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

posted by Hayden on - last edited - Viewed by 1.3K 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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  • There's a couple of points I wanted to address that I saw as I was reading through some of the posts...

    The GUI (Graphical User Interface) in the "old" version was NOT the MI2 GUI. They are similar but not the same.

    The GUI used was the enhanced CD version GUI (circa 1992).

    As a player you might not notice the differences without a fine-toothed comb, but as an amateur game developer whose personal favorite game of all time is The Secret of Monkey Island the differences are glaring to me. I do understand the argument that the prior versions of the game were "better" though. The first version I played was the enhanced CD version, so to me that's the better one, but to each his own.

    Also Cobb was brought up as a negative point of the SE?? :eek: I'm sorry but frankly I would have been furious if Cobb had been removed from the game. Just because the joke is no longer relevant (opinion) doesn't mean it should be removed. Sure you could say it was just blatant advertising, but that was precisely the joke, so if you're griping about that you've missed the entire point. The whole bit with "" flashing at the bottom of the screen was a parody of in-game advertisement. Yes, due to the fact that it was in-game advertisement, to an extent it was its own antithesis. However, it was still a joke.

    Besides, LOOM™ is still one of the greatest things LA has ever produced. And I insist on using the ™ there because, although I'm sure you probably missed that too, the usage of the symbol throughout the game was another joke.

  • @monkey_05_06 said: Also Cobb was brought up as a negative point of the SE?? :eek:

    Who's Cobb?

    Personally, I didn't say that advertising one game inside another one (what's the term for that again?) is bad. Did you see all the DotT vs. Sam&Max shtick back in 1993-94? It was mad, and even through people didn't play one or another of these games, the way it was presented was still funny.

    Loom, on the other hand, is an outdated game. I'm sorry if this sounds pejorative, but I've never really enjoyed it, mostly because it was already based on a novel of mediocre popularity (that's all I know about Loom, ask that Scumm Bar guy about the rest). Sure, I've played it. Did I remember it? Nope.

    The problem with this is that you remake the game. So you remake it flesh and bones, i.e. every single plot frangment, every since thing stays the same. Then explain to me the following.
    a) How come the stump joke is gone? Personally, I liked it way more that the Loom guy joke.
    b) You redraw faces. If they're already too cartoonish on close ups, least make them open their mouth when they talk. Or draw them natural, realistic. It looks like they're stuck midway and are neither.
    c) There is a small Sam and Max idol at the bottomleft corner of the screen with the giant Monkey Head when Guybrush q-tips its ear. How come nobody's talking about that?

    I am open to changes, but don't release it like this. People who play this and say: "Well, it's not the original, but it's acceptable because it's better than nothing" almost make me cry.

  • Each MI (well, the first three for sure) has a Sam&Max reference.

    Don't say you didn't notice the obvious costumes of them in the dressing shop in LCR. And in CMI they were action figure dolls IIRC.

    Also, it's great that joke is alluded at in CMI with the "ask me about Grim Fandango" fellow :D.

    (Also the Floppy joke is gone because it's based on the CD version, where it was already removed. No idea why they couldn't just ask you to implent disk [add large number here] but whatever...)

  • @Hassat Hunter said: Don't say you didn't notice the obvious costumes of them in the dressing shop in LCR. And in CMI they were action figure dolls IIRC.


    I was talking about SMI only.

    @Hassat Hunter said: Also, it's great that joke is alluded at in CMI with the "ask me about Grim Fandango" fellow :D.

    Well there you go, see, that's another brilliant example of a well concealed joke. When Grim was nearing its release and they inserted that into CMI, it was funny at the time. Today, if you repeat the same joke, I'm sure recent generations (those who didn't play games yet when that came out) won't appreciate it the same way. Though unlike Loom, I was old enough to understand it back then and got a good laugh of Calavera sitting at Blondebeard's.

    @Hassat Hunter said: (Also the Floppy joke is gone because it's based on the CD version, where it was already removed. No idea why they couldn't just ask you to implent disk [add large number here] but whatever...)

    That. Or they could've allude to its updated version in CMI where guybrush sticks his head out of the stump and says something stupid. The funniest would've been MI1 Guybrush sticking his head in the stump hole and say: "Gee, there's some crypt with a moaning ghost there, not sure I want to bother her". I'd have found it hilarious.

  • I was sad there was no stump joke, I love the stump joke but yeah... cd version heh.

    Uzr> *insert senseless sounds of revoltion at your dismissal of Loom* Loom is a beautiful game, sure it's a bit marmite in the sense that some love it, others hate it... but it's still so different to anything else that it has to be acknowledged.
    based on a novel of mediocre popularity - Er... what? Either i've been missing something all these years or... yeah.

    As for your other points:

    a) How come the stump joke is gone? Personally, I liked it way more that the Loom guy joke. - Cd version removed it, sad but true. It was gone looong before this edition. Apparently a lot of people didn't get the joke initially, but how true that is....

    b) You redraw faces. If they're already too cartoonish on close ups, least make them open their mouth when they talk. Or draw them natural, realistic. It looks like they're stuck midway and are neither. - Yeah, wasn't a fan of the cartoony zoomed in faces. Elaine just looks... odd and Guybrush's hair.. oh god the hair...

    c) There is a small Sam and Max idol at the bottomleft corner of the screen with the giant Monkey Head when Guybrush q-tips its ear. How come nobody's talking about that?
    - Lucasarts no longer have the rights to S&M, so it was replaced with a tentacle effigy. I thought that was sort of cute actually, like "we acknowledge there was a joke here, so we substituted"
    I did wonder how they'd skirt around that issue.

    It was interesting to see secret reskinned, because that's really all it was, a reskinning. Bits worked, other bits didn't but the voice acting was a lovely touch. Gamers these days EXPECT voice acting, you noticed that? It'd have been nice to be able to have the original graphics with the voices but I don't know how they'd have implemented that.. timing etc...

  • @purple_monkfish said: Uzr> *insert senseless sounds of revoltion at your dismissal of Loom* Loom is a beautiful game, sure it's a bit marmite in the sense that some love it, others hate it... but it's still so different to anything else that it has to be acknowledged.


    Senseless rage. I never "dismissed" Loom. I just didn't get it as a game, that's all. Hassat made a perfect comparison with Grim Fandango in CMI, that's exactly what I pointing out at. In 1997 this way funny. If you, for some reasons unknown, remake CMI, like, let's say, 7 years from now, and add the same Calavera with the same sticker - I'm sure younger audience would go "WTF" about it. It's undoubted.

    @purple_monkfish said: based on a novel of mediocre popularity - Er... what? Either i've been missing something all these years or... yeah.

    Meaning being I learned about the novel AFTER I played the game. Was this a children story btw? I never got that either.

    @purple_monkfish said: Cd version removed it, sad but true. It was gone looong before this edition. Apparently a lot of people didn't get the joke initially, but how true that is....

    But good enough to be inserted in the third game. Remember rabid jaguars? =)

    @purple_monkfish said: - Lucasarts no longer have the rights to S&M, so it was replaced with a tentacle effigy. I thought that was sort of cute actually, like "we acknowledge there was a joke here, so we substituted"
    I did wonder how they'd skirt around that issue.

    You know what I think about it? I think LA decided to make a subtle reference in the remake, hoping that all these legal ppl would be too lame to figure it out. But it was there for quite a long time, and what bothers me the most is - how come they appear there three years before their first game release? Was this Purcell messing with everybody or what? lol

  • @Uzrname said: But it was there for quite a long time, and what bothers me the most is - how come they appear there three years before their first game release? Was this Purcell messing with everybody or what? lol

    You know Sam and Max is based on a comic, don't you, and one that was created by Steve Purcell long before the game came out.

  • That's why I said that. To me it alludes to the fact that either whoever drew them was into Purcell's comics, or that they were already planning to do a game about his comics.

  • I absolutely hated the fact that you couldn't skip dialogue line by line on the PC version.

  • The SE was halfway garbage. The graphical "update" took something charming and unique and made it bland and borderline ugly. On the other hand, the voice acting was a welcome feature... but it comes off as awkwardly slow and unnatural (whether this was an artistic decision or having to match the slow speed of the on-screen text due to a technical limitation of the SCUMM engine I don't know).

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