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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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  • Well then, I hope you're not playing on an LCD monitor, 'cause it sure as hell didn't look as bad as they did on that in the nineties.

  • @StarEye said: Well then, I hope you're not playing on an LCD monitor, 'cause it sure as hell didn't look as bad as they did on that in the nineties.

    I don't know what my monitor has to do with it, but I have CRT monitor. Currently I have the third computer where I use this same monitor, so I have to say that they made it to last. I didn't believe that it would serve me a decade when I bought it, but it sure was good investment.

  • Well, that's good at least. :)

  • I thought the sound and music in the Special Edition was impeccable.

    Art? Aside from the water effect, I thought it was really bleh. There was a lot of amateur mistakes in it. I think outsourcing the art had a lot to do with it.

  • I was quite happy with the remake. It was SoMI and so much more.

  • I was in the mood for a little review, but since I'm terrible with reviews, I'll just try to sum things up.

    I voted "No." Why? Because I think that not only SE wasn't much of an improvement to the original, it actually worsened it. First of all, things that really look improved:

    1) Backgrounds. Yes, they are very nice, it's hand-painted/hand-drawn animation, sprites can't compete with that.
    2) Character movement. Smooth and easy. It feels normal, instead of the original one, that felt too robotic.
    3) Music and sounds. Some sounds are so-so, but in general they don't distract. Very pleasant atmosphere when you go in Scumm Bar, for example. Or the island jungle.

    Now, what really bugged me about SE:

    1) Characters. They look too cartonish for real life, but not cartoonish enough for games. Result: their "spriting" feels like those free online RPG games made with Flash - very amateur. Many of them lack proper drawing or design (wrong foot walking, arms going through another character, too long or too short, too tall or not tall enough, etc.).

    2) Inventory. They wanted to remove the inventory from the main screen so they hided it, along with verbs, in two separate screens. Result: very hard of access. If you want to look at objects and simply grab them it's one thing, but when Guybrush has a timed delay to bring grog in the jail, changing mugs as it ate through them was almost impossible, I had to switch to the original.

    3) Dialogues. Not the ones when you choose what to say. This is fine. Also, great voicing. But subtitle delay was killing me. It's just like in the original game, plus when the subtitle has to change in-game, they cut off the actor's voice and it felt simply weird. When you turn off subtitles it's the same thing, pretty much.

    4) Gameplay. The prob with the whole play thing was that they decided to make a remake of the original, so they seemingly remade the whole game on the same engine, simply using today's technology to overwrite over the original. And this is what bugged me the most. When Guybrush walks and moves in/out, it feels like the original, but not in reminiscent kinda way, more like "oh jeez, not this thing again". It was all over, and that, added to many things simply inserted in the game because they felt like it would be better this way (such as the big moon at the dock, the wharf out of nowhere, etc.) Maybe it's ambiance, but seeing it as part of a remake was painful for me.

    In all, I'd consider making another remake. While the idea is great, this game feels unfinished, or simple quick-made. If they gather to release a patch for all these inconsistencies, just one big file to fix it all, I wouldn't mind. But playing it like another, new game, and seeing the same dude at the bar bragging about Loom like he did 20 years ago, then remembering that it's just a remake, and then thinking to yourself "what would the guys who never played the original think of it? a 100 wtfs at least..." - it's all just too much for me.

    So I'd say "No, but maybe if you'd give it another try..." if such option would've been available there.

  • @Uzrname said: But playing it like another, new game, and seeing the same dude at the bar bragging about Loom like he did 20 years ago, then remembering that it's just a remake, and then thinking to yourself "what would the guys who never played the original think of it? a 100 wtfs at least..." - it's all just too much for me.

    It's a remake and very loyal to the original, so it's no surprise that there's that guy talking about Loom. Old Sierra remakes (in the early 90's) changed few jokes here and there, but nothing major. And because I haven't seen other remakes of the adventure games, besides those Sierra ones, I assumed that SMI:SE would resemble those and just be "graphics and sound patch" to the original game. And it seems that I was right with my expectations. I don't know what you expected when game did cost less than 10€ and was advertised as remake.

    I wouldn't worry too much what new players think, but most feedback I have heard has been positive.

  • Oh, I don't look at it financial-wise. The way they advertised it to me was clearly a retake on the original, not a complete calque of it. If they were to remake the game by today's standards, I would've paid whatever for it. It's just the simplicity of the remake that bugs me the most, plus the fact that it's clearly a work over the original, therefore not something original itself. For me it's like taking a good old movie and injecting it with special effects and remastering, then throwing in on the shelves for ten bucks. You'd think about acquiring new fans, but you're actually losing the loyal ones.

  • Ehm, pretty sure that happens.

    Indiana Jones trilogy. Star Wars. Aliens. Several old movies first coming to DVD etc. etc.

  • lol
    That's why I never buy em =)

    Btw, "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"... Don't even get me starter on this.

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