Pirates and zombies – these two things are just destined to go together. No wonder when LucasArts designed Monkey Island all those years ago the villain was made one. Now more than 20 years have passed and Telltale has boldly set out to show what the evil pirate would be like if he was human. Meet the dreaded LeChuck turn into a lovable oaf in Monkey Island Tales 2 – the follow-up to Monkey Island Tales 1 (TMA Review) and tremble with… well, not fear.
Naturally the second chapter still follows the traditional point-and-tap gameplay of the series. Having escaped Flotsam island, our brave hero Guybrush sets out to find his beloved Elaine as well as to track down the legendary La Esponja Grande – the only cure to the Pox of LeChuck. Having successfully found her after meeting a beautiful pirate hunter and losing his hand, he is shocked however to see LeChuck… who turned from a bloodthirsty megalomaniac into a lovable and somewhat oafish hero-wannabe.
Gameplay-wise Monkey Island Tales 2 is a classic Telltale adventure. You explore the Jerkbait islands and minor surrounding bits of land, searching for the lost artifacts that can together summon the mythical sea creatures and thus take you to La Esponja Grande. And similar to other Telltale titles, you’ll have a bit of freedom at certain points in the game, where several objectives are available simultaneously to be solved in parallel. The puzzles themselves are well-balanced and most of the time you won’t struggle too long to get the hang of things.
The writing is excellent and filled with humour; I can’t count how many times I was ready to laugh my head off. I especially enjoyed the buffoon human LeChuck turned into (you’ll even have a chance to guide him through solving a puzzle). Elaine seemed a bit fishy and out of character though and the fangirl pirate hunter was simply delightful.
Technically Monkey Island Tales 2 suffers from the same problems as the original – appalling performance on the iPhone 4. Of course the owners of Apple’s latest and greatest are probably fine but the ones who’ve decided to hold out for the 5 (like myself) will have to struggle with framerate drops and out-of-sync sound. Speaking of which, Monkey Island Tales 2 has full voiceovers and superb music, so it’s a shame to play without it. The interface is well adapted to the smaller screen of the iPhone, with a simple two-finger tap to show hotspots and a handy wheel to toggle through them for times when hitting the sweet spot manually is just too much bother.
Monkey Island Tales 2 is what it is – a natural continuation of the episodic reboot of the classic franchise. The gameplay is well adapted to the modern era with built-in hints and hotspot highlighting to avoid the most tedious and frustrating aspects of the good old adventure genre. At the same time Telltale has successfully managed to keep the spirit of the LucasArts’ classics thanks to excellent writing, creative puzzles and superb voiceovers. If only the technical performance was as good I’d give it a Kiss It rating. Still, for anyone who enjoys a dab of adventure gaming Monkey Island Tales 2 is definite must.
With this I declare Monkey Island Tales 2 officially touched!
|Title:||Monkey Island Tales 2||Developer:||Telltale Inc|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0||Min OS Req:||4.2|