"Freedom is the taste of grog early in the morning, that fuzzy feeling you get making nobles walk the plank and even the joys of countless veneral diseases as you play with the cabin boy. Not having to worry about hygiene since there is no such thing, fencing with cutlasses that can not cut anything but may score you a mean tetanus infection, and saying Arrr! a lot. Who did not wish, at least once in their lifetime, to become a pirate? "
Freedom is the taste of grog early in the morning, that fuzzy feeling you get making nobles walk the plank and even the joys of countless veneral diseases as you play with the cabin boy. Not having to worry about hygiene since there is no such thing, fencing with cutlasses that can not cut anything but may score you a mean tetanus infection, and saying Arrr! a lot. Who did not wish, at least once in their lifetime, to become a pirate?
I didn't. But I know who did!
"Hi, my name is Guybrush Threepwood and I want to be a pirate!"
Those were the words that the young, aspiring pirate-to-be said in the first Monkey Island, a masterpiece brought to you by LucasArts (in that time still called LucasFilm). In the sequal, Guybrush is an accomplished pirate with a stubbly beard, a long pirate overcoat, countless stories to say around the campfire, and, most of all, he is rich. Extremelly rich!
However, all of that will change the moment when you set foot on a whole new adventure, the hunt for the legendary Big Whoop, a treasure so beautiful, a treasure so dreadful, that no other pirate ever has managed to get their hands on and return alive. He who manages to unveil what Big Whoop is would certainly become a legend among pirates worldwide. By completing this quest, Guybrush Threepwood wishes to become such a legend!
As you start the game, as the extremelly wealthy pirate that you are, you will be mugged by a half-pint pirate that is half your size and three times as mean. Meet Largo Lagrande; a person you will learn to hate. All of your well earned dubloons, bars of gold, stocks and credit cards will be taken away from you, and you will start your adventure like all would-be adventurers without a penny to their name should. Broke.
The sudden decrease in wealth is not the only noticeable change: returning vets will quickly notice that a lot has been altered from the first Monkey Island. First of all, the beautiful graphics display traits that can easily be considered ahead of their time. Colours that you could have only dreamed of from the rather basic pallet of the original help define the clear cartoon-like appearance that fits this game so well. The series has matured well, so it should not be a stab in the eye even for the most spoiled of us that only consider games good if they stand out in spectacular graphical representation.
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck had enough wood to chuck?
As the game progresses you will move from one island to the next, each unique in its own way. Perhaps you thirst for a Carribean atmosphere, where you party all night and drink 'till you drop? Booty Island is for you then! If you prefer a more dark and sinister place, then Scabb Island will attract all the blood-thirsty, grog drinking pirates in the world. There is also Phatt Island, and let us not forget the most legendary one of them all, Monkey Island itself. All of these lands will be explored by young Guybrush; a person whose haphazard sense of incompetence sees him staggering humorously through the scenarios without much real idea of what he's doing.
He's not the only stand-out cast member, though. Most characters that you meet in the game are all special in their own way, all extremelly memorable and likable. Returning players are again rewarded with a generous smattering of returning cast members, and an explanation of what happened to them in the time gap between the two games. Some got off pretty good, while some found a new career choice.
And just like is predecessor, Monkey Island 2 sports a healthy dose of humour -- quality humour and not some cheap laugh that you will forget the moment a new joke comes out. This game is oozing with it. Every single line will be a jab taken at some famous film of that time, some event in the world, or some celebrity. However, most of the jokes directed at reality will be thrown at tubby. plaid-loving George Lucas and all of his accomplishments in the field of media.
The Head bone is connected to the chest bone, the chest bone is connected to the... leg bone.
Even at the time when this game was made, voice acting was a rare, poorly-executed commodity usually reserved for cinematic games. Monkey Island 2 has no voice acting, but frankly, it does not need it, since it is hard to imagine what sort of a voice would fit half of the insane cast that you will meet throughout your journey. The musical score within, however, is extremelly nice and pleasant to the ear, bringing you that last touch of atmosphere needed to picture yourself in this imaginative, beautiful world that LucasArts creates.
Look behind you! It's a three headed monkey!
Truly, to find any flaws with this game would be nitpicking, altough I am certain that a few could be mentioned. Perhaps some puzzles are a bit too hard to figure out? Perhaps the game could indeed have used voice acting? Perhaps the ending was a bit bland and confusing? All of these good examples for rational nit picking, but when you play the game, you will find that all of these things are not necessary and not worthy of being called flaws. The pros far outnumber the cons.
Play the game! Enjoy the experience! Shiver some timbers!
Community review by darketernal (January 12, 2006)
Occasional reviewer of random stuff.
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