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The Curse of Monkey Island (PC) artwork

The Curse of Monkey Island (PC) review


"A quick recap: (This paragraph contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the first 2 Monkey Island Games - you have been warned). The Monkey Island saga features Guybrush Threepwood, a young pirate, LeChuck, his undead nemesis, and Elaine, his true love. In the first game, Guybrush is a fairly young boy who wants to become a pirate. You take control as Guybrush arrives on Mle Island, hoping to achieve this lofty goal. While on the island he meets and falls in love with Elaine Marley, the governor of the isl..."



A quick recap: (This paragraph contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the first 2 Monkey Island Games - you have been warned). The Monkey Island saga features Guybrush Threepwood, a young pirate, LeChuck, his undead nemesis, and Elaine, his true love. In the first game, Guybrush is a fairly young boy who wants to become a pirate. You take control as Guybrush arrives on Mle Island, hoping to achieve this lofty goal. While on the island he meets and falls in love with Elaine Marley, the governor of the island, and encounters the ghost pirate LeChuck, leading to a finale on the mysterious and long lost Monkey Island. The second game kicked off about a year later. LeChuck's rotting corpse has been resurrected by his minions, and is out for revenge. Guybrush is seeking the legendary treasure Big Whoop, and in the course of this quest he meets Elaine again. The two had split up since the previous game, although it becomes apparent that they still love each other. Reaching Dinky Island, home of Big Whoop, Guybrush realises that it was a trap set by LeChuck. In the corridors of Big Whoop, which seem to stretch under the ocean beyond Dinky Island, Guybrush attempts to defeat LeChuck by using voodoo to undo the resurrection spell that gave LeChuck his new lease of life. However, as Guybrush's spell was completed, LeChuck informed him that they were brothers (!). LeChuck took Guybrush and they left the corridors to come out in the carnival at monkey island, both of them tiny children. Just as it seemed that it had all been a game that they had been playing, LeChuck turned to the camera and his eyes had an evil red glow about them - he had caught Guybrush. Are the two brothers? Will Guybrush escape the carnival of the damned? What the hell is the secret of Monkey Island??? Those are the questions addressed in this, the third chapter of the Monkey Island saga. SPOILERS END .

Monkey Island 3 was a long time coming. Since the conclusion of Guybrush's second outing technology has moved on a great deal. This is reflected in The Curse Of Monkey Island. The graphics have moved on in astronomical leaps and bounds from the previous games - rather than the ceefax style we now have a still 2D but very cartoon-like approach. All the lines are now voice-acted (and, bizarrely, Guybrush sounds almost EXACTLY as you would have expected in the previous games.... spooky). The music is hauntingly beautiful, and the whole product is very polished and well presented - it even spreads over two discs, whereas the first to games were available on the same disc. And for some reason Guybrush has become very tall. The interface has similarly been brought up to date, and although there are no new features - everything is still done in the same way, it again makes the whole game look more up-to-date, and fits in with the new style of the game.

Although the real world has moved on a great deal since Monkey Island 2, TCOMI is set immediately after the second, and so anyone who is experiencing Monkey Island for the first time with this game will inevitably find themselves confused and lost when they begin. However, the point 'n' click gameplay is near-perfect, so they'll be immersed in next-to-no time.

The mild humour of previous outings has also been retained, and you'll find yourself playing through the game smiling like a cop with a donut. I had feared that the move to voice acting and cartoon-y graphics would ruin the series. I needn't have worried.

The only fault with the game is one that the whole MI series has suffered from - the game is so involving and addictive that it'll be over in days. Luckily, Lucasarts seem to have taken on board the criticism that was levelled at the previous two games regarding this point, and so the game has two difficulty settings, giving it some replay value.

Although the first MI game is still the best for a reason that I can't quite put my finger on, this game gives it a real run for it's money. As with the previous two, I've awarded it a score of 8/10 as a standalone game, but as always, add a point if you've been with the series from the start, and sit back and enjoy the continuation of one of gaming's greatest sagas.

Now if only my PC was powerful enough to play Monkey Island 4.......

Rating: 8/10

tomclark's avatar
Community review by tomclark (February 03, 2004)

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