Author Topic: Monkey Island series  (Read 2113 times)

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Offline CP5670

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Monkey Island series
These games have occupied most of my time during the last two weeks. I played through the first two games (Secret and LeChuck's Revenge) many years ago, but only recently acquired the two newer ones (Curse and Escape) from ebay.

The third game was generally excellent but sometimes felt a bit too serious given the humorous nature of the series. It certainly had a lot of comedy bits, especially near the end, but didn't feel completely insane like the second game did. I think Guybrush's voice actor was partly responsible for this, often giving funny lines an undue seriousness. Murray was an awesome addition though.

As for the fourth game, I have mixed thoughts about it. On one hand, the story and script are extremely funny, right up there with the second game despite a few plotholes they introduce. It's also significantly longer than any of the other games. However, the new keyboard-only interface is annoying and makes many puzzles a lot harder than they should be. I can't imagine why they changed it so drastically. The whole Monkey Kombat part also sucks; it's not particularly funny and often simply frustrating. It is obviously intended to be a successor to the insult swordfights of the first game, but it doesn't hold a candle to those. I'm actually still stuck on this part.

So far, I think the best game of the series is still the second one, although I haven't quite finished Escape yet.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 03:32:26 pm by CP5670 »

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Monkey Island series
Ah, the Monkey Island games. All round excellence :) I personally enjoyed the original one the most, though I think the reason I prefer it over MI2 might be that I simply can't agree with Guybrush having a beard - It just aint right! Other than that, it might actually be a slightly better game, but dammit, a beard?! On Guybrush?!? Thankfully he'd lost it by the 3rd installment, leaving my to enjoy it without such a distraction.

I didn't find the controls in Escape bothersome, but then I'd played Grim Fandango first and it features much the same control scheme, so I had some practise. But really, as long as there's pirates, zombies and lots of Guybrush-created mayhem, who cares? Monkey Kombat was a bit of a letdown though, I'll agree on that. Plus, everyone knows that all Monkeys ever say is Ook. Err no, wait, that's Apes, never mind :nervous:

By the way, if you haven't played Grim Fandango, you really should. It is, in my opinion, the best game of the kind, even compared to the Monkey Island series. More serious, but still has a lot of humor - It's just more subtle. I'd actually rate Fandango as highly within the Adventure genre as I rate FS2 in the Spacesim genre, and that says a lot. Much the same fates too, being released, being the best, and being (nearly) the last due to poor sales. And thus, forever remaining the best.
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Offline CP5670

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Re: Monkey Island series
That's true, they're all basically brilliant games. I haven't laughed so hard in quite a long time. :D I didn't really mind the beard in MI2, as Guybrush looked older with it and some of his comments became all the more funny with that appearance. Although after playing the newer games, it does seem a bit out of place in hindsight. MI2 seemed essentially perfect to me though, while the newer ones have minor flaws here and there.

Quote
By the way, if you haven't played Grim Fandango, you really should. It is, in my opinion, the best game of the kind, even compared to the Monkey Island series. More serious, but still has a lot of humor - It's just more subtle. I'd actually rate Fandango as highly within the Adventure genre as I rate FS2 in the Spacesim genre, and that says a lot. Much the same fates too, being released, being the best, and being (nearly) the last due to poor sales. And thus, forever remaining the best.

I'm actually planning to get that next, once I have finished Escape. I think that's the only LucasArts adventure game I haven't yet played.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 04:42:18 pm by CP5670 »

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Monkey Island series
Just make sure you've got another week of your life to spare before you start. I was in college when I started playing it and I'm not ashamed to say I got lousy grades for my homework until I finished it... mostly because I didn't do any of it :p Same thing happened to several of my classmates whom I loaned it to after I'd played it through. So, um... don't start it if you've got any deadlines looming, just a friendly word of advice :)

Oh, and you might also want to check out Simon the Sorcerer if you don't have it already. More of the same really, not LucasArts but it has the same style of humor, great puzzles, and is based on the SCUMM engine, so there's no learning curve. StS 2 is also good (though not quite as great as the first installment) and worth a look, but the 3rd game is horrible. Really, terribly, agonizingly horrible. So stop at #2 if you're going to try those games.
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Offline Cyker

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Re: Monkey Island series
Agreed! Steer clear of the third...

I think the voice actor (Chris Barrie, of Red Dwarf fame) sells the first StS for me mor than anything... and who can forget the woodworms :P  (MAHOGANY!!!!)


I can honestly say I loved every LEC adventure game except for MK4.
I would list my favourites, but it'd be almost all of them ;)
MK3 was my fav. out of the MK series 'tho (Murray! ("I am Murrey! The all-powerful demonic skull!") And Singing Pirates!! ("To fight us off you won't need guns, just jolly good ear-plugs!) ":D)

I also recommend The Dig if you haven't tried that, but don't play it after playing MK! The Dig is much more serious and deep, enroaching on Myth territory. Grim Fandango or Full Throttle would make a good bridge between the two ;)


On a tangent, I picked up a copy of the SpaceQuest games (All of them for a tenner!) last week... ugh... were they always that hard?! I must have killed Roger Wilco about fifteen million times by now! :(

 

Offline Shade

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Re: Monkey Island series
Yes, Full Throttle. Need to replay that, now that you remind me of it :) My only gripe with it is it's too short, everything else is just pure, distilled awesome. Especially the voice acting for Ben.
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Offline CP5670

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Re: Monkey Island series
Finally got past the Monkey Kombat thing. It wasn't as bad as I initially thought; writing down a table of all the combinations seems to be the key. I can enjoy the rest of the game now.

[edit] I finished it. Rather disappointing ending, without much in the way of humor at all. Still an excellent game overall though. :yes:

Quote
Just make sure you've got another week of your life to spare before you start. I was in college when I started playing it and I'm not ashamed to say I got lousy grades for my homework until I finished it... mostly because I didn't do any of it :p Same thing happened to several of my classmates whom I loaned it to after I'd played it through. So, um... don't start it if you've got any deadlines looming, just a friendly word of advice :)

Oh, and you might also want to check out Simon the Sorcerer if you don't have it already. More of the same really, not LucasArts but it has the same style of humor, great puzzles, and is based on the SCUMM engine, so there's no learning curve. StS 2 is also good (though not quite as great as the first installment) and worth a look, but the 3rd game is horrible. Really, terribly, agonizingly horrible. So stop at #2 if you're going to try those games.

I have the next two months more or less off before I need to move for grad school, so I'm going through many older titles that I missed over the years. I'll check out Simon the Sorcerer at some point too.

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I also recommend The Dig if you haven't tried that, but don't play it after playing MK! The Dig is much more serious and deep, enroaching on Myth territory. Grim Fandango or Full Throttle would make a good bridge between the two

Yes, I have played that several times. There are actually a few things in that game that made me burst out laughing though, mainly because they were so unexpected. In the scene with the four metal plates lying around the receptacle inside the asteroid, use the shovel with the plate that seems to be lying further away from the others to get a funny remark from Low. There is also that classic quote later on, "That will teach you not to mess with Boston Low, space commander!" :D

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Yes, Full Throttle. Need to replay that, now that you remind me of it :) My only gripe with it is it's too short, everything else is just pure, distilled awesome. Especially the voice acting for Ben.

I love the last part of that, the section that is timed. It's definitely too short though, only about half the length of the other major SCUMM games.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 01:57:53 am by CP5670 »

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Monkey Island series
What the **** is wrong with you guys.

No one mentions Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis! Best adventure game after the Monkey Island ones. It's a little more serious than them but it also has some laugh out loud moments of comedy including one that made me laugh harder than anything in the Monkey Island games. [/rant]


Anyway getting back to the topic. I think MI II was my favourite cause I liked the ending (and especially the very long list of things you can now do instead of wasting all your spare time playing Monkey Island II). That said it doesn't have anything to match the first appearance of the 3 headed monkey from the first game. :)

I found MK IV's interface very annoying too. Not every game needs to be in 3D you know! :D

Grim Fandango is pretty good too but last time I tried to play it I got graphics errors in Software mode and CTDs in hardware mode so I never played very far. I remember having a good laugh with it when I first got it.

Oh, incidentally. Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth. Not tried it yet but I have heard good things about it. :)
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Offline Shade

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Re: Monkey Island series
You know, you're right. Something has to be seriously wrong with us to forget such an awesome game. Just the intro with Indy having a "bit" of bad luck always made me burst out laughing :) And having three different paths to play through was great, never seen that since.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Monkey Island series
The bit with Sophia in the cage cracked me up every time. I used to pop back just to see if the game had added more dialogue I could annoy her with. :)
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Offline CP5670

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Re: Monkey Island series
Quote
What the **** is wrong with you guys.

No one mentions Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis! Best adventure game after the Monkey Island ones. It's a little more serious than them but it also has some laugh out loud moments of comedy including one that made me laugh harder than anything in the Monkey Island games. [/rant]

I have played through that one more times than any other adventure game, especially when I was younger. I've practically memorized most of the dialogue in it. :p It's only slightly more serious than the outright comedy series like Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion. I went through it again fairly recently, about six months ago, when I managed to get the voice acted version.

I especially like the part when Indy makes a shadow of some rabbit thing on the hotel wall and says it's Nur-Ab-Sal, pissing off Sophia. :D

Quote
Grim Fandango is pretty good too but last time I tried to play it I got graphics errors in Software mode and CTDs in hardware mode so I never played very far. I remember having a good laugh with it when I first got it.

Monkey 4 mostly ran fine for me (the only issue is that it wouldn't close properly, remaining open in the background) and it's based on the same engine. Although I have a retro system around for running these troublesome games.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 09:02:47 am by CP5670 »

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Monkey Island series
Monkey Island IV runs flawlessly for me too. Which is even more mystifying.

I especially like the part when Indy makes a shadow of some rabbit thing on the hotel wall and says it's Nur-Ab-Sal, pissing off Sophia. :D

Exactly the bit I was thinking about. I think I'm either going to have to find a pirate copy of the PC version or get UAE up and running again. I'm getting an urge to play Atlantis again. :)
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Offline Roanoke

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Re: Monkey Island series
Grim Fandango is supposed to be good if you like MI. Never really tried point 'n' click myself.

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: Monkey Island series
I'm playing Grim Fandango now. It works flawlessly in D3D mode, although I had to copy everything to the hard drive or it would stutter a lot when spooling off the CD. The interface is even worse than Monkey 4 though. There is no text to indicate when you're near an object and you can't remap the keys in any way. I hate it when games don't allow that. I'm using the special keys on my G15 keyboard with a configuration similar to what I had in Monkey 4, which works reasonably well, but I need to push the keyboard to the side of my desk whenever I want to play.

Apart from that, the game is fantastic so far. I am currently at the forest part. It's definitely more serious than the MI games or even Fate of Atlantis, but the background artwork is great and the story seems to be very unusual and innovative. :yes:

 

Offline Col. Fishguts

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Re: Monkey Island series
This thread made me play COMI again.

Also, MI4 is the only game of the series that I stopped playing halfway through due to being bored by it. (plus I hated the user interface).

Another fun fact, last winter I've finished MI2 for the first time. Man, that game was hard.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Monkey Island series
I spent ages sailing back and forth from Phatt Island till I figured out what JoJo was for. :)
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Offline Col. Fishguts

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Re: Monkey Island series
That one I figured out with the help of the Foo Fighters ;)

I think the most time I spent on the map piece that landed on the huge pile in the tree hut. It just never occurred to to me that I could pick up that darn dog. But overall MI2 was a great experience.
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Offline CP5670

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Re: Monkey Island series
I got the "monkey wrench" joke pretty quickly. You can usually just do an exhaustive search in the SCUMM games though and try every item in your inventory until something works. Unfortunately, this is way too time consuming in Grim and Escape.

The only thing I was stuck on for a long time, back when I first played the game, was the part where you have to close Largo's door to get the laundry claim ticket. Since then, I have made sure to close every door in subsequent adventure games I have played. :p