The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Seriously, how can I review this game without descending into a fanboy gush-fest of embarrassing proportions? I'll give it a go, but bear with me if I get a bit carried away at certain points. The Monkey Island series was where it all began for me on the PC. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge was the first PC game I ever played and, when you consider how many amazing, genredefining games have been released over the years, it's something that it still remains, without doubt, my favourite game of all time (OK, maybe Doom edges it out, but it's damn close). The first game was equally as superb - if not better - but whatever your own particular persuasion, the fact is that they are both at the very peak of the game development summit.
So now we've got the remake - the same Monkey Island we all know and love in a new suit, tarted up and given funky water effects on the first screen. Everything else is identical, barring miniscule tweaks that only the absolutely dedicated will notice (for example, the chef in the SCUMM Bar doesn't interrupt your sneaking when you enter his kitchen surreptitiously). The interface is different as well, which is perhaps the only real stumbling block in this digital refurbishing. Maybe the voices too, but that's down to how you imagined each character speaking. The wit and humour, the devilish puzzles and the extraordinary characters are all still there, fleshed out both visually and sonically.
The Special Edition is as close to perfect as I could have imagined. However, as I said earlier, the fly in the ointment is the new control system. It doesn't always work and you sometimes end up using the keyboard shortcuts to make sure you use the right action. The hiding of the SCUMM interface also takes away a little bit of the silly action/ object combination, so you have to be deliberate with your "Open LeChuck" or "Push Herman Toothrot" commands if you want to hear some of the hidden gags. Press V though and the list does come up in some form. You can also morph from the new version back to the original if you so wish, which is cool.
If you've never played Secret of Monkey Island, this is the perfect opportunity to try out one of the best games of all time. If you're a veteran, this is the perfect opportunity to remind yourself of why you fell in love with games in the first place. Get it right now and maybe we'll be seeing Monkey Island 2 spruced up this time next year. We can only hope.
Download The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
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