Return to Monkey Island, a great pirate adventure





There was a great desire to cross the waters of the Caribbean again and return to the ‘monkey island’ with the new videogame of Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman. Having found his famous ‘secret’, it can be said that Return to Monkey Island (by Terrible Toybox and Lucasfilm) is much more than a song of nostalgia for the golden age of graphic adventuresis a great adventure story full of humor, wit, puzzles and beloved characters that revitalizes the saga of the self-proclaimed “great pirate” Guybrush Threepwood and makes it attractive to new generations as well.

Once played the version for pc after its launch on September 19 (it is also available in switch), we will try to make an analysis here trying to avoid spoilers plots, although we apologize in advance if any detail escapes.

More than 30 years have passed since Gilbert and Grossman left Threepwood in an amusement park after facing the evil pirate LeChuck in the second installment of the saga (LeChuck’s Revenge). Although in this time Guybrush has had three other adventures, its original creators have finally returned with a game that leaves a very good taste in the mouth and that begins precisely where it ended then.

Same as them, Guybrush is now more mature and the world in which he still wants to be a great pirate has changed. The fashions are different, the new generations are stepping strong and no one remembers his legacy anymore (although he always had to strive to be recognized). LeChuck is also not the fearsome pirate of yesteryear and piracy is no longer governed by the rules imposed by the three famous pirates of the Scumm Bar, who are dedicating themselves to, shall we say, other matters. But there are things that do not change, and an archenemy is for life. Thus, throughout the game, our protagonist will have in mind to defeat the zombie pirate again until he manages to have in his power the famous secret of Monkey Island.






What happened to the three famous pirates of the Scumm Bar and what are these ‘hipsters’ doing here? TERRIBLE TOY BOX

A mix between nostalgia and the originality of a new story

It is true that the game pulls nostalgia and many winks to the past. Its structure, in five acts, is quite similar to Monkey 2. Numerous well-known characters appear: Elaine Marleythe essential and bizarre Stanthe long-suffering cartographer Wally or the voodoo lady, without leaving behind the demonic skull Murraythe ‘running gag’ of this installment as it was in the third edition.

But nostalgia does not prevail over the originality of the creators before a powerful story in which they appear new scenarios and new characterswith whom it is worth delighting exhausting all conversation possibilities before Guybrush’s own absurd humor, which is present from minute one. In fact, that conversational breadth invites you to play it a second time.

Among the best of the game, it stands out LeChuck’s endearing and colorful crewas well as the fourth of the game’s five acts, which is a true gift in terms of settings and new puzzles.






LeChuck, the Caribbean’s most feared pirate and Guybrush’s deadly archenemy TERRIBLE TOY BOX

Scrapbook, a Trivial and a Clue Book

For those who have not played the previous installmentsor just a few, Return to Monkey Island has a notebook of memories with images and objects in which to review each and every one of Guybrush’s adventures and be able to place the character in the current moment. This is something that, even having played the previous five games, helps, as many issues may have been forgotten. The player will also meet a small summary of the progress what you have done and what has happened when you dive back into the adventure.

Another novelty that this installment has is a trivia game: Guybrush will find hidden cards in the different scenarios that he will collect in an album. In each one of them, there is a question about the current game. It is a simple extra to the game that does not affect the story at all and does not make much of a difference. They are also very specific questions in some cases, such as how many flowers appear in the hedges of a certain scenario. Yes indeed, the traditional game of swords is missing of the first three installments, although in exchange there will be another game in which Guybrush will have to become skilled (and that we will not reveal).






Guybrush returns to Mêlée Island, where he is reunited with the lookout. TERRIBLE TOY BOX

On the other hand, given the two modes offered by the game, it is highly recommended to play on hard mode so as not to miss a detail. In fact, perhaps what is missing is a little more difficulty in goal resolution. Gone is that of trying each object in our inventory to see if it works with another or with a character and praying for luck, which was part of the charm of these video games. And it is that everything fits quite logically and it’s hard to get stuck. But, in case of not knowing how to continue, the player has two important aids: a things to do that would be the pride of any primary school teacher who wanted to teach schematics, and a clue book that gets out of the quagmire in any situation.






Stan and Otis, two of the classic characters of the saga TERRIBLE TOY BOX

And it is that many do not remember, but in the past it was very possible to end up spending hours trying options and going through the scenarios again and again in search of something new, or asking someone who had played the video game to give us a solution. Starting in the 2000s, Internet guides facilitated these questions, but they had the danger of spoilers.

Easier to play but with fewer options to try crazy stuff

The truth is that this ease of the game is greatly influenced by the way in which the creators have designed it and that it is based on the point and click (point and click)which limits to two options that the mouse gives us: look and act. There is, therefore, that box with the multiple options of “talk”, “go to”, “take”, “give”, etc. that Gilbert did use, for example, in Thimbleweed Park, the graphic adventure that he launched in 2017 (with retro and pixelated aesthetics). That prevents us from trying crazy things like in previous installments, in which you could try to mix objects or use them without any sense, to which Guybrush used to reply that he didn’t want to do that or it didn’t make sense.






Elaine Marley, always ready to throw a ‘cable’ TERRIBLE TOY BOX

Much has been said about Return to Monkey Island aestheticsomewhat polygonal and that has not been exempt from critics. In our opinion, the visual style, which is carried out by Rex Crowle, makes this nice game to watch and quite enjoy it. Nothing to do with Escape of Monkey Island and Tales of Monkey Island (the fourth and fifth installments), which were enjoyed much less artistically.

In addition to outstanding dubbing, the final touch is put by the beautiful soundtrackwhich is run by Michael Land, Peter McConnel and Clint Bajakian, who have already participated in the first two games.

CONCLUSION

Monkey Island is a video game to enjoy, and a lot, the plot, the jokes and the genius of each and every one of the characters. There are few ‘buts’ to this gamethose mentioned above, which they do not overshadow what is a great graphic adventure story. Fans of the saga will probably end up with a good taste in their mouths (although, the end of the game may not please everyone), and the ‘newcomers’ to Monkey Island and even to this type of game, will find here a wonderful gateway to an entire pirate universe that has already made history in video game culture. If not, at least they will learn how to make a good mop.


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