MONKEY ISLAND 2: SPECIAL EDITION / LucasArts / PC

LucasArts didn't have much of a task in front of them here - one of the (in my opinion THE) greatest adventure games ever made, so all they have to do is not bork it up significantly, and it still merits an Awesome. They not only did that, but seem very responsive to what fans didn't like about the first Special Edition game, and made a number of significant improvements to the formula.


It does get off to a questionable start by excising the much-beloved opening credits scene completely (even when playing in Classic Mode, which can be switched to and from on the fly as with the first Special Edition game.) That was the only major cut, however. Well, that and the Lite mode of the first game, which was a simpler version that excised a lot of the steps from the puzzles and really just cheated the player out of a lot of the experience, so I have no problems whatsoever with seeing that go. Like the first SE, a "hint system" has been implemented by pressing H at any time, with increasingly specific hints each time you press (as well as highlighting all usable items in a screen), so newcomers and the not-so-adventure-oriented should be just fine without Lite mode anyway.


The art is way better than the previous SE - much less of a "plastic Flash game" look and more in harmony with the original game's style, and the characters look infinitely better. Most importantly, the best Guybrush sprite of the entire series is done fair justice with a considerate re-working that even adds some idle and interstitial animations that weren't present in the previous game. And the live music played by Peter McConnell and other original members of the LucasArts team is worth the money by itself for old-school fans. Even the cue-shifting iMuse system is emulated fairly well.


The best bit for long-time fans is the addition of commentary tracks at certain points in the game. There weren't many - I remember about 10, and they dont last more than a minute or so each - but it's nonetheless fascinating to hear Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman get together and give insights into the game's creation.


Links :

* Extract the original game from SE with intro credits and all other little bits intact for play on Scumm

Videos :

* The excised intro credits
* Gameplay Video
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