But it's not all good news for this remake. While the controls are generally good and you'll never have a complaint about the graphics, the game does have a few annoying hang-ups that get in the way. For one thing, Guybrush gets stuck on everything. He's a sluggish character that can't seem to step over a pebble in the road. He's constantly having problems walking in a straight line, which can really take you out of the experience.
It's also frustrating to see the time-based puzzles return. It would be one thing if these puzzles were more forgiving with their time limits, but players will constantly find themselves being pushed prematurely. In an early example players are asked to sabotage a character's room before he gets back. Unfortunately you only have a few seconds, which doesn't give you much time to figure out what you're supposed to do. Assuming you're playing this for the first time, it may take you three or four tries before even grasping what the computer is asking for. Much of this frustration could have been avoided if they extended the time limit.
It goes without saying that the funky graphic adventure logic is in full force. Many of the puzzles require nonsensical solutions, some of which aren't very clear. Monkey Island 2 gets away with some ridiculous logic because it's inherently funny. Even when you're slamming your head against the wall in frustration, you can't help but laugh at the absurd writing. This remake also adds voice acting, most of which is delivered with solid comedy timing.
The good news is that Monkey Island 2 is a lengthy adventure game with intriguing twists and turns. Throughout the course of the game you'll travel between four different islands and talk with more than a dozen interesting characters. The whole thing can last four to eight hours, depending on how good you are at solving the puzzles. I'm sure somebody can speed run through the game in an hour or two, but there's no question that Monkey Island 2 Special Edition offers enough content to support the $15.
LucasArts knows that pirates are cool, even if there's no swashbuckling and sword fights. This world of tropical islands is fully realized with exquisite detail and an art department that doesn't quit. Throw in the option to play the original game and you have a worthwhile package. It may have a few problems here and there, but Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge is a must-own game for anybody who likes graphic adventures and wants to laugh.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Nonsensical puzzles, insane characters and pirate-themed punch lines. Yup, it's Monkey Island 2. This Special Edition XBLA release features stunning graphics, improved controls and brand new voice actors. Unfortunately it didn't fix some of the game's faults. But even with its imperfections, LeChuck's Revenge is an adventure worth going on!
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