Friday, April 16, 2010

VGR Secret of Monkey Island

Here's the 1st original Monkey Island game (not the modern remake)!

Edit29/12/2010: Edited this old review with my current template, instead of the huge jpg picture I previously had... 
VGR: Secret of Monkey Island
From LucasArts
Played on PC Dos
Also available on Mega CD, Atari ST, Amiga, FM Towns and as a Special Edition remake on PC, Xbox 360, PS3 & MacOs.

Type Adventure/Point & Click
Year 1990-92

This time, I'll have a look at the classic first Monkey island game.
My brother has the 3 first Monkey island games on a special LucasArts Classic pack
(note: this isn't about the Special Edition remake).

The original game was released for Dos in 1990.

This is the CD-Enhanced version from '92, it's basically the same with an Enhanced soundtrack and more colors on screen. Nothing else~

The game was created by the big 3 guys of the adventure genre.
Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman. (nothing related to this game, but I like to count as 4th big adventure guy Sierra's Al Lowe as well).

The design of the game was mostly defined by indie comic book artist Steve Purcell. (who went on designing the characters, directly working on several backgrounds and graphics, doing various merchandising-related art and getting more involved with the sequel's development later)

Monkey island is about Guybrush Threepwood, future-mighty pirate.
A guy who randomly starts his journey on Melee island, in the Caribbean Sea one day. He encounters later on a famous Ghost Pirate called LeChuck and the soon-to be love of his life Elaine Marley.

The game is divided in 4 chapters in which you are able to fully explore and interact with tons of stuff... The game uses the great SCUMM engine (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion- another great LucasArts adventure) which features verbs and an inventory interface (and a useful script/code engine).

The puzzles are well integrated into the plot and places you'll travel to.
Some can prove quite difficult if you're not used to this kind of game.


The game is famous for its amazing music done by Michael Land (even the Dos version was
quite creative) and its legendary funny dialogues.

It's a great well paced adventure with epic moments, a unique feel and tons of exploration to do.

You'll encounter many memorable characters, such as terrible pirates....

Ask him about Loom.

Pantless guys...

Frightening cannibals...

...and monkeys.


These sort of games were shorter back then, so you may find it a bit short by today's standards...

But if you like adventure games, you'll find yourself playing it year after year many times, going back to this world never gets old.
And d'you prefer quantity over quality?? 'nuff said!

By comparison to Sierra's adventure games, you'll never find yourself really trapped in a LucasArts classic such as this. There's no hint system (in the original), no score for replay value (sadly) and you will never really die here!

Well....there are some in-jokes about that, but no real "Game Over" screen!
The game won't punish you for exploring it!

Overall, it's an amazing timeless classic!

Everybody who calls himself a gamer, a pirate fan, an adventure fan or even simply a living being should at least try it once in his life!!!

It came right before Sam & Max and the other first talkie videogames, so no voices here!
But the text is great and well written nonetheless (and if you're checking my review, I assume you are able to read).

The 2009 special edition allows you to use the retro amazing artstyle as well as the new visual take and features a brand new soundtrack while adding voices from Monkey Island 3 & 4's cast, so check it out sometime ;)

I give it:

 3 / 3 Murrays!

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