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Cons: Annoying UI, Not enough Nights, Unwanted Reappearances, Chore Puzzles

posted by Papa Pishu on - last edited - Viewed by 276 users

SPOILERS ALERT!

(no, this isn't "con" as in "scam" or "rip-off" but more like "pros and cons")

My first post was going to be a great big slobbering THANK YOU! but since I just finished Rise of the Pirate God a few hours ago, I better get the few annoyances that I've had with the games off my chest first, lest they become clouded by all the stuff that ToMI gets right:

[LIST]
[*]#1, Irritating user interface
The menus were horribly unresponsive even though the game ran perfectly fine at the highest Detail setting, speaking of which, what's up with that cryptic scale of 1-9? Puzzles like that should remain within the gameplay itself.

Was there a hotkey for quick-saving? I prefer saving before every cutscene so I can rewatch them at a later time but the game did not allow saving when you did not have control of your character, nor did it let you skip slots so you could fit a save in from earlier. The ability to name saves would've been nice, but the descriptions made up for that.

The inventory items could've used some better-looking icons, and a less cumbersome way of using an item on another - what was wrong with just dragging their icons over each other, like in the main view?

The movement controls kept getting Guybrush caught up in some corners.

Some inconvenient camera angles, especially in the Manatee's Belly and other such large locations.


[*]#2, Lack of night-time locations
I don't know about other fans, but for me one of Monkey Island's trademarks has been the nice touch of beginning your adventure on islands that were always shrouded in an eternal night for some reason. I was disappointed to see only 1 previously-visited island get a night-time version, so that didn't count much.

Also, lack of islands in general, for that matter.


[*]#3, Generic and unmemorable recurring characters
Having utterly uninteresting, and even annoying, guys like D'Oro, Bugeye and Hardtack make recurring appearances really brought the game down by several points for me, especially when the arcs in which they reappear seemed rather tacked-on (the nonsensical charges in the trial, and the reclamation of your body using already-visited locations.)

That was rather un-Monkey Island-like; you're only supposed to bring the freaks back! (the kind that stand out from the generic "shopkeeper" throwaway/extras crowd)


[*]#4, Obvious but tedious puzzles that end up being chores
OK, maybe I kept playing the game for a bit too long in one sitting all the time, but if even a walkthrough-guide (just for those parts) can't help you tolerate a particular sequence of puzzles any better, you know that they've been designed very badly;

No, I don't mean the "mazes" - I like those and accept them as a Monkey Island trademark, but when you had to keep running back & forth so much to reclaim your body, or had to make sure the Pepper was uncovered before you got that hilarious trepanning, it just becomes a souring chore that can really put a speedbreaker in your enjoyment of the game:

There shouldn't be so many stopgaps for the player between realizing what to do to solve something, and executing that plan.


[*]#5, Drop in quality during the semi-final Episode
Although Stan and Pox'ed Elaine were just awesome, this episode on the whole felt like a rather weak effort, as if TellTale had gotten fed up or the series hadn't been doing well, and had thrown in filler-quality material for the heck of it.

I mean, yeah, nevermind the shameless recycling of all but 2 or 3 locations from the first episode, but the return of some very-dull faces (read #3) along with a weak set-up (it would've been a LOT better if the charges were for all the stuff that you actually pulled in earlier games, not some "WTF?" crap you couldn't care about like paralyzed cats, stolen Xs and thigh-burns.)

and personally, I don't hold this against the game, but I would've preferred LeChuck on our side for good :p a la Barbossa, even though substituting the Voodoo Lady as the potential big baddie for a while was kind of worse..
[/LIST]

Other than that, I totally love Tales (and TellTale) for re-igniting this series, after the nail-in-the-coffin that Escape threatened to be, but that's another story :D

Thanks!

12 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Ash735 said: A lot of Potential for good jokes and witty comments through the extra verbs? I dunno.

    Yep, like how you could "Pick Up" Captain Kate Capsize in MI2 instead of "Talk" :D or trying to "Eat" certain items, plus the lack of such verbs kind of leaves out situations where you could "Push" someone or generally do things to them without Talking or using an object

    but I didn't really mind the lack of verbs or anything in Tales and I didn't say that either; the game still felt like any old Monkey Island from the last millennium through and through.

  • Ya know, all those oddball commands in the previous games were usually met with "nah", "nope", "I don't think so", etc. It was funny a few times, but it's not like I missed them. :P (Not to mention that you get just as much of that stuff by sticking Guybrush's hook on everything clickable in the game...)

    I think the UI is a fair critique. Honestly, I found it clutzy on a keyboard and mouse. (Which sucks, because I prefer the prettier graphics on the PC version.) It works insanely and unbelievably well with my Wacom tablet, but who buys a $300 tablet for gaming?

    *crickets*

    Yeah, I thought so.

    Let's just hope in any potential "season 2" that they come up with something a little easier for the rest of the world to use. :)

  • I started replaying it yesterday. What made me stop for now is all these map puzzles at the start of the game. When I'm getting ready to play a Monkey Island game and trying to get into it, I don't want several follow the map puzzles thrown into my face. That's just me...

    That aside the game is awesome as remembered.

  • I couldn't disagree more about episode 4. I'm at a loss for words for how amazing Trial and Execution was. The entire Morgan plot alone blew me away, and placing doubt on the Voodoo Lady's motivations was genius. And the end...I still get chills thinking about it. This was the chapter that got me to come to the forums in the first place. After playing that, I absolutely needed to talk to somebody about it, I was so floored.

    As for the trial thing, I prefer it the way it happened. All the things you did in Narwhal finally catch up to you, and the foreshadowing with the Club 41 brawl is finally explained. I will give you that the X was sort of a weird thing to be put on trial for, but it was a throwaway joke, and the solution to that puzzle was actually really funny.

    And come on, it wouldn't be Monkey Island if LeChuck was good. There was no way that could be a permanent thing. As it is, LeChuck's betrayal was pretty much his crowning moment of awesome.

  • @GuruGuru214 said: I will give you that the X was sort of a weird thing to be put on trial for, but it was a throwaway joke...

    Like the ending of 'LeChuck's Revenge'. People take them too seriously.

  • I agree with some of those points--less on others.

    Regarding the user interface critique--I couldn't agree more. I don't necessarily miss the verb menu or anything like that--but the control scheme here just wasn't streamlined at all. The method of combining items was an utterly baffling decision--since it actually made the process much LESS streamlined than it was in games made 20 years ago! It was slow and clunky and really got kind of grating after a while.

    Also, the whole "click-drag-move" mouse movement control is just about the most terrible design decision I've ever seen in an adventure game. Whoever thought that was a good idea needs to be dragged out into the street and flogged. It's unresponsive as hell, and to top it off, you have to keep physically picking your mouse up off the desk and re-centering it if you want to walk any further than a few in-game feet. Atrocious, ridiculous, and utterly unplayable. It made using the keyboard controls an absolute necessity--thankfully they worked much better.

  • [quote]but the game did not allow saving when you did not have control of your character[/quote]

    Actually, there was only one save that you didn't have control of Guybrush, and that was at the very end of Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, when you only have to select all three topics in the topic box and that's it.

  • @GuruGuru214 said: ... placing doubt on the Voodoo Lady's motivations was genius. And the end...I still get chills thinking about it. ... And come on, it wouldn't be Monkey Island if LeChuck was good. There was no way that could be a permanent thing. As it is, LeChuck's betrayal was pretty much his crowning moment of awesome.

    That episode's dilly-dallying between establishing the Big Bad Guy for Tales came off as a weak attempt at some shallow drama, which was like as if they were running out of time and felt that they had to do something quick, and tried a bunch of different ideas before settling for LeChuck again after all.

    To me that was especially annoying at a time when we already had an interesting up-and-comer in the form of the Marquis de Singe! I actually expected him to end up being the "Pirate God" in the last episode and LeChuck helping us, maybe even sacrificing himself, to defeat de Singe. More on that in my other thread here.

    and now it's ended, and been reset, in the same old way as all Monkey Islands since LeChuck's Revenge... not that that's a particularly bad thing, but a little U-turn for the series would've been nice for a while.

  • @GuruGuru214 said: I couldn't disagree more about episode 4. I'm at a loss for words for how amazing Trial and Execution was. The entire Morgan plot alone blew me away, and placing doubt on the Voodoo Lady's motivations was genius. And the end...I still get chills thinking about it. This was the chapter that got me to come to the forums in the first place. After playing that, I absolutely needed to talk to somebody about it, I was so floored.

    As for the trial thing, I prefer it the way it happened. All the things you did in Narwhal finally catch up to you, and the foreshadowing with the Club 41 brawl is finally explained. I will give you that the X was sort of a weird thing to be put on trial for, but it was a throwaway joke, and the solution to that puzzle was actually really funny.

    And come on, it wouldn't be Monkey Island if LeChuck was good. There was no way that could be a permanent thing. As it is, LeChuck's betrayal was pretty much his crowning moment of awesome.

    Random tangent: Was anybody else reminded strangely of Phoenix Wright during this section of the game?

  • I'll give you the horrid combining interface, but that's about it...

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