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Jumping on the bandwagon with a brief review

posted by purple_monkfish on - last edited - Viewed by 122 users

It's late and i'm feeling a little lazy but i'll write up a few of my thoughts just to share... and well, see if anyone else is as old and grumpy as me hahaha.

Can I first say, the tingle of excitement, the sheer THRILL of seeing that lucasarts logo again after all these years. I almost shed tears of pure unadulterated joy at the memories that simply little symbol could conjure up.

First impressions, pretty good. The rain effect is lovely, the rolling sea is nice... but OH MY GOD Lechucks laugh makes me want to blugeon someone with a hammer. It's so... forced... so false.. it makes me think of a large jolly santa which is hardly the image you want from a supposedly evil pirate!

Elaine is fantastically calm, as one should well expect of her. I'm a little surprised she hasn't managed to untie herself yet but maybe Lechuck's learnt his lesson and how to tied better knots.
Chuck the plant, OH THE GLEE! I giggled, it was like greeting an old friend.
The rolling boat effect irritates me a little, but only because it makes it bloody hard to get the cursor to go where you want it.

I realise at this point something i've never noticed before. Is Guybrush wielding that sword in his left hand? Interesting...

So, puzzles aren't too difficult so far, the inventory combo system is straight forward and intuitive and soon enough we're on Flotsam island.

Initial reaction, good. It's just plain amusing to watch Guybrush punch a guy in the face.
Nipperkin's voice grates, perhaps because it's SO familar and so without any attempt to actually differentiate it from the Mole Man. A shame, i'm all for reusing voice actors but please try to have a little variety in your repertoire.
Anyway, i'll tolerate him... I get the impression he never was a pirate at all. Maybe a lowly cabin boy or a stowaway, but not a pirate...
Winslow however, well I just love him. He's amusing in a quiet, stoical manner.I can only approve.

On to exploring. The puzzles are nice, with the exception of the bloody maps. First map I completed through trial and error, totally failing to notice the different sound effects thanks to a noisy toddler and the TV BEING ON. Second map puzzle, I simply groan. Having learnt my lesson about the sounds, it doesn't occur to me to use the weather vane! Doh. I complete this through mostly dumb luck as well, cursing whoever thought TWO map puzzles in close proximity was a good idea. Never again guys, never... again -_-

D'oro... the joke falls flat. I know the reference only because I have a kid. He's playing with.. dolls? Ok, seen this sort of thing before but he wants a ninja? Oh no... you're referencing an internet meme? Sigh.. oh well, we'll go do that. It's not too difficult to work out what to do there.

I find the shack quite by accident, exploring the jungle as I assumed I was meant to (The map showed landmarks which I can't click on, I assumed I had to go find them first... it took me a few attempts to realise that no, they had to be UNLOCKED later)

I enjoy the voodoo lady, as always. The jokes in the shack are classic MI to me, which brings a smile to my face. Hubby points out that this is her 5th game so does that mean she's out of contract?
Shame there's no mention. But hey, maybe she's forgotten.

Some wonderful references to past games, other franchises and the obligatory Indy joke... or two.
Horah!

The maquis the singe is entertaining, his lab is brilliant and the puzzles there didn't take me long thankfully. I enjoy his flamboyant madness. I do NOT however, particularly like the glassblower, who for some reason keeps making unicorns even though he's said they don't sell well? Even when I smash em, he just makes MORE? Does this guy not learn? Or does he just have a massive supply? Why unicorns anyway? Wouldn't something more nautical have been more logical? Mermaids maybe? Or seahorses even... little glass starfish I dunno..
The unicorns seem... out of place, which I suppose was the point, but I can't believe this guy was ever a pirate either. He's too soft and fluffy, though maybe he's just been here so long he's gone loopy. Somehow, I feel it's a shame more of these people's backstory isn't explored. I'd really like to be able to believe these people sailed the seas and you know... pilliaged.
The guy from the bar is a little better, though unfortunately his name escapes me. Despite being a bit silly, he feels more piratey than the others. It's a good sign.

I have to groan, inwardly at the U tube. Another pop culture reference? It feels... forced, inappropriate even. The joke doesn't carry for me, it just, grates. I can't say why either, it just doesn't feel RIGHT.

So onward, back to the jungle. None of the puzzles stand out as being fiendishly difficult... though I didn't immediately think to add the weather vane to the top of the totems either, but that was me being dense. LOVE the W&G reference, harking back to Lucasarts referencing their own back catalogue. THIS is the sort of humour i'm more accustomed to in MI.
The maquis' moans are disturbing... but amusing none the less. As it was, I used the vane to work this one out and didn't notice his ahem.. noises till i'd gotten the second cylinder in place. Oh dear oh dear. Fitting, given his namesake though.

End game is fun, much less long and arduous than some of the MI end games. (I'm looking at YOU particularly MI3... and don't get me started on sodding Monkey Kombat)
It doesn't take me long to sort it out, which is nice actually. I hate getting stuck on endgames.

Human lechuck looks.. funny to me.. but maybe it's because i'm not used to seeing him so PINK (lol)

The cliffhanger is beautifully executed and leaves me gagging for MORE MORE MORE.

Overall, A good solid effort marred with only a few minor issues. Ideally, i'd like less internet based humour, but I think i'm just being old and grouchy.. I dunno... it just doesn't seem to fit with what i'm used to. It harkens too much back to Planet Threepwood I suppose, which brings back painful memories of Escape. That said, I do still refer to Starbucks as Starbuccaneers so go figure.

Love the "main characters", I really want to see more of Winslow being unflappable heh. The recycled character models actually didn't bother me too much, so whatever.
I do hope we don't have to endure too much more of Lechucks santa laugh though, it really annoys me. The rest of his voice/lines, fine.. it's just that laugh!

To me, the voodoo lady shack was absolutely, the defining part of episode one. PROOF to me at least, that MI is still alive and well and in damned good hands. MORE of that vibe please, more of that humour, more of that GLOOM!

What I would like, is a bit more menace... i haven't felt the menace since MI2, which scared the pants off of me as a kid and even today I still feel that dread as you reach the midway point. A return to the meanwhiles would be AWESOME, as I think someone else has mentioned here. Let the audience know what Lechuck is up to.

So, great job Telltale! I have every faith you'll polish this to a diamond shine. Can't wait for episode 2!

4 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @purple_monkfish said: What I would like, is a bit more menace...


    You might be onto something. Now it's tough to compare long epic rides a la the old Monkey games with this, but even this episode was meant to have a main villain. I think compared to how say Largo was being introduced in MI2's first chapter, this falls a little short. Largo was all over the place from the first step you made into Woodtick, whilst De Singe has less onscreen time than Schwarzenegger in Terminator:Salvation (ok, kidding).

    I think De Singe was being held back first deliberately, namely for keeping the source of bad happenings on Flotsam a mistery a tad longer. And finding the right pace a four to six hours episode is something else than finding the right pace for a twenty-five hours game - oops going 'round in cirlces here. Still it'll be interesting to see how Telltale handle this later on.

    To a lesser degree, there never seemed to be some kind of real urgency to the task at hand. It seemed a little like a holiday tour on another Monkey Island.. island. MI2 was pretty good at pacing via putting its cutscenes into the story arc. Those also made you buy into LeChuck being out to get you as soon as he can - which in the end, he never did. In this one he's nowhere to be seen for the entire game. Ok, not true. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Made me chuckly, by the way. :)

    Not advocating for Telltale merely trying to mimic the same trickery from twenty years ago - MI2 has seen more copies than the latest issue of the Keelhauler Gazette as is already. Those old tricks would surprise no one anymore by now. So.. we'll see. David Grossman and Mike Stemmle are made of legend. I don't worry about things picking up a little in less than no time.

  • lol the thing with le chucks laugh i was like wtf? but then when i head it again it was pretty funny. maybe it wasnt suposto be a natural laugh maybe more of a silly villan laugh?

  • Yeah... but silly villain laugh sorta takes away the scare factor you know?

  • @purple_monkfish said: Yeah... but silly villain laugh sorta takes away the scare factor you know?

    Who knows what LeChuck's laugh would have sounded like if Monkey Island was fully voiced anyway? ;) Thing is, the more abstract something is being represented, the more void there is to fill by the player's imagination. In 1991 there were all kinds of things you could put into these games. As soon as Monkey Island went bigger than 320x200 pixels and a bunch of text meaning to represent banter between the main characters, all of that was taken away, naturally.

    Monkey Island text adventure bonus game NOW. .D

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