I remember back when point and click adventure games ruled the world of video games. One of my favorite memories is of spending hours with the Monkey Island series melting into the story. One of the big surprises of E3 2009 was the announcement that not only was the original Monkey Island game getting re-done for Xbox Live but a new set of adventures would be coming out as well.
Telltale Games and LucasArts set into motion Tales Of Monkey Island for the Wii and PC. A brand new tale set a few years after the last game.. (cont) (cont.) …where our hero, Guybrush Threepwood, has taken away the mojo of the evil pirate Lechuck. Doing so has released evil voodoo magic across the Caribbean and somehow infected his own hand with voodoo powers. Guybrush is off to find a cure in the elusive exfoliating sea sponge ‘La Esponja Grande’.
Let me tell you just how great this game looks – It brings back fond memories of the original games and a quality of humor that is very much missing and very much-needed in today’s games. We got a little tour of one of the port towns and everything really stood out graphics wise. The backgrounds were made as a nod to the original games as 2d backgrounds while everything up front seemed to come at you like a pop up book. Telltale is really good at keeping things ‘as they were’ but just refined enough to where it feels fresh and new.
In any adventure game sound is important and we were assured that many of the original voice actors were going to be back to reprise their roles. Michael Laird is back doing a brand new music for the series and that grabs another hook into the old school fans of the game.
We were not able to see much of the control scheme as the person giving the demo let us know that they were still in development but there is an interesting new thing for beginners. There will be a built in hint system for beginners that will guide them to their destinations. This will usher in a new generation of fans as people can play without being put off by the style of the game. Fear not old school members as we were assured that this system can be turned off as well. One other nugget of information that we were dropped was that there will be a system to combine items in the game and that should make for some interesting puzzles.
Tales Of Monkey Island is all about the story and that is what Telltale Games has always done best. I expect there to be lots of cliff hangers at the end of each episode and, hopefully, it will continue after the first season should the fan base be hungry for more. The entire first season will consist of 5 episodes with one releasing every month and the first episode is set to drop on July 7th for the PC and Wii. We asked if this will be released for Xbox Live as well and it was something they are hoping for, but no official announcement was made during the demonstration.
Tales Of Monkey Island was the surprise of the show for me and I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it. Coupled with the reloading of the original game I believe that Telltale and LucasArts are bringing back the old school games for a whole new crowd to enjoy. Make sure you pick Tales Of Monkey Island up and check out the awesome pre-order bundle at Telltale’s site.