Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay Review

I had played the second chapter of Tales of Monkey Island a while ago, but I haven't had the chance to review it. Now, with the third chapter coming out I figured I'd review the second one before it's too late. Once again, I'm playing the PC version.

The second chapter picks up directly where the first one left off, which is good since the first game had a giant cliffhanger. It's nice to have an immediate answer to the question at the end of the first episode. We get introduced to some new characters, and without giving too much away... we also see and old one re-invented.

The story is a bit more large-scale than the first game, and since you now have the Screaming Narhwal, you can go more places than just the main island, Spinner Cay. Of course, this is probobly done just to make it feel as big as the old Monkey Island games, and it works nicely, even though looking at it for how much content is actually there, there's not an incredible amount of content and the game might take you 3-4 hours to finish.

The game still uses the same control scheme as the first game, which I hated at first, and it's still kind of awkward, but it's growing on me. That's not to say I wouldn't prefer the old style point-n-click controls, but this is a good alternative. The comedy is just as witty and refreshing, and I might even be inclined to say I laughed more at this chapter than the first one, not to mention early on in the game you get a book of fish jokes that, if you ever get stuck on a puzzle and don't know what to do, instead of quitting the game, you can just open up your book of fish jokes to get a new one!

Now let's talk about the puzzles. Most of the puzzles in the game are good, but some of them are just stretching it, and didn't really give you that many hints to solve them. For example, in one puzzle early on you can make two pirates turn around by pointing in a direction, and in order to solve it you need to have them do a staring contest and then make them turn around, so they turn in the right direction. These kinds of puzzles don't let you use your wit to solve them, making you just mess around until you accidentally figure it out. There's not many of these kinds of puzzles, but it's still annoying that some of them are there.

Overall, Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2 is a charming, fun, and funny game, even if it does have a few stupid puzzles or a slightly unwieldy control scheme, and I recommend it to anybody who's a fan of the series or anyone who just wants a good laugh.

I give Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay a 4 out of 5.

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