Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Escape from Monkey Island

Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2001
Systems: PlayStation 2 (reviewed), Windows, MacOS
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web Site

Today's Game for Lunch comes from guestblogger Matt Matthews of Curmudgeon Gamer.

In a nutshell: Rube Goldberg puzzle situations with pithy dialogue. And monkeys.

0:01 Classic Monkey Island music plays over an uninteresting credits sequence.

0:02 Already with the monkey jokes: "That's the second biggest monkey head I've ever seen."

0:04 The game finally gives me an opportunity to do something and...I'm tied to a post. While my wife fights a pirate.

0:05 Apparently I use the shoulder buttons to go up and down in menus. Not liking that one bit.
0:07 How do I skip lines of dialogue? Ah...L1. Of course.

0:08 Ok, got it. I kick over some coals, juggle one with my feet, and kick it at a loaded cannon. And the battle is won!

0:09 Act 1 begins.

0:12 More dialogue. None of it funny. Make it stop.

0:15 Finally the cut scene ends and I can start doing something again. After all that jibber-jabber, I only laughed at one joke (the one about getting declared undead).

0:16 Ok, I have my orders from my wife: stop the catapult operator trying to destroy our house and then head for Lucre Island to meet with the family lawyers.

0:20 I've determined the pieces of this puzzle are probably the funny-looking cactus and getting some snacks for the catapult operator. Nothing else here, so I head into town.

0:23 Spent two minutes talking to two familiar-looking pirates who claim not to know me. All of the dialogue is awful.

0:26 I left town accidentally and ended up going to a house owned by Meathook. He's got a nice bridge, but nothing else interesting. Yawn.

0:31 Found myself down by the harbor. No grog from the grog machine. Nothing from the harbor mistress. No way to play with the pink ship with the hot chick on the front. Ah, but I did find an innertube. A busted innertube. We'll call it progress nonetheless.

0:34 Found the SCUMM Bar. Dart players, bartender, owner, and a drunk with a balloon and a bowl of pretzels.

0:35 Wait a minute! Pretzels! Got it. Get them to the catapult operator. Regrettably, the drunk isn't giving them up.

0:45 Finally figured it out. Dart players can be goaded into hitting the balloon. Popped balloon causes drunk to pass out. Pretzels acquired.

0:47 Back at the mansion. Boy does it take ages to get around in this world.

0:49 Ok, the funny looking cactus looks like a wishbone, so I can use the innertube there to make a slingshot.

0:50 Got the catapult owner to leave for a few seconds with the pretzels, but that didn't get me anything.

0:51 Ah, fiddle with catapult controls, and then he'll aim for the cactus when he returns. Done.

0:54 Boulder hits slingshot cactus, comes back and smacks catapult. Catapult falls off cliff. Catapult explodes like a Hollywood stunt catapult. I actually laughed out loud.

0:57 Threepwood says he'll still love his wife after rigor mortis sets in. That's an image I really didn't need.

0:58 Charles L. Charles shows up. Who could that be?

1:03 Good heavens, the dialogue goes on forever. I wish they'd shut up and let me do something. Apparently my next job is to go see the family lawyers.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? No.
Why? Too much talk with too few funny lines. Instead of interacting with the game, I mostly hit the X button to listen to jibber-jabber. Monkey Gear Solid? Anyway, give me something interesting to do, for crying out loud.

This review based on a cheap used copy I've had for years and hadn't cracked open.


jw said...


Seriously, it is a very good adventure. Anyway, your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Stopped playing the forth one after an hour or so as well. Loved Monkey Island 3 though!

But really, a point and click adventure on a Playstation? What were they thinking?

The Jenius said...

The first three were excellent. Personally I didn't mind the fourth one, though it wasn't anywhere near as good as the previous ones.

Kuno said...

The fourth one had some great bits, but Monkey Island ultimately isn't suited to be a console game...