LucasArts remakes another installment of its classic series with the recent release of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge: Special Edition.
LeChuck’s Revenge allows players to enter the shoes of Guybrush Threepwood, a bumbling pirate wannabe, on his journey to find the legendary treasure of “Big Whoop.” The game controls using a point-and-click interface, where the player highlights an object with the cursor and then chooses from a variety of options to interact with the object. Right clicking an object will automatically use the default interaction, usually “Look at” with inanimate objects and “Talk To” with people. The most engaging aspect to the game is the amount of humor involved not only with the puzzles, but with the everyday objects the player will encounter. A good example of this is a pet rat named “Muenster Monster” who is used to poison a soup and get a chef fired so Threepwood can take the job and run off with the week’s advanced salary. LucasArts has also updated the graphics for this edition of the game, changing them from pixels to 3D characters and locations. However, the game still has the cartoon-like themes and visuals of the original. Players can even switch to the original version of the game, complete with voice acting, and back with no loading time between with the simple press of a button.
One of the most interesting additions to the game is a commentary track for certain scenes with developers Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and Dave Grossman. These commentaries offer insights to the development of certain parts or scenes of the game which will be of interest to veteran fans, and even some new ones, of the series. One of the more interesting facts is that Schafer was originally against the idea of insult sword fighting, which has since become a staple of the series and one of the fan favorite parts. If listened to during the enhanced version of the game, players are even treated with cartoon silhouettes of the three much like Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The controls of the special edition are streamlined from the original version. In the original, players had to click an action or an item, then click the item to use the action on or click the action to be used, and repeat as necessary which could sometimes get a bit annoying and repetitive. This time around players can simply highlight an item or person, hold down the left mouse button, and and dial will appear with all the actions relevant to the situation.
As this is still considered to be one of the iconic classic games, there is no need to say that it is an excellent game that is made even better with the updates to the special edition. The commentary track will be a delight to fans of the series and even to some newcomers. The addition of voice acting, improved controls, and updated graphics make it a worthy purchase for adventure game fans.