Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 4 - The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood (PC) artwork

Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 4 - The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood (PC) review


"Itís rarely a chore to play through. The short length helps that, and the restrictive nature of the game world and its neatly intertwined objectives only contributes to the tightness. It raises plenty of smiles. But when itís essentially becoming the same episode stuck on repeat ad nauseum, how much praise is it reasonable to lavish?"



Since the summer, Guybrush Threepwood has turned his spectral arch enemy into a living human, unleashed and been infected by a terrible pox, had his hand sliced off, been repeatedly attacked by a sassy pirate hunter, been eaten by a giant manatee and double-crossed like heck. Some mighty pirate. And so begins his latest adventure, on trial on Floatsam Island and framed for a variety of side-splitting crimes. Itís a good job the prison guard canít get his head around the fact that, just because Threepwoodís defending himself, it doesnít mean heís actually two separate people.

Threepwood remains witty, pirate hunter Morgan LeFlay retains a surprising amount of humanity, and the remainder of the supporting cast do a decent job at playing the numskull nutters that the series has always portrayed so well. Each of Telltaleís Monkey Island efforts seems to ramp the humour up ever more so. Weíre now at the point where Tales of Monkey Island has far surpassed the original incarnations in the comedy stakes. If you think otherwise, go back and play them. And take off those rose-tinted specs. You look ridiculous.

Itís true that each episode, taken entirely in isolation, seems to be marginally improving the formula every time. The script gets barmier, the locations tighter, the objectives more fluid. But these arenít isolated games. These are part of a five-strong series of monthly outings, and now, as we near the finale, things are starting to wear a little thin.

You may have noticed this review is a little late. Thatís because I played The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood a couple of weeks ago, and have been struggling with an angle ever since. Itís a solid adventure game. The puzzles are functional, though often uninspired and recycled from earlier games. The characters are well developed, with consistent and endearing personalities. The settings are... well, theyíre ones weíve seen before, only this time itís dark... Had this game been bundled into the context of the first episode, the series would have made an impossibly brilliant start. But it wasnít. This is Episode 4. And it screams out for something fresh.

Itís rarely a chore to play through. The short length helps that, and the restrictive nature of the game world and its neatly intertwined objectives only contributes to the tightness. It raises plenty of smiles. But when itís essentially becoming the same episode stuck on repeat ad nauseum, how much praise is it reasonable to lavish?

Thereís just nothing that stands out as truly inspired, nothing that leaves an impression for more than a few hours after youíve completed the game. Itís a decent few hours of entertainment, but not an adventure youíll be talking about for months in the way that, say, Machinarium will surely be. Monkey Island remains about as traditional as itís possible to get. Thatís fine, but stick rigidly to that formula month after month after month, and youíd better have some spectacular little ideas to mix things up.

The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood has far too few of these. It also has a perplexing graphical glitch that renders a characterís shirt with big purple splodges all over it Ė something to do with the light-mapping having not worked properly, I believe, from my limited technical knowledge. When the gameís as by-numbers as it already is, big screaming problems like this one only solidify the negative image it exudes.

Rating: 6/10

Lewis's avatar
Freelance review by Lewis Denby (November 17, 2009)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by Lewis Denby
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PlayStation 3) artwork
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PlayStation 3)

A dismally unimaginative co-op shooter, coupled with a half-finished idea for an intriguing competitive component. Play it in either mode and youíll be bored or irritated within minutes.
To the Moon (PC) artwork
To the Moon (PC)

Its retro graphics look beautiful. The original soundtrack is utterly stunning. Its story is one of the most confident and grown-up that our medium has ever seen. Donít approach To the Moon expecting taxing puzzles or combat or stats, because that isnít what itís about. It is its own thing: an indie adventure a...
Unreal (PC) artwork
Unreal (PC)

As a first-person shooter, itís incredibly competent. Quake 2 might have had the tempo, and Half-Life the suspenseful pacing, but Unreal had the variety and the challenge. Its weapons drew criticism for feeling weak and weedy against the Skaarj oppressors, and itís a fair comment. They often do. Bu...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 4 - The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
jerec posted November 17, 2009:

Wow, I disagreed with pretty much everything you said in this review. The story is getting better and better, the puzzles were a little more challenging. It was the best episode so far.

But I suppose we're expecting different things from these games.
board icon
sashanan posted November 20, 2009:

Loved it from a story perspective. Some puzzles felt a bit more convoluted than the ones I've had so far, but that's always a YMMV thing - sometimes one puzzle clicks with a person and another does not. In this case, much of the Feast for the Senses thing did not, for me.

This, btw: "It also has a perplexing graphical glitch that renders a characterís shirt with big purple splodges all over it" I don't recall having seen at all...
board icon
Lewis posted November 20, 2009:

May have been isolated to review code, then. Does someone on-staff wanna clarify this in the text?
board icon
jerec posted November 20, 2009:

Reminds me of an amusing thread on the Telltale message boards, someone pointing out that Stan's coat was glitched (the blue lines are fixed!) Obviously not someone who has played Monkey Island in the past.
board icon
zigfried posted November 20, 2009:

Lewis: HGmail me with the specific changes/wording you want and I'll make the edit.

//Zig

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Advertise | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 4 - The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 4 - The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.