With the closing of the month comes the closing of my Lucasarts month special reviews. The past ones I reviewed were really well done and dear to my heart. These final 2 will always hold a special place for me, growing up on these games they’re like books or movies I have to read or watch at least once a year. It’s probably a safe bet to say that the Monkey Island series is my most beloved series. Much like any series though there are maybe one or two that aren’t up to par with the rest. The one in the Monkey Island series for me is Escape from Monkey Island, Monkey Kombat was just too ridiculous. With that being said on with the review of……The Secret of Monkey Island.
The story opens up with no back story, we’re given a scene at the top of mountain with a lookout up top. In comes Guybrush Threepwood saying he wants to be a pirate. From there after some snarky comments about Guybrush’s appearance he is given direction to the SCUMM bar to go see the three pirate leaders. Once there Guybrush gets instructions what he has to do to become a pirate and your wonderfully absurd adventure begins. The three trials are he has to beat the sword master of Melee Island, find buried treasure, and steal something. As usual it’s tough to describe alot of the story in these games mainly because half the fun is experiencing and reading everything yourself. I can say however that you will have some wild and zany puzzles to figure out. From figuring out how to bust a convict out of jail, how to get into the Governor’s mansion, even sword-fighting is a bit different. You’ll meet some very odd characters along the way and your nemesis the evil Ghost Pirate Lechuck.
The gameplay is pretty standard to much of the other Lucasarts point and click adventures. This one incorporated a no death gameplay, which makes you worry less on dying and concentrate more on exploration. It’s still really easy to get stuck since alot of the solutions to the puzzle take some thinking outside of the box. As I’ve stated when playing any type of game your best bet is to avoid all walkthroughs unless absolutely necessary. The game could take a new person around 6-8 hours maybe longer depending on how clever you are. A walkthrough would probably shorten this to about 2-3 hours, but you would be cheating yourself out of a wonderful adventure.
Sound and Music:
The original PC game had few sounds in it. Depending on your sound card and all that good stuff. Some versions would have ambience sounds and music playing, while other versions had almost nothing. I absolutely love the theme music to the Monkey Island games. The standard version is pretty much what you’d expect from a game that’s around 23 years old now. I would have to say that the Sega CD version had some very good music on it. Also a plus was that you could pop the game disc into any CD player and play the tracks. With the special edition they’ve kicked it up even more so. No matter which way you listen to it, you can’t go wrong with the music in this game.
I really really love this game I always have and I always will. Even though my first Monkey Island game was the second one that didn’t stop me from playing this game later on and enjoying it so much. Between the clever writing and the witty puzzles it’s still fun even to this day. Even with the addition of the Special Edition of this game, sometimes I like to go back and play it the way I played it as a kid. Although the Special Edition does give you the option to hit a button and it will restore the game back to its former glory. I remember before voice actors and the such I would read aloud what the text was and that was fun to me. Speaking of the Special Edition you can pick it up on Steam, XBLA, PS3. It runs around $10 sometimes you can catch it on sale. On Steam they have a bundle that has the Special Editions of Monkey Island 1 & 2 for $15. I would recommend picking these up they are an absolute joy. On our final review for Lucasarts Month I will be talking about the sequel to this wonderful game.