Telltale Games have created what they have deemed “an epic adventure in five parts.” Seeing as they’ve done this type of presentation before, it’s no question that they know how to deliver episodic content. This time they have done so with the famed Monkey Island series. Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood is the long title for this entry, but does the game live up to the epic name?
The story naturally begins where Chapter Three ended. After being back-stabbed by Morgan LeFlay, Threepwood is handed over to a De Singe and arrested by the Flotsam Island pirates. Threepwood must defend himself against multiple accusers and get to the bottom of the evil plot of De Singe. Throughout the chapter other beloved characters will make appearances in sometimes unexpected ways.
Players move Guybrush Threepwood using the mouse or the arrow keys. Controls work well for the most part as you guide your pirate self in a third person view of the story. The graphics are solid and are perfect for the atmosphere that the game creates. Poxed pirates look green and gross. De Singe looks French and snooty. Even the electromagnetic monkey, paralyzed cat, and charismatic prosecuting attorney look exactly as they should.
The game also sounds wonderful. If you are searching for excellent voice acting, look no further than the Tales of Monkey Island series. This episode is no exception. All of the dialogue is fully voiced and the characters have voices that fit their presence.
Spot-on voice acting without solid writing to back it up would be like having The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air without Carlton Banks, pointless. This is where Tales of Monkey Island really shines. Chapter Four is nothing less than hilarious and will have you laughing out loud on multiple occasions. There is a healthy mix of easy, obvious jokes with the more subtle lines that you’ll find funny once you've processed. Characters will often say exactly what you are thinking which adds even more weight to what they are saying.
Game play is typical for Telltale Games adventure titles. You can interact with much of the game world and carry a small inventory of items. The standard format of finding items and then figuring out how to use or combine them is present. It’s not a “pixel hunt” game as items that are usable or useful are noticeable on screen.
The writers did a good job of integration the puzzles into the story. This makes the solutions reasonable but not always easy. The game was the right difficultly for this part time adventure game player. However, if you are prone to get stuck or like be gently guided along, the hint system works well. You can decide how often (if at all) hints are given and they are even spoken by the characters themselves so it doesn’t pull you out of the experience.
This review doesn’t need to be too lengthy since the episode itself is only 3-5 hours in length depending on your pace. If you’ve played the first three chapters then you know what to expect and should already be playing The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood. Chapter Four delivers more of the same excellent writing, voice acting, and puzzles.
If you have not given The Tales of Monkey Island a try, you are missing out on a quality adventure. After playing this episode, you will no doubt be anxious for the release of Chapter Five. Telltale Games has succeeded in delivering an experience that will leave you wanting more and that is no small feat. If you still are undecided or hesitant, go find the demo for the first episode to see for yourself what makes this such a must play for adventure fans.
This is a worthy addition to the Tales of Monkey Island series. It's one that all adventure fans should own and everyone else should at least try.
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