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Return to Monkey Island (2022) - Ron Gilbert onboard!


kiroquai
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Personally I don't judge games by length accept maybe in reverse. I'd rather a game was 5 hours long rather than 25. And I don't think it's something that should ever impact a review score. I want s reviewer to tell me how good or bad it is. The reader can combine that with information about length and decide if it meets their own criteria.

 

As for RtMI, I felt it was about the right length. 10 hours for my first play through is about perfect for me. Games longer than that are generally just never getting finished. There's almost never never enough story or "new" stuff to stretch longer in any game (imo).

 

I'd agree it's a touch too easy overall. But I also think the earlier games are actually a bit obnoxious in terms of the number of items and puzzle solutions.

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20 hours ago, NexivRed said:

I was extremely disappointed by this. Extremely. 
 

I played on hard mode and thought the puzzles were extremely one dimensional. You know the balance is wrong when you see items or areas, and fantasise about how they can be used or what can be done there in the future….and there’s just nothing. 
 

It was extremely short. That wasn’t twenty quids worth whatsoever. 
 

Hardly any multiple step problems. Aside from having to complete one thing before you can complete another, the actual individual puzzles don’t seem to require any ingenuity or creativity. 
 

 

Sigh. I’ve played the others. This one was seriously lacking something. Excitement was short lived and satisfaction was rarely there or lasting. So much was obvious that it seemed like going through the motions.
And this isn’t a gloat about how good I am. It’s a criticism of how you spend more time clicking to travel around the maps than you do thinking about how you can use the items around you and in your inventory. 

 

It’s taken me a week to finally admit to myself I was disappointed. I didn’t want to. Especially as I pushed to get it right away at full price. Feel ashamed for wasting the money tbh. 

 

So you didn't enjoy it - but also wished it was longer?

 

Like that old joke: "The food at this restaurant is terrible!" "Yes, but the portions are magnificent!"

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5 hours ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

So you didn't enjoy it - but also wished it was longer?

 

Like that old joke: "The food at this restaurant is terrible!" "Yes, but the portions are magnificent!"


Part of the reason I didn’t enjoy it was because it was too short to have lengthier puzzles with multiple steps. Hth

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I'd like to see Ron Gilbert's flowchart of MI2 vs. RtMI. As I don't think RtMI is *that* much shorter or less complex, it just wastes less of your time walking between places and combining seven trillion inventory items. It's got considerably more recorded dialogue lines than any of the other games as well.

 

Again, I love MI2 but the story stops cold for an absurd amount of time in the mechanically complex act.

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I'm on part 2 of this and by far the most disappointing thing is; 🚫

 

The fact it's only possible to 'rub' your inventory items on the correct thing is a travesty and throws so much comedy potential out the porthole. Adventure games used to account for the player's misfires and insane ideas (and plain guessing) by providing some funny lines. I feels more organic that way too, I think that's at least part of what gives the 'going through the motions' feeling people mention. The system of circles dotted all over the screen seems ugly and awkward too. Maybe some alternative options would've been nice.

 

I'm not really getting how this continues from MI2 at all either. So...

Spoiler

the two kids at the end of 2 were Guybrush's son and his friend? Huh? Tbh I always thought the 'it was all a couple of kids in a theme park playing' was actually a really sweet ending, explaining all the modern pop culture dotted around the world, and it would've been better without Chuckie's lightning eyes.

I guess the game is going to fill more of this in later. I really hope the game opens up at some point. The starting map was somewhere we'd already been but with fewer areas and items and now I'm in a relatively tiny area. Technology has come a long way and we don't need to swap 11 disks.

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I’ve just reached Act IV and am really enjoying this, but completely get your point about missing lengthier puzzles @NexivRed

 

I’ve not played a Monkey Island game since the second one, which I loved along with the first. Some of my happiest early gaming memories are playing the first Monkey Island over a school summer holiday and (in a pre-internet world) trying to figure out some of the more obscure puzzles. I even roped my parents into trying to figure stuff out (they were no help!)

 

What I love about this is being back in this world - remembering things from the first couple of games which I’d forgotten about, and that it still feels like the Monkey Island world of the first couple of games. 
 

Sure, I’d like more complex multi-step puzzles and for the game to be longer, but I’m really happy with what is there and enjoying playing through it.
 

I’m a bit apprehensive about how it’s going to end given that it seems to have marred the experience for some, but at the moment can’t see how even a terrible ending would reduce the joy I’ve had playing the rest of the game. 
 

Oh, and the music is brilliant - find myself humming bits constantly throughout the day at the moment. 

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Just finished. Very much enjoyed, and actually I thought the ending fitted well.

 

Agree on the lack of multi stage puzzles. I can still remember the thrill as a kid of putting the rat in the vichyssoise (I can't possibly do that?! Oh, I can!) or setting up Kate Capsize. It just seemed more ambitious or full of potential somehow, and this felt a bit one dimensional by comparison, but I'm not sure if that's partly age and expectations too.

 

But overall it was lovely to go back to Monkey Island. I think the balance of new stuff and revisiting locations/people was just about right.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 09/10/2022 at 00:19, Number 28 said:

I'm on part 2 of this and by far the most disappointing thing is; 🚫

 

The fact it's only possible to 'rub' your inventory items on the correct thing is a travesty and throws so much comedy potential out the porthole. Adventure games used to account for the player's misfires and insane ideas (and plain guessing) by providing some funny lines. I feels

 

I re-played MI 1 and 2 over the past couple of weeks in anticipation of RtMI and after about an hour I have to agree. The puzzle/inventory system feels like from a cheap iPad game. I am playing it on Steam Deck and the controls are just way too weird for my taste. Pressing the trigger button to switch between the circles and interact? Oh come on 😕

Story/setting is kind of charming, I guess. But nowhere near MI 1 or 2.

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The switch and deck control scheme for this sounds bad, I played it with mouse because I felt I had to if I could and it didn't highlight any of the interaction points unless you press a key (I think, never did it) and otherwise it's just point n click along the lines of the more refined versions of full throttle and Curse. 

I do think it's intentionally easy as I said before and strangely I think some of posts in here back it up, this is knowingly a sequel to an old favourite by the makers of the original for people that may not otherwise be as into it all as we are. I think that's why it's as frictionless as it is, I would have preferred an extra difficulty tier, without a doubt as the hard mode isn't that at all and you can see from thimbleweed, they definitely know how to make those multi step puzzles still. 

 

I think the note from Ron at the end and the repeated mention of stories and endings totally reflect that too. They would have no doubt made a different game at the time of Curse and this would have been different if they didn't also have to reference games they didn't make but may well have been played by some of the audience that didn't know all the weird politics that happened around it. 

 

I think it's a very good ending to the series and I'm glad he got to do it. 

 

But that isn't to say i wouldn't rather have had a ludicrously long and complicated game that went to every previous location and had a variety of graphics modes to make it look like all of the other games or what have you. But, I also think this is actually a much better overall way of doing it and probably (and also disappointingly) better for business reasons. 

 

As said before, I hope Ron, Dave (and also the pixel artist from thimbleweed whose name escapes me atm), go on to make the most amazing next thing in point n clicks after putting this to bed and showing that there is a market for the genre.

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Having bought this on release day, I only started playing around a week ago, and have now wrapped it up. Even portioned out the last section as I didn't really want it to end.

 

I did think it was a little easy, but at ten hours I clearly spent some time having to ponder. There were also a couple too many go from A to B, back to A, back to B fetch puzzles. Have to agree on the lack of multi-stage puzzles and item combinations.

 

In general though, I loved the experience. There are few places in games I enjoy spending time as much as Monkey Island. If it is indeed the end, it's bittersweet. Clearly Ron Gilbert sees MI as something different to the teams who worked in the interim games, and I'm not particularly drawn to his larger narratives about Quixotic quests and tempering expectations with age. I just like the piratey shit. For me, it's like the two sides of Assassin's Creed.

 

I can't see myself going back through for all the trivia cards - I think I got about 8 and couldn't see a great deal of point to them. Even as a longtime fan.

 

Having played with a mouse, I feel for people who were using some more accessibility-orientated control schemes, as pixel hunting is a part of these games. For better or worse.

 

Re: the ending

 

Spoiler

I didn't love it. It's an old idea that was fine the first time, and feels lazy the second.

 

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Awesome news that this is coming to Gamepass next Tuesday. Recently played through the 1sr game for the 3rd time. Absolutely loved it back in the day.

 

So yeah, picked Monkey Island 2 up with that free cash Microsoft handed out, for seemingly no reason, a while back. Fuck me, how difficult is it?!?!? It swings between satisfying puzzle solving and absolutely dreadful design at the drop of a hat. Within the first hour I’d encountered numerous puzzles that made no logical sense at all, even when I looked up the solutions. I’ve now just hit a bit that absolutely takes the piss! No clue whatsoever as to what you need to do. Looked up the solution and you need an item from another island but, to get it, you need to stand in a specific part of the screen, otherwise the scene doesn’t change and the option to talk to a certain character doesn’t appear. Fucking appalling!!! 😂

 

It’s really annoying because when it isn’t pulling daft shit like this it’s quality and really enjoyable. Sounds like Return to Monkey Island has maybe ironed that kind of stuff out.

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So, I thought Return was wonderful. Like most others, it took me close to 10 hours to complete (9.4 hours, per Steam), which felt just the right length for me — it suited the pacing of the game, and so the game never dragged. I did find it reasonably easy to get through, but again I don't consider that a flaw — I prefer to e.g. the Monkey Island 2 obtuseness CrichStand mentions above. It reminds me of Loom in a lot of ways, actually, and is indeed facing much the same criticisms. As I like Loom (and that was a much shorter game, with a much steeper price tag), I guess it should be no surprise that I like this!

 

Only a couple of weak elements for me really: I found the ending a bit hit and miss, but it didn't sour things. My main irritation is the fact there's apparently post-credits content which I've missed rankles a little. I'm not a fan of that in movies, even less a fan of it in a game where you can't jump to, pause or fast-forward the credits. It'd annoy me a little less normally, as I do tend to watch credits in their entirety on a first completion, but in this case had gotten a few minutes through when I had to leave my desk — and trying to pause the credits I instead skipped to title screen. A tad irksome.

 

Otherwise, I loved the writing, the characterisation, and — yes — the art style. I thought it was a game full of heart and good humour, and I enjoyed the messaging throughout. I also unintentionally upset myself when I decided to try and test the limits of Guybrush's breathing, so that was fun! This is also one of those rare games where I think achievements actually elevate it — I enjoyed triggering random ones as I played through the game, and after finishing looked through the list to see what I'd missed; there's stuff there that actually makes me want to go back and replay the game, see what different approaches and/or responses I can get in game to actions I hadn't tried. That said, I would strongly recommend not checking the list until after playing the game; I wouldn't have wanted to have been led to certain ideas by them.

 

I just think it was neat. And I didn't have to pay more than 20 bucks for it!

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It’s weird playing through such an old game in 2022, that’s been remastered and I’ve never played before, so it sort of feels new and fresh in a way. The original Monkey Island had a few moments where it pulled out obtuse puzzles/solutions but for the most part it was about right. I mean, I finished it back in the day, pre Internet, when it was just friends helping each other out, tips spread word of mouth etc. Miss that kind of stuff. 
 

Monkey Island 2 definitely feels like a bridge too far with it’s obtuseness and sadly falls into bad traits of many point and click games back in the day. There’s definitely also some poor design too. Despite that, it’s still great and the humour hits home well. 
 

Think that Broken Sword and maybe Broken Sword 2 got the difficulty in these kind of games spot on. Have fond memories of playing through those, with only the Goat puzzle being a sticking point, but it’s been that long I can’t remember why! Man, I’m getting old. 😂
 

Anyway, really looking forward to playing Return and seeing how it compares and really over the moon it’s coming to Gamepass! 😁

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16 hours ago, CrichStand said:

Think that Broken Sword and maybe Broken Sword 2 got the difficulty in these kind of games spot on. Have fond memories of playing through those, with only the Goat puzzle being a sticking point, but it’s been that long I can’t remember why! Man, I’m getting old. 😂
 

 

 

Yeah, the goat puzzles is infamous in point and click history. I remember getting stuck on it back in the day and of course I didn't have the internet so I think I ended up spending around a tenner on some book I found in Waterstones that had walkthroughs to tons of PC games, including Broken Sword.

 

You had to get down a mine shaft but a goat tethered to a rope would knock you down any time you got close to the shaft. There was also some farming machinery on the other side of the goat and trying to interact with it would also result in the goat knocking you down. So no matter which side of the goat you tried to move to, you got knocked down.

 

What you had to do was try to go down the mineshaft so the goat would go to one side of the screen and knock you down, then you had to immediately click on the farming machinery on the other side of the screen and George would run to it and push the machinery so it snagged the rope and stopped the goat from moving, enabling you to access the mineshaft.

 

I think it failed as a puzzle because there's no indication at all that George will, out of nowhere, be able to sprint to the other side of the screen and move the machinery if you click on it only during a very specific window. That isn't how the game normally works so the puzzle feels like it's cheating the player by changing the rules and having George arbitrarily run at that point. It's also really not clear that clicking on the machinery would result in George pushing it onto the rope anyway (since you could never even reach it before that point). It's just poorly communicated all around.

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@Majora That’s brought back loads of memories! 😁 

 

I played through it on PlayStation with a mate and we ended up completely stuck on that section for ages. And by ages I mean days, if not weeks! 😂 Kept loading it up for another go, trying stuff and getting nowhere, just more and more frustrated.. We both asked around but everyone else was stuck on the same bit too. Think eventually a friend of a friend’s Dad provided the solution to everyone. Bloke should have been given a trophy! 
 

Completed Monkey Island 2 last night...........has anyone reeeeeeaaaaally finished that without looking at a walkthrough or getting help? Chinny reckon? 🤣 There’s loads of stuff like that Broken Sword puzzle where the game moves the goalposts and totally cheats the player. So frustrating! In fact, it felt like 80-90% of the puzzles were at best obtuse and at worst totally illogical! Everytime I started settling into the game and enjoying myself, it threw another series of “crazy” puzzles at me, that I ended up having to look up. With each solution building up my frustration levels, to the point that by the end of the game, it just felt like a total piss take and I lost all the goodwill that other areas of the game had built up.

 

The graphics, music, setting, characters, dialogue and humour are great. So much to love but, it definitely felt like that’s what was really carrying the game. Think nostalgia is also a big factor . When I heard the main theme, it took me right back to playing the first game, sat in front of my A500 and fucking absolutely humongous Wooden cased Grundig CRT TV (had slider controls on the front 😂) and all the feelings of the early 90s and being a teenager. 
 

Wasn’t expecting that ending. Pretty ropey and felt like it spoilt the first two games a bit. Glad I finally played through it and completed it after all these years though. 

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Played a tiny bit of this, this evening, and first impressions aren’t great. Really don’t like the interface and controls, it doesn’t feel like a point n click game or Monkey Island at all. It also feels like it’s been massively dumbed down. There are fucking icons all over the screen pointing everything out you can interact with and you don’t seem to be able to turn them off. There also seems to be a checklists of things you currently need to do and the characters keep giving pointers as to what you need to do next to progress. Had to switch it off at that point. Hoping it’s some kind of joke/piss-take of modern games or it’s a tutorial that only applies to the first chapter or something.

 

Edit - Must have played well over an hour now and have yet to hit a puzzle, which seems pretty weird. Think the  graphics are great, the game looks fantastic, really colourful and vibrant. Like the sound too.
 

The UI is taking some adjusting to, seems a bit too simple but it’s slowly growing on me. It’s not really point n click, you’re directly in control of the character which feels odd but again, slowly getting used to it.
 

Awesome seeing Melee Island again and hearing the main theme kick in. All of the nostalgia! So far it seems to be a real love letter to fans of the series, in terms of revisiting the locations and rediscovering old characters. Dialogue and humour has made me smile and laugh a few times so far, which is great. Looking forward to playing more! 

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Had a quick go on this last night... love it... brings back some memories of the original and liking the visual updates and the remixed music etc.

 

The visual style reminds me very much of Day Of The Tentacle... :) 

 

Looking forward to continuing my journey in this.

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11 hours ago, CrichStand said:

There are fucking icons all over the screen pointing everything out you can interact with and you don’t seem to be able to turn them off.

 

I didn't have this, so it must be something you can turn off. From people's descriptions of it, it sounds almost game-breaking.

 

I also wasn't directly in control of the character. Standard P&C controls. Is this on console?

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11 hours ago, CrichStand said:

The UI is taking some adjusting to, seems a bit too simple but it’s slowly growing on me. It’s not really point n click, you’re directly in control of the character which feels odd but again, slowly getting used to it.

Yes agree but then if you have played the originals it might do. I actually like the way its pared back and is context sensitive to what you need to do with an object etc. Much cleaner. Reminds me a bit of the interface of Full Throttle.. 

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1 minute ago, schmojo said:

 

I didn't have this, so it must be something you can turn off. From people's descriptions of it, it sounds almost game-breaking.

Think there are different levels of puzzle hints given.. when you start you are given the option to go full monkey or something... :D 

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1 hour ago, MattyP said:

Think there are different levels of puzzle hints given.. when you start you are given the option to go full monkey or something... :D 

 

I'm pretty sure that's just a harder mode for extra puzzles. This stuff about clickable elements being highlighted before you go pixel-hunting sounds like a baaaad way to play.

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2 hours ago, schmojo said:

 

I'm pretty sure that's just a harder mode for extra puzzles. This stuff about clickable elements being highlighted before you go pixel-hunting sounds like a baaaad way to play.

AFAIK there's no option in the console versions (or at least Switch) to remove the highlighted points of interaction. It seems odd that they couldn't have simply included an option to play it with a stick operated cursor on console. Seeing as it's already that way on PC you'd think it would've been straightforward, plus it probably also helps to broaden the accessibility.

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4 hours ago, MattyP said:

Yes agree but then if you have played the originals it might do. I actually like the way its pared back and is context sensitive to what you need to do with an object etc. Much cleaner. Reminds me a bit of the interface of Full Throttle.. 

 

Definitely took some adjusting to. I still don’t like the way it looks, spoils the lovely graphics having icons and boxes of text all over the screen. I’m also finding it reductive, in that it’s less interactive than the older games. Not only do you no longer have to search for stuff, as it’s all highlighted for you but, the way you interact with items is limited too. It feels quite “on rails” at times, especially when compared to the older games. Bizarrely, there have seemingly been a couple of bits where it’s still been possible to miss stuff because you’ve had to hold down LB + RB to reveal “extra” important items on screen. Very odd. I’m playing on Xbox and you definitely can’t turn any of this off, which is strange as the remasters of the older games allowed you to choose how you wanted to control the game.

 

Overall impressions are that it feels a bit “Point n Click Lite” so far. The puzzles are very slight and have felt more like simple fetch quests. The Trivia Cards are a great idea though. Would be cool to see them being expanded on in other games. A few Chapters in and enjoying it though. It’s a great game to chill out with. Looks lovely, sounds great and the humour is up there with the earlier games.
 

 

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I played this for a couple of hours this evening and really enjoyed myself. It was like slipping into a familiar comfy pair of slippers. I of course started in hard mode and turned on the extra verbiage option for the dialogue in the menu.

 

My favourite interaction so far was with

 

Spoiler

Cobb. Poor fucker :lol:

 

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

I played this for a couple of hours this evening and really enjoyed myself. It was like slipping into a familiar comfy pair of slippers. I of course started in hard mode and turned on the extra verbiage option for the dialogue in the menu.

 

My favourite interaction so far was with

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Cobb. Poor fucker :lol:

 

 

I loved that bit too. Also.....

 

Spoiler

The new young and edgy pirate leaders and how that all pokes fun at the games changes, the youth of today and old fans of.the series. Oh and of course seeing Wally again! 😁

 

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Classic 'Fuck this game' moment when playing on Switch Lite early on when 

 

Spoiler

Told to find the bite of a thousand needles...but with no way to find out more info

 

Spoiler

So I used the hint book and turns out it's some of the tiny (fucking tiny tiny on the switch lite screen too) waypoint plants in the forest I used to find another item

 

Absolute Wank compared to how it was going before this

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I got stuck in that exact bit, because I assumed that:

 

Spoiler

The clue was actually referring to the toothbrush that Guybrush can see inside Stan's boarded up shack. Because it lets you (unsuccessfully) try to pry the boards off with your knife, so I thought I was on the right track. Red herring of course!

 

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