusive when playing), the voice acting remains when switching back to the old graphics, but most of all: the newly implemented control system is pure brilliance! In contrast to the previous Special Edition, this time around it’s a lot more intuitive, it uses only the mouse, and having access to the inventory via the middle mouse button is a magnificent stroke of point-and-click development genius! This is only the first game I’ve played where they handled the inventory this way, but damn, me likey!
On the other hand, graphics are - just like in the previous SE - a bit lackluster. It looks good but it lacks the charm of the old graphics. Because of the magnificent control system, though, I couldn’t just keep using the old graphics, or I’d lose all the benefits of the new controls.
Director’s commentary was a slight letdown, too. Not enough banter between the three, and it’s obvious that they didn’t prepare anything beforehand which makes it less informative than it could (and should) have been.

The game itself is great, of course. And it was a lot longer than I remembered. The second part is also one of the best crafted bits of adventure gaming ever: multiple objectives across three islands (and plenty of locations per island) - it’s almost as good as the second year of Grim Fandango! The main difference here is that it’s rather difficult at times - some puzzles are pretty illogical (I’ll keep frowning at the “monkey wrench” puzzle) and the inventory is massive (which makes *using everything on everything* a hassle when stuck). But the game is still as hilarious as ever, making it one of the most fun adventure games of all time!
Because of the voice acting, they even nail their Star Wars references a lot better. Not only is the entire “I—am you father!”-scene (well, “I—am your brother!” in this case) the exact same text-wise, but they’ve acted it out exactly like in the movie too (with a “NOOOOOOOOoooooooo!” in two parts - just like the edit in The Empire Strikes Back). I admit that I nearly wet myself laughing…
And then the ending…
What an ending…
I still don’t really know what to think of it. I can’t even say that I like the ending. They’ve just slapped you on the head with several ridiculous plot twists, and then they go all-out with an even bigger (and totally incomprehensable) plot twist. I’m not even sure Ron Gilbert himself knew what he was doing there…
It definitely counts as one of the most “WTF?”-moments in adventure gaming history. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

To conclude, I’ll just say that “Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge” still stands as one of the best adventure games of all-time!

Oh, and I encountered a bug in the Special Edition of the game. At the point where Guybrush is dropped in the acid pit (and Elaine consequently confronts him for lying), you get another escape attempt. My cursor had disappeared at that point, though, so I couldn’t do anything at all. I had to reload an earlier save (because the autosave had the same problem) and solve the puzzle on the first try to be able to continue…
Not game-breaking (especially because I had saved at the beginning of Part III, making me lose only ten minutes), but annoying to say the least…

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Time Played: 10-20 hours
Difficulty: Hard

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