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Was SoMI: Special Edition really an improvement on the original after all?

posted by Hayden on - last edited - Viewed by 1.2K users

I personally loved the game. I thought that they improved Secret of Monkey Island in every aspect. But some people have had complaints about things like the interface being difficult to use, annoying and inconvenient, people saying the artwork was bad and that Guybrush looked awful, and then of course there are those who are really like the "blocky" look of the old, classic adventure games. So, how is your view on this? Was the Special Edition really all that much of an improvement?

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  • People can complain about the art style, but there is no denying that the graphics are fantastic. If the new graphics are so off-putting, then the old school players can switch to the old game.

    The voice acting is a good edition, but they fall flat. The voices in ToMI, EMI and Curse all have emotion - you know when Guybrush is sarcastic from the tone of his voice alone. In the Special Edition, there is no distinction. All of the voice actors sound as if they are reading from a script.

    The hint system is a nice feature, but only useful to those who have never played the game before.

    I would only recommend the Special Edition to those who either never got the chance to play the original SoMI, or to those whose game disks broke. If you are fortunate enough to retain a working C-D of SoMI, just download Dosbox for free instead.

  • I got it an I enjoyed it so that's all that matters.

    I liked the fact that it finally had voices for the characters, and that most of them were the familiar voices from the later sequels. I like that consistent fact that the Guybrush, Elaine and LeChuck voices are the same as the ones they used in Tales of Monkey Island.

    So the voices were definitely an improvement.

    It was nice to have some HD graphics to replay the game in too. I think I would have had second thoughts about playing a low-res giant pixellated game on my 24 inch widescreen monitor...

    So the graphics were an improvement, if a bit weirdly drawn stylistically...

    The control scheme was a bit fiddly to use, but at least it didn't obscure the view any more. The old interface took up half the screen space! They could have made it better, but at least it works enough to complete the game.

    I liked the fact that I could drop back into the original game at the touch of a button. That is one of the key features - even if you don't like the new game style, you can just play the original built-in.

  • @The Commissioner said: I got it an I enjoyed it so that's all that matters.

    I liked the fact that it finally had voices for the characters, and that most of them were the familiar voices from the later sequels. I like that consistent fact that the Guybrush, Elaine and LeChuck voices are the same as the ones they used in Tales of Monkey Island.

    So the voices were definitely an improvement.

    This pretty much sums up what I would say about those points.

    As for the controls, yes, it was annoying if you were the type of person who used the scroll wheel. Kind of how some people use click and drag but complain about it. I can't understand the type of people who complain about the verb menu, though. It's basically the exact same thing from the original, except that it doesn't take up screen space unless you push a button to make it appear. I didn't use that either, though. I'm the sort of person who just used the keyboard shortcuts for the verbs and was entirely happy with it.

    As for the graphics, I loved pretty much everything except for Guybrush's head. Everything stayed incredibly faithful to the original, save for Elaine (and I never liked the original Elaine anyway, and her SoMI:SE counterpart is my favorite version of Elaine), and it was incredible to see it all updated.

    Overall, I thought it was a great update to a classic game. Right now there's only two games I want to see get remakes, and MI2 is one of them, if only to hear Dominic Armato finish voicing the last of Guybrush's lines.

    The other is Metroid II: Return of Samus. Zero Mission was amazing, and if there's one thing that Metroid II desperately needs, it's a map.

  • Graphics: ranging from really good (Melee) to cheap and generic (Monkey Island). Hit and miss really, but I can't for the love of god imagine anyone thinking the close-ups of the characters being an improvement of the original close-ups. And I've yet to find anyone who likes Guybrush's new look, especially the hair. I certainly didn't. Overall, it wasn't as consistent as the original in its style, but certainly worked. Not an improvement to anyone but those who can't play the originals due to their eyes not able to handle low-resolution art anymore.

    Sound: It felt natural, that's all I can say. I thought the original was already good, but the remake is good as well. Kinda like how I enjoy original Beatles recordings over another bands covers. Voices are nice, but they felt a bit more forced than the other games. Obviously because the script wasn't handmade for voice-actors. But it felt so familiar as well, that you didn't really think about it having voices while you played. That's testimony to how great the voice-actors in the Monkey Island games generally are, particularly Dom.

    Controls - many people hated them, but I didn't mind them at all. But then again, I played the X360 version first. Have yet to complete the PC version, although I have it. They worked great on console, but may annoy me more on the PC. We'll see eventually.

    I think it was a nice addition to the series, and great for those who wants to try it but can't look past the resolution and pixel-fest of the original. And it's lead to a release on the Iphone, so I know at least one game I'm getting once I get one of those. I certainly support the notion of a MI2 SE as well. Nothing will ever rock my love for the originals, and I'll still play the originals. But now I have another option for SOMI. I can play the Amiga version, which is the one I completed many years ago, or I can play one of the PC versions - VGA with the interface of MI2, or the SE. Or the X360 version. So, I really hope an MI2 SE comes as well.

  • The sound was definitely an improvement. I mean, Secret of Monkey Island with voices? Yes please! And the music was also an improvement over the EGA/VGA versions, even though the old pc sound music had its charm.

    I guess I'm not alone when I say I hated Guybrush's design, because he looked too much like an idiot. I mean sure, Guybrush is not Einstein, but his facial expression looked really stupid.
    Adding that hair to that killed the design for me. But that's something I could overlook.

    The handdrawn BGs were really nice IMO, although they look better from a distance and a little rushed when you look closer. But I like how sometimes there were little holes in the BGs through which you could see the original pixels.

    The controls were OK, but I have a feeling that this xboxified interface was even more difficult for beginners to use than the original verb-and-item bar. If anything, I think a MI3-ish interface would have been good for this game. That might have come in the way of the safe-puzzle though, and I'm sure there were a few others that made a difference between different actions.
    Oh well, it's not easy to come up with a good solution for everyone. :)

    Overall, I do not regret that I bought it (for half the price on TLAP-Day), and if it was for the voices and experiencing the awesomeness that is SMI in a new way.

  • @StarEye said: I can't for the love of god imagine anyone thinking the close-ups of the characters being an improvement of the original close-ups.

    I've always despised the original close-ups of Elaine. Dunno why. And you can't deny that the close-up of Spiffy is an improvement.

  • I thought it was so awesome I could play the original game again, I'm too young to have played secret when it first came out (I played them for the first time about the same time as Curse was released) so I always felt the original graphics were part of its charm, however it was great to hear their voices, I definitely think that part is good... (still can't being myself to say 'better' somehow though)

  • My biggest complain is that I had to buy it from Steam. (I don't like Steam launcher, which seems to be unnecessary heavy and constantly updates itself.)

    But then again the game was less than 10€, so I really can't complain. I own CD versions of the original SMI and LCR, so I wouldn't have necessarily bought the new version if it wasn't that cheap, but I'm kind of glad that I did. I like both versions, but it was nice to hear Dominic's, Earl's and Alexandra's voices. New graphics didn't bother me and I used keyboard shortcuts for verbs like I also did with the original SCUMM games.

  • @GuruGuru214 said: I've always despised the original close-ups of Elaine. Dunno why. And you can't deny that the close-up of Spiffy is an improvement.

    Agreed. I thought that the close-ups where the best looking shots in the game, in fact. I like how they also made Estevan a lot more creepy.

    51739_orig.jpg

  • In Some Ways: The background art, especially for Melee was quite nice, Character Designs were quite bad, Music was a nice little improvement but felt lacking compared to Land's tracks, Voice Acting was great for what limits they had, remember they had to match the spacing style of the original game so taking that along with the script that wasn't really meant for speech, they done quite a good job, plus it's the Curse of Monkey Island cast!

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