#199 Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

Posted: 26th July 2015 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

443rd played so far


Genre: Adventure
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1991
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts

It’s honestly surprising to me that it’s been nearly a year since we played The Secret of Monkey Island – we really enjoyed it and breezed through it, helped with me remembering half the puzzles.

I have also played the second before (and have mixed up puzzles between the two), although it feels a bit less fresh in my mind and doesn’t feel quite as iconic. Still, in we jump again.

Our Thoughts

Some sequels really do seem to improve everything on the base game. The second Monkey Island iteration certainly feels like it did so. The graphics are better, with Guybrush especially having gained better looks and the backgrounds looking better than before, hand drawn and nicer – as well as brighter, the game being set at day instead of night. Characters have a bit more detailed and shading applied (although Stan’s jacket is still the same) and the animation just looks nicer – as gross as it is, Phatt Island’s governor looks really good. It’s not quite as cartoony as, say, Sam & Max Hit the Road, but it’s a clear step in between, focusing a bit more on realism.

Those improved graphics are just the start though, luring you in. The music sounds better – courtesy of a new music system in the game – and everything just feels a bit more alive.

Guybrush maintains his pirating standards – while hunting for his big treasure, he steals (poor Wally), cheats and has to rob a few graves. The area is varied, featuring more areas (and backtracking) than the previous game, and the puzzles feel more substantial. Most are still fairly logical, but with the inane goals you have in the game, there’s not always time for that. Stealing a wig, for example, to get hair for a voodoo doll may not seem quite right (and flakes of dandruff are the final explanation).

There’s also a nice balance of returning and new characters, not all of whom you’d expect to see back. Of course governor Marley is present, ghost pirate LeChuck (something that becomes obvious pretty early) and as mentioned before, Stan the salesman, but also lesser known characters like the three ‘men of low moral fibre’. It’s done well, never indulgent, but always as an extra nod you don’t necessarily need to know much about.

The main thing, however, is that the puzzles are always well-crafted. They’re rarely illogical (or at least not by too much) and there are almost always a few avenues to explore, even if in reality there are more dependencies. There aren’t many red herrings and, mercifully, no way to get stuck. Even in puzzles requiring memorization, brute force will win it for you in the end.

Oh, and with that all it’s still funny, to the point where some of the puzzle solutions even make you smile. All as good as it should be.

Final Thoughts

As said, this is a sequel that improves on all counts. It’s hard to say whether it’s the better classic, as the original Monkey Island has that first time spirit – they both do their job incredibly well. Based on the numbers, in fact, it seems like both are about as well regarded as each other.

Really another Lucasarts classic.