In 1990, Ron Gilbert created the point-and-click adventure The Secret of Monkey Island. She captured hearts and didn’t let her go for 32 years. In 1991, he finished Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge on a cliff. In 1992, Lucasartes left, and the secret third part of the trilogy plunged into legend like a sinking ship. Fan communities have theorized and fantasized for two decades about where the story might go, in desperate need of confirmation from Gilbert or his colleagues.
In 2013, Gilbert wrote, “I’ve always imagined the game as a trilogy”—one he could only make by having “complete control over what [he] He was making and the only way to do that was to own it.” In 2015 he wrote, “Monkey Island is now owned by Disney and they have never shown any desire to sell my IP.” Final moments for fans of What if? inhaled He bemoans April Fools’ Day annually on his blog, proudly remaining “April Fools’ Day” for 18 years. He once tweeted, “If I can make another Monkey Island, I will announce it on April 1st.”
On April Fools’ Day 2022, Ron Gilbert joked, “I’ve decided to make another Monkey Island.”
We are here. To say that returning to Monkey Island is so predictable does not capture the mental and emotional pilgrimage of the elderly players who were swept away by a pair of cynical devil eyes as children to the shores of Booty Island. this event gameand perhaps the only conceivable action game in what is – despite some flashing lights scattered over the decades – the frustratingly demure genre.
But what is this “return”? Back to the past: retro fan service for forty? Back to Commercial Interests: Monkey Island watered down to accommodate later sequels of questionable ecclesiastical? Or it could be… Can…Back to the figure of the graphic adventure genre – how long did you not know what pointing and clicking would do next, and intrigued by what you did?
Terrible Toybox, under the direction of Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, set out to introduce something new, but at the same time, the entire game is filled with reflections on the question “What is he is The secret of Monkey Island? – The cry of the giant ape-heads crowd around the world. We are invited to join Guybrush on parallel expeditions to both the in-game Secret™ and some of the biggest transcendent secrets about exactly what we’ve been craving all these years, and whether either of them ever existed.
It is immediately clear that the return will depend on its history. The title screen menu directs players to a scrapbook that provides an overview of the story so far. This politely covers every Monkey Island game, but it’s clear which one has priority. Monkey Islands 1 and 2 get a wonderful multi-page retelling through images drawn in the new Return art style, with each buckle gently swamped. The Curse of Monkey Island gets an orderly distribution of high level plot points…and there were two other games.
It will detect even the most sensitive Monkey Island fan selective Respect for Gilbert’s post work. This may have been our imagination, but nice little digs have been made into the directions taken in the story, with particular interest in how Ellen Marley is portrayed. When Guebrush looked at the image of Eileen frozen in a statue in The Curse of Monkey Island, his remark that LeChuck “thinks of them as furniture” could easily be channeled into the book of that third game. It is emphasized at every opportunity that Eileen in the first two matches did not need to be saved by Guybrush. Ironically, Gilbert and co-writer Dave Grossman have to make an effort to save her here.
For all that looking back at the series so far, Return to Monkey Island feels fantastically fresh. She has nostalgia around her and confidently spins the fabric of her story. New characters that won our hearts instantly – friends and foes – abound, and the wide scope of the adventure makes room to enjoy reimagined versions of familiar places, while evoking plenty of new places full of mystery and fun. The jokes and ridiculous seriousness pervasive are fresher than ever since 1991, picking the right moments to invoke classic lines, but don’t make them the main attraction. The new art style speaks for itself and is great with movement – and of course it’s also harvested for metafiction jokes. The variety of perspectives on the action, the depth of the scenery, and the delicious complexity of the characters’ micro-worlds is remarkable.
But perhaps the greatest victory is the new interface, which provides a framework for every aspect of the game to connect together in a rich player experience. On the Switch, this is by directly controlling the Guybrush’s joystick, using “R” and “L” to highlight and move through interactive items. This provides the exploratory experience of moving the mouse to explore the scene – the first fun to reach a new area. In the sense of a graphic adventure, there are no “actions” – no types of actions that can be selected on screen to apply to objects in the world. However, in a more general sense, verbs are infinite. Where some recent graphic adventure has reduced all interactions to “doing something to something”, Return to Monkey Island displays a script to show what a button press will do. So instead of seeing “walk to…”, “pick up…”, “talk to…”, “look at…” etc., Guybrush can “courage…”, “steal …”, “Clean the air with …”, “Praise the excellent …” etc. This is treated as another space for the book to play – a place for more jokes, surprises, and rewards to progress.
The combination through this interface of graphics, writing, excellent voice work, fresh ideas and joyful paraphrasing in music is a great combination. There is a strong sense of author control in the entire experience, everything flowing together to deliver a cohesive vision – a story of fun, adventure, redemption and passion, represented by thoughtfully designed and inspiring puzzles, set with set pieces and besides that made us laugh.
Given the depth of the fan’s passion well, it would have been silly In order to return to Monkey Island not to draw on it. Specifically given the hype following Ron Gilbert for his first two matches, it was ridiculous not to play that way. Likewise, it would be absurd to keep this game’s reliance on its roots against it. Yes, the people who weren’t fans of the first two matches for a long time will Have a great time with Return to Monkey Island, but Terrible Toybox has harnessed the incredible storytelling potential of fan enthusiasm to bring something rare and amazing to the bull’s-eye for its target audience. If so, go ahead and add a point to the score below.
The comeback may have finally found a way into existence thanks to the multimedia fad of remaking it as a genre, but if it were, it wouldn’t have had any impact on the game: it’s built with sheer integrity and an infectious delight that shines through every time. Scene.
Returning to Monkey Island touches your heart, interrupts your desire to know the secret, and tightens it in front of your face. While it’s hard to admit that The Secret of Monkey Island™ may have always been from McGuffin, it hurts to think you’ve had 30 years of longing. The Monkey Island 3 may be the same. Exhilarating as you shiver, Return of your astonishing eyesight offers a wonderful point-and-click adventure, full of passion and fun. All the way, you’ll wish, agonizingly, that the big reveal was coming – and then…
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