Andrew Cathie
27 Jul, 2010

PSN: Tales of Monkey Island Review

PS3 Review | A swashbuckling adventure, no matter the platform.
In 1990, the world was introduced to Guybrush Threepword, the young and sharp tongued pirate-to-be who would become one of gaming’s most beloved characters. After eleven years, three sequels and a lot of swashbuckling adventure, Guybrush was retired by Lucasarts. In 2009, it was announced that the masters of episodic adventure games, Telltale Games, would be developing a new Monkey Island game, as Tales of Monkey Island is an episodic adventure game, as you would expect from the company. Now, the game has been brought to the PlayStation 3 in its entirety, for players to journey through from beginning to end. Does it live up to the Monkey Island name? Yes.

Telltale Games are known for their point-and-click adventure games on PC, but due to being a console release Tales of Monkey Island has a somewhat different control scheme. You will find yourself moving Guybrush up to objects, using the analogue stick, and then cycling through the choices nearby and selecting what you want to pick. The controls work fairly nicely, but there are problems with the objects the game will automatically select. On occasion while attempting to select that barrel of grog right next to Guybrush the game would decide that it instead felt you were trying to select that monkey on the other side of the screen. It can be slightly annoying at times, but being able to cycle through objects using the shoulder buttons helps to keep that annoyance to a minimum. Your inventory is opened using the face buttons of your controller and mixing components is easily done by the press of a few buttons.

Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate.

Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate.

The controls work well and that makes solving the puzzles that bit more enjoyable. The puzzles are normally humorous, as opposed to serious, and are normally solved using items, dialogue or a combination of the two. The puzzles solved using dialogue are usually the funniest, mostly because they tend to contain the sort of witty one-liners that you would expect to grace a Monkey Island game. The puzzles never get so difficult that you find yourself grasping at straws or consulting a walkthrough, but they can also be a tad easy at times. While it’s good that Telltale wanted to avoid causing mass frustration and annoyance, it would have been nice if there was the odd puzzle that was a bit more complex.

When you first start the game you find yourself where you would expect to finish. Guybrush has gathered the components for the Cutlass of Kaflu, the only weapon capable of permanently destroying LeChuck, and is putting the finishing touches on it before delivering the final blow. As expected from Guybrush, things don’t work out as he’d expected. From then on you will spend the entirety of the game following Guybrush as he attempts to correct the problems that inevitably stem from his earlier failure. Along the way you meet a lively cast of characters, both from past Monkey Island games and new and original characters. The writing is what you would expect from both a Telltale and Monkey Island game. Constant witty banter, punctuated with comedic one-liners delivered during the game and enough sarcasm and dry wit to drown an elephant. One example of this, taken from early in the game, is uttered by Guybrush as you pick up a small coffin, “Is this thing sloshing? Four words you don't want to hear when you pick up a coffin.”

LeChuck, back to turning tricks.

LeChuck, back to turning tricks.

Tales of Monkey Island is presented with a set of cartoon styled graphics, low on detail, but high on colour. It’s the typical style you see from Telltale Games in their Sam and Max series. Large amounts of colour, interesting designs, and a small lack of detail on character models. Despite a lack of detail normally being a negative in this case it is a positive. With this particular graphical style too much detail would look out of place, but too little detail would leave it too plain. Telltale succeeded in finding a balance between the two which has lead to a very attractive looking game. Load times are minimal and you can expect to get about twelve or more hours out of the game.

The music in Tales of Monkey Island is one of its strongest points. A collection of swashbuckling tunes comprise the soundtrack to the game. Each track makes sure you don’t forget you’re playing a game about pirates and booty, including a strong emphasis on panpipes, xylophones, and what sounds like a bottle. Some of the tracks are brilliant, especially the ‘Spinner Cay Theme’ which is entrancing. The music conveys the appropriate emotion for the part of the story you’re currently in and sounds great to boot.

Telltale Games succeeded in making not just a great game, but a great Monkey Island game as well. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed and newcomers will greatly enjoy the ride. With the cartoon styled graphics, great writing, brilliant musical score and over twelve hours of it all to enjoy, Tales of Monkey Island on PlayStation 3 is definitely worth picking up.
The Score
Tales of Monkey Island is an extremely funny romp that is well worth its meager price tag.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Content

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay Review
20 Aug, 2009 Does the second episode sink or swim?
XBLA: The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition Review
19 Jul, 2009 Look behind you, a three-headed review!
1 Comment
3 years ago
i'll be getting this.... and every other monkey island game that comes to the ps3.... there just top stuff....lol.. with plenty of silly jokes to keep you amused!
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