Analysis of Return to Monkey Island

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Monkey Island returns 30 years later to answer the great mysteries that have plagued adventure fans since the twistingly unexpected ending of LeChuck’s Revenge. Three decades dreaming for a video game that is already here. Does Return to Monkey Island live up to the legend?


Making sense of Monkey Island 2 ‘s bizarre ending has “haunted” us for nearly 30 years. It was so unexpected and surreal that not even those who carried on the legacy of Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman even dared mention it. It’s like it never existed but… yes, it happened. So the adventures of Guybrush ThreepwoodThey went on without anyone giving an answer to that great mystery. And we, the fans, even knowing that it was already unthinkable that one day we would have that long-awaited Monkey Island 3, we continue debating, discussing and trying to make sense not only of that surprising outcome, but also of the other great headache that from its origins has defined this legendary saga of graphic adventures. What is the secret of Monkey Island? Just thinking about it is scary because, wow, we’ve spent the last three decades dreaming about this moment almost obsessively, so the expectations are so, so high , it’s really hard for me to imagine what the response to Return to Monkey is going to be. Island .


I have connected with him in such a special way that it has moved me; he has brought me back to my childhood with his goofy humor and all those conversations that go nowhere but are so absurd and funny that you never get tired of listening. It has been wonderful to return to Isla Mêlée and rediscover myself with all those characters who taught me to love a genre as beautiful as that of graphic adventures; and even more so enjoy those “eureka” moments that enlighten you with the answer to a puzzle that was driving you crazy just a few minutes before. But as has already been seen with the controversy over the graphics of Return to Monkey Island, everything that surrounds this video game is a matter of debate for what has already been said, because they have been waiting for it for 30 years, and during all this time each one of us has created such unusually high expectations that to see who tells you what This is the Monkey Island that you have dreamed of for so long. Even I’m not sure if it’s what I expected or not; but every time I think of my adventures with Guybrush Threepwood I smile. And for me it is something that is worth his weight in gold.

There is something in this new story that goes straight to the heart of the fan who has been waiting all these years for it. And I’m not just saying this because of the many references and nods to the games in the Monkey Island saga, of which there are plenty. It seems that the game itself is aware of the miracle that has brought us here, that has allowed us to enjoy the “game that we honestly never thought we could make”, always accompanied by the desire to answer the great question that has obsessed us for years. In this review of Return to Monkey Island that I never imagined I could write, I hope to convey all the emotions that it has aroused in me… without spoilers!

One of the most anticipated games in history

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I confess. I almost shed a tear as soon as I started playing. Of course, if I’ve been waiting for this moment for half my life. It was listening to the music, reading the title, appearing in front of the Watcher on Isla Mêlée… and going back to the 90s! At a stroke, the doubts about whether or not Return to Monkey Island was going to be a graphic adventure like those of yesteryear, of exploring scenarios in search of objects, loading the inventory with apparently useless junk and walking from here to there, vanished. talking to wacky characters.

If the fun Thimbleweed Park faithfully emulated the way of playing [and graphics] of the old LucasArts, the new Monkey Island keeps the spirit of those classics intact but with a renewed context-sensitive interface that allows us to interact with everything around us by simply using two buttons. Pay attention here to the messages that appear when you point with the cursor because they are very silly descriptions with which it is difficult not to let out the occasional laugh. For example, when you point to the door in a filthy place you will read a funny “run away from this pest”, which is silly, I know, but it defines very well the naive humor that characterizes Monkey Island and I love it so much.

] I have laughed a lot with the thousand and one occurrences of the good Guybrush

I’ve laughed a lot at the thousand and one quips that good guy Guybrush Threepwood makes and says, but at the same time, curiously, exploring Mêlée Island has also invaded me with a brutal feeling of melancholy that at times has left me speechless. The Scumm Bar is still the Scumm Bar… but different, changed; like the shipyard where we met Stan or even the Voodoo shop. And this is something that has made me connect in a special way with the story of Return to Monkey Island. It is true that sometimes it abuses self -references and at times it almost seems like a remake of the original by repeating certain ideas or game situations, but there is something in what counts and in how it tells it that has captivated me. Come on, at some point I have released a tear.

Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman play very well with the expectations of the fans. They know what we’ve been wanting to see for years, so when you least expect it… BOOM, there you have a hit of pure nostalgia that makes you vibrate with emotion. I have come to cry out for joy in some scenes because everything, music, aesthetics and dialogues, is at the service of that special moment. And it works really well on an emotional level because, dammit, it’s just what you wanted to see. But the game is also quite rogue in the sense of twisting many of these desires in an unexpected way. And it’s a shame because there are very powerful situations that last so little, that you are left wanting more.

Los puzles de Return to Monkey Island

I admit that the first trailer for Return to Monkey Island made me fear the worst: a graphic adventure with hardly any puzzles and empty settings. How wrong I was. Terrible Toybox ‘s game is faithful to the design philosophy that Ron Gilbert established in the old LucasArts and that today remains the holy grail for many video game designers, even far from graphic adventures. There is a lot of exploration, loads of items to add to the inventory, hilarious dialogue, and multiple simultaneous objectives .that intertwine so that when you get stuck on a puzzle you can continue the adventure doing other things. The game also goes from less to more. You start on Isla Mêlée exploring familiar locations and end up in a much larger environment running around with a lot more items in your pockets.

Sometimes the key clue is subtly hidden in plain sight which makes these puzzles very satisfying to solve.

The design of the puzzlesis at a high level. There are quite simple ones and others more far-fetched, but what I like the most is that they all have a logic within the crazy world of Monkey Island, avoiding those puzzles that basically suggest you combine everything with everything to see if you’re lucky and discover by chance the answer. Sometimes the key clue is subtly hidden in plain sight which makes it very satisfying to solve many of these puzzles, when you reach that “eureka” moment that you enjoy so much as a fan of adventure games. There is also no lack of treasure maps or cryptic messages that hide the answer to great mysteries, nor of course the dialogues that do not seem to go anywhere but are actually essential to understand the logic of certain puzzles. Pure Monkey Island, come on.

In the scenarios there are hidden trivia cards that appear randomly with questions related to the Monkey Island saga. It’s super fun!

Most of these challenges are not particularly original, although there are some that have their crumb. But if they work so well it is thanks to the hilarious script that accompanies them. It’s hard not to laugh at the nonsense Guybrush Threepwood carries out, who is capable of entering into a stupid babbling loop with other characters and you, far from running away from that situation, go on and on choosing the dumbest answer because let’s see who hell get you out of there. But beyond the humor, the rhythm of the action itself is perfect. The puzzles are chained one after another in such a fluid and fun way that it is hard not to get excited thinking about what is to come in the nearly 10 hours that the adventure can last. What will happen next? What is LeChuck planning?? What do these young new pirates want?

I was telling you that Return to Monkey Island is a very special game that knows how to strike a chord with the fan, but I also think it works very well as an independent graphic adventure. Nostalgia is obviously its main weapon , the game itself revolves around it in such a profound way that it moves; but the puzzles, dialogues and the design of its settings are as good as they were in the legendary LucasArts adventures.

Return to Monkey Island graphics

The artistic style that the new Monkey Island game has opted for has created great controversy among fans

It is obvious that the artistic style that the new Monkey Island game has opted for has created great controversy among fans of the series. I’m the first one who was shocked by this choice because I have idealized the graphics of the original, and if I had chosen, I would have opted for something more in the style of the Monkey Island 2 remake . And yet right now I am in love with the work of artist Rex Crowle ( Tearaway ), because the world he has created is incredibly beautiful. There are still characters whose design doesn’t quite convince me, but overall the game is gorgeousthat surprises by the large number of small details that populate each and every one of the scenarios through which you move. Everywhere you look there’s something funny to delight in or even bugs and critters swarming here and there, so they’re more than just static backgrounds.

Some settings are so beautiful that I would love to have a painting inspired by them. And when we talk about iconic places, Crowle has managed to give them his touch without losing the essence, creating prints that I am sure over time we will remember with the same affection that we remember that crazy Scumm Bar from the original. Return to Monkey Island also cares a lot about making things simpler with the interface, as I told you before, but also with a task list that is updated and it’s great to never lose sight of the objectives. The game also includes a clue book.which works in a similar way to the Enhanced Edition of the first two Monkey Island, dropping hints that will help you solve its puzzles… even giving the final answer if you insist too much. At this point I recommend you play hard because the easy version is too easy. And honestly the game is not that it is extremely difficult either.

I don’t want to forget either the phenomenal musical work that has given life to this new incarnation of Monkey Island. But of course, how could the soundtrack for Return to Monkey Island not be good if you have three legends like Michael Land, Peter McConnel and Clint Bajakian signing the music for this graphic adventure. The themes are super varied, fun, exciting!, making visiting Isla Mêlée and other exotic islands a wonderful experience. Also the voices in English are at a very high level, with the great Dominic Armatobringing back Guybrush Threepwood with the usual charm, or other new voices like LeChuck who are very successful. Nostalgia. She said it before. Playing Return to Monkey Island is special because everything in it is reminiscent of a time that was tremendously special.

In the end we all have in common that crazy passion and unconditional love for Monkey Island

It doesn’t matter if you discovered Monkey Island long after it was born. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or a simple hobbyist who accidentally came across Guybrush Threepwood and decided to accompany him to the last of his pirate adventures. Because here in the end we all have in common that crazy passion and unconditional love for a world, characters and mysteries that have accompanied us for more than 30 years. Who more and who less has ever wondered what is the secret of Monkey Island? Having the opportunity to discover it when it already seemed impossible is that miracle that today we call Return to Monkey Island. And it’s incredibly nice to live something like that.

the dream comeback

Return to Monkey Island

By: The 3DGames team

I don’t know if Return to Monkey Island is the Monkey Island you were expecting because after 30 years of imagining how it should be, everyone has idealized their own Monkey Island 3. What I can guarantee you is that the new graphic adventure by Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman is a beautiful love letter to the pirate stories of Guybrush Threepwood and to all who have accompanied him on this long journey. His puzzles are clever and fun, there are loads of islands to explore, he has hilarious dialogues that you can’t help but laugh at and when he does, he knows how to strike a chord to get you excited about his story. It has been an incredible journey that I will soon forget.

5 Things you should know:

  1. Return to Monkey Island is full of winks and references to the saga
  2. It is a traditional adventure with puzzles, inventory, dialogues and exploration
  3. He knows how to strike a chord with the fan who has been waiting for THIS game for 30 years
  4. There is a wide variety of scenarios, with familiar places and totally new ones
  5. Although it shocks at first, its artistic section is great; like its soundtrack


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