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I have been well and thouroghly steeped in all things monkey island and a few related games as well. I've been playing a lot of different versions of SMI gathering footage for various projects, so basically when I'm not playing the game I'm probably playing with footage of it in editing software lol. In that regards im just throwing the finishing touches on my tales playthrough and then ill be releasing that on youtube. I just finished a Thimbleweed park playthrough, have a PS2 EMI playthrough I've put on hold temporarily and have streamed or been streaming playthroughs of MI2 and currently Sam and Max This Time its Virtual. 

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20 minutes ago, Scummbuddy said:

@ThrikI'm curious of your running list. I'd be curious if they could be addressed with more fan patches.


It’s possible. If I find time to go through my screenshots and annotate them I’ll share it.

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6 hours ago, Thrik said:

I came up with a sad, long list of issues with MI1SE while playing it. That so many glaring problems got through is mildly shocking.

 

I never got off Melee. It was just so misjudged that I had to quit while I still had good memories of the original intact.

 

Apart from Guybrush, LeChuck and The Storekeeper (as I say I never got off Melee, so there may be others) the voice casting was so off. Everyone secondary character was doing a stereotypical pirate impression and performances meant the humour was lost. (Even the usually perfect Armato seemed off at times -- as if they rushed him through the lines or picked his worst takes.)

 

The new interface was awful to use. The animation felt horrible. Guybrush looked terrible. There were graphical glitches throughout. They messed up jokes... sigh. It was brutal. Beyond fan patch remedy.

 

The backlash felt deserved with the first SE (despite the best intentions of the creators -- I'm sure they believed they were doing good). Perhaps it was budget constraints, I don't know.

 

Thankfully they got a lot of stuff right in the sequel. Even a die hard like me enjoyed it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

I never got off Melee. It was just so misjudged that I had to quit while I still had good memories of the original intact.

 

Apart from Guybrush, LeChuck and The Storekeeper (as I say I never got off Melee, so there may be others) the voice casting was so off. Everyone secondary character was doing a stereotypical pirate impression and performances meant the humour was lost. (Even the usually perfect Armato seemed off at times -- as if they rushed him through the lines or picked his worst takes.)

 

The new interface was awful to use. The animation felt horrible. Guybrush looked terrible. There were graphical glitches throughout. They messed up jokes... sigh. It was brutal. Beyond fan patch remedy.

 

The backlash felt deserved with the first SE (despite the best intentions of the creators -- I'm sure they believed they were doing good). Perhaps it was budget constraints, I don't know.

 

Thankfully they got a lot of stuff right in the sequel. Even a die hard like me enjoyed it.

 

 

While we might have to agree to disagree on the voices, I totally understand your position on the first SE. I don't mind the new art, it was really just the bugs and lack of polish to some of the backgrounds that prevent it from being the definitive version it could have been. 

 

As I understand it, the first SE was mostly developed in secret and wasn't given any sort of a budget (I suspect mainly for the voices and remastered music) until they had enough of a working build to formally pitch to the higher ups at Lucasarts. MI2 on the other hand had a full budget thanks to the succes of the first one which is why it's such an improvement.

 

I would love to see them go back and fix up the backgrounds, add the interface from 2 and implement more customization options that the DOTT remaster benefited from (old gfx with new interface/music, voices in classic mode, etc) and address some bugs (it really annoys me that sometimes, but not always, you gain control of Guybrush before he walks off screen from the Lookout at the beginning, bypassing the Part One title screen and bugging out the interface until you talk to someone in the SCUMM bar). Heck, do it before RMI comes out while the hype is at its peak. However, I respect that these fixes may mot be enough for you, but I think it would be a good step in the right direction to making it a more viable option for more people (like me haha).

 

There are some things I'd like to see done with MI2:SE, though not as major as the first one. There are some transitions that were recorded but not implemented (the cue where the coffin gets lifted into the Voodoo Lady's, for example, or the whole buildup music between Largo taking LeChuck's beard and Guybrush going back to the Voodoo Lady; it kinda just fizzles out and fades to the voodoo theme without that big crescendo) and of course the opening credits really should be there in remastered mode (and I still have no idea why it wasn't done). Beyond that, some tightening up of the Rapp Scallion resurrection to be more in time with the music cues and some proper mouth animation on him would be good. Again though, I get the feeling that this would require more money put into patching than they might care to bother with, and I don't know how much ability the fan community has to fix things beyond graphics thanks to the MI explorer. The transitions and bug fixing seems like something that would need to be done with access to source code, but I don't know nearly enough about game development to know for sure.

Edited by OzzieMonkey
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6 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

Apart from Guybrush, LeChuck and The Storekeeper (as I say I never got off Melee, so there may be others) the voice casting was so off. Everyone secondary character was doing a stereotypical pirate impression and performances meant the humour was lost. (Even the usually perfect Armato seemed off at times -- as if they rushed him through the lines or picked his worst takes.)

 

 

Thankfully they got a lot of stuff right in the sequel. Even a die hard like me enjoyed it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the voice direction was the worst!! What did you think of it in MI2:SE?
I recently looked at some footage of Bart and Fink and there’s the generic pirate accents again. (“So, who is this character that I’m playing? What’s his backstory? What does he feel?” “He’s a pirate! Just go AARRR!”)

And then the singing… the singing!!! It’s bad enough with Bart and Fink (99 bottles of beer on the wall is totally off, like they put the first take where the last one should be), but as if that wasn’t bad enough, they completely butchered the bone song! Where in the original, I could almost here the voices due to the perfect combination of music and text, the sung version in the SE is out of tune, out of rhythm and plain ugly!

And don’t get me started on the voice of Largo…

 

If I could make that second SE of those games (see last page), I’d throw almost all the voices out (except main cast and a few exceptions) and rerecord them.

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Sorry if I post too much about the voice direction of the SE’s. I work in the dubbing industry, so it’s professional deformation. If someone in my field delivered a product in that fashion he’d be butchered, and I just can’t stand that it happened to Monkey Island, something that’s so dear to me.

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2 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

I never got off Melee. It was just so misjudged that I had to quit while I still had good memories of the original intact.

 

Apart from Guybrush, LeChuck and The Storekeeper (as I say I never got off Melee, so there may be others) the voice casting was so off. Everyone secondary character was doing a stereotypical pirate impression and performances meant the humour was lost. (Even the usually perfect Armato seemed off at times -- as if they rushed him through the lines or picked his worst takes.)

 

The new interface was awful to use. The animation felt horrible. Guybrush looked terrible. There were graphical glitches throughout. They messed up jokes... sigh. It was brutal. Beyond fan patch remedy.

 

The backlash felt deserved with the first SE (despite the best intentions of the creators -- I'm sure they believed they were doing good). Perhaps it was budget constraints, I don't know.

 

Thankfully they got a lot of stuff right in the sequel. Even a die hard like me enjoyed it.

 

 

I think it could have used Khris Brown. I didn't hate the casting choices, but ... well, the voice director they had mostly worked on Star Wars games and I think this needed someone who was more familiar with the script of these games because in both 1 and 2 SE there are more moments than I'd like where the line read doesn't fit with the context, or is odd in some other way!

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7 minutes ago, Trapezzoid said:

The old games are written to be read, tbh. The delivery and timing in your imagination is better than any voice acting.

True, but that’s no excuse for lazy casting and bad direction.

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45 minutes ago, Trapezzoid said:

The old games are written to be read, tbh. The delivery and timing in your imagination is better than any voice acting.

Fully agreed. Playing Monkey 1 and 2 both occupy a pretty awesome and unique place in my mind where the writing is captivating the same way as a good book, including choosing what to say next having a feeling similar to “turning the page,” but then it’s also a visually rich game world I can explore that somehow feels real to my brain. The way suspension of disbelief in those early games work is really cool and irregular. That era-specific confluence of technology and ideas lead to what is basically a unique type of media (in this case the combo was text-based point and click graphic adventure game) that only lasted for a few years, was really magical. And Monkey 1 and 2 are for my money easily the best version of that short lived form. I don’t think it’s inherently superior to other types of adventure games, but that combo definitely is its own flavor. While it’s fun to hear the voices in the SE, it almost feels like an audiobook at times to me, for this reason. 
 

(Aside: It’s understandable why people at the time were trying to coin the phrase “multimedia.” I think that phrase is kind of a miss, because it looked at all these strange mishmash combinations of analog and digital technologies being combined in unique ways to make new works, and put them all under the same umbrella, but in practice that didn’t seem super accurate. Sure some artists were deliberately going very high level conceptual with it and explicitly using different media types as part of the point of a work, but for a lot of people, “multimedia” was just means to an end - a way to get the desired experience out of an early computer that could only do so much. As a kid/teen I never really understood the term “multimedia” to mean anything, because to me it was just “how you make a thing with a computer.” Now that a bunch of time has gone by and that bashed together style has sort of faded into history, I can appreciate it a little more as a handy retrospective term to apply, and the multimedia nature of these games sticks out to me more than it did, in a good way. The same way I can now go and look at the pixel artistry of Monkey 1 or Loom in a way I didn’t really as a kid because it was just “good graphics,” I have a lot of fun picking apart all the disparate types of media, process, and technology that make up these games from before the era of functionally-unlimited AV and standardized graphics and sound pipelines. This is a jumble of thoughts, sorry! Through the lens of time, I’ve come to appreciate more how unique the construction of early games are, especially LucasArts games, which I think are mind blowingly impressive combinations of so many skill sets and techniques and technology that blend into a seamless experience, but when looked at as a pile of components it’s absolutely wild and unprecedented, and basically unrepeatable. I think Full Throttle is the pinnacle of this, but it’s present in the studio’s DNA from the earliest days.)

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I certainly didn't mind all of the casting/direction

 

I rather enjoyed the Men of Low Moral Fiber, and the map guy, and Bob the skeleton, and various other characters.

 

I do agree though there are certain pieces of writing in the game where you do lose a little from the move to speech. There are jokes that don't translate, and I feel like they made a mistake in recording ALL text to speech. I don't think the 'Meanwhile...' etc needed a narrator, and I don't think that the 'love written all over your face' joke needed Dom to say 'Love' out loud, and so on. I feel like it needed the hand of someone who had a better handle on the writing.

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Posted (edited)

I have a theory that the word "love" being spoken aloud was a result of the word being present in the "dialogue dump" from the games' script. The word appeared in the Guybrush script, so they had Dom read it just to cover all bases, likely without having a clue where it appeared in the game!

 

Plus. the joke is ruined in the SE on two accounts. With subtitles on, the word "love" isn't positioned properly over his face, and with the subtitles off, the word doesn't even appear! I doubt that part went through any kind of testing!

Edited by fentongames
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10 hours ago, Lagomorph01 said:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the voice direction was the worst!! What did you think of it in MI2:SE?
I recently looked at some footage of Bart and Fink and there’s the generic pirate accents again.

 

Yes, I heard them again recently (for the Amiga thread). They were "generate pirate voices" but still probably little better than the MI1:SE? I seem to remember one being significantly dopier than the other, for example. But given that the Caribbean would have been a mix of different European cultures, there was a real opportunity for at least variation through the accents, but anyway...

 

I'm glad I'm not alone with my thoughts on the voice work in the SE. I know people talk about dialogue designed to be written vs spoken, but a great actor can turn clunky dialogue into something sparkling (and teamed with a great director, you've got even more chance to make that happen). I've seen my own clunky writing been transformed by the magic of acting before -- and it really something incredible how subtly and nuance can be added, elevating everything you've written.

 

The actors seemed to miss all the humour in MI1 -- and I don't necessarily blame them. It takes time and money to do things well. Classic example of a bad delivery: "My name is Mancomb Seepgood". The humour from the line (for me) comes from the character's face falling when he delivers his name. He's gleefully mocking Guybrush's name but then has to concede his own isn't any less silly.

 

Without that context (which a director needs to provide), the actor will just the line without any subtext, "My name is Mancomb Seepgood" (see below).

 

Brutal :( 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Trapezzoid said:

The old games are written to be read, tbh. The delivery and timing in your imagination is better than any voice acting.

I think a lot has to do with the way you first encounter something tbh. As someone who first encountered Monkey Island by playing the demo of CMI on some long lost CD I got from a magazine I always missed the voice acting from the first two games. CMI and Escape affected my experience with the first two games, I always imagined Guybrush having Dominic's voice so I think that it's very important that those performances are in the remaster and I still remember just how good it felt when I first heard that what I only imagined before the remasters was real. That really is a way to reach a new audience, a lot more than just a graphical facelift would be and if the voices meet your expectations then I think they are perfect.

 

I can imagine how not agreeing with a performance could feel like though. When I was a small child I played a few Humongous games and among those was Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise which I played a lot for some reason (I guess I really liked how everything animates when you click on it in that game). That game had voice acting but I played on a crappy computer that didn't have a sound card in it so I just never heard Fatty Bear speak until seeing that game in some random Youtube video as an adult... and his voice wasn't at all how he sounded like in my head. He doesn't sound like a bear at all, come on! :D

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I do agree that it's a bit to do with how we encounter the game. I think most people would agree that Dom does a great Guybrush Threepwood, but when the game first came out, he wasn't MY Guybrush Threepwood, the one from my head. I played it when I was 10, and although Guybrush speaks a lot of americanisms, I wasn't as submerged in US culture to 'hear' the voice as american, so my Guybrush spoke with an English accent a lot like my own.

Over time, this has all been written over in my head by Dominic Armato's version, but it wasn't immediately there. But some people will always have played a version with Dom's voice. And while it's true that the lines were written to be read, I do think that aside from a few questionable casting choices and some weird pieces of voice direction, the job the actors make of it is passable enough that someone coming to the series for the first time wouldn't find anything particularly odd about the voices. And clearly enough people enjoy the voices enough for the Ultimate Talkie Edition patches to exist, and so forth.

And some of it is, of course, a matter of taste. The other day I was talking to a friend and I said I just didn't like the casting or direction of Largo at all, in MI2SE -- it's just not the voice I imagined, and the delivery on a lot of the lines, just does not work for me one bit. But my friend likes the voice, so -- different strokes, I guess. I'm not gonna tell my friend he's wrong but I'm also never really going to like that voice, I think.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is... in the context of 2 games never designed for speech, weighed down by over 20 years of nostalgia, from a fanbase who have regularly shown themselves to be quite particular about how they like their LucasArts games served, I think they did a passable job. Even if I agree they made a few questionable casting and direction choices.

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34 minutes ago, Zaxx said:

I think a lot has to do with the way you first encounter something tbh. As someone who first encountered Monkey Island by playing the demo of CMI on some long lost CD I got from a magazine I always missed the voice acting from the first two games. CMI and Escape affected my experience with the first two games, I always imagined Guybrush having Dominic's voice so I think that it's very important that those performances are in the remaster and I still remember just how good it felt when I first heard that what I only imagined before the remasters was real. That really is a way to reach a new audience, a lot more than just a graphical facelift would be and if the voices meet your expectations then I think they are perfect.

Funny you said that, my first encounter with Monkey Island was that same demo. It was love at first sight.


I don’t have any beef with the casting of the main characters in the SE’s, though I think they too could’ve benefited from better direction. It’s most of the side characters that were newly cast that I don’t like for above mentioned reasons.

 

Compare it to the diverse characters from CMI and how every voice and performance just *clicks*, that just never happens in the SE’s. That’s why I played them once and never touched them again. (Come to think of it, I think I didn’t even finish the first one.)

 

43 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

I know people talk about dialogue designed to be written vs spoken, but a great actor can turn clunky dialogue into something sparkling (and teamed with a great director, you've got even more chance to make that happen). I've seen my own clunky writing been transformed by the magic of acting before -- and it really something incredible how subtly and nuance can be added, elevating everything you've written.

 

The actors seemed to miss all the humour in MI1 -- and I don't necessarily blame them. It takes time and money to do things well. Classic example of a bad delivery: "My name is Mancomb Seepgood". The humour from the line (for me) comes from the character's face falling when he delivers his name. He's gleefully mocking Guybrush's name but then has to concede his own isn't any less silly.

This sums it up very well, and good example!
 

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I think Wally deserves a particular special mention for having the same actor in the MI2SE as in CMI, but it’s the wrong bloody voice.

 

You would expect the actor and/or director to have been aware of and checked the performance in CMI, but apparently at no point did this happen.

 

For me it really typifies the general lack of direction happening with the SEs, even if fundamentally the voices are mostly fine.

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I definitely had the feeling in MI1SE that the game wasn’t meant to be read, and could feel some of the actors struggling with many of the lines, but you’re right, the fundamentals were all there and in place. They likely just needed better direction, and the overseers of the voicework likely needed more farmiliarity with the material. Some still came out perfectly, though. Like LeChuck and the storekeeper.

 

I definitely had that feeling far less in MI2SE. Maybe it’s just down to it being a better written game in terms of dialogue, or maybe the direction improved, but I felt the cast, particularly Dom, managed that game a lot better.

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3 hours ago, Thrik said:

I think Wally deserves a particular special mention for having the same actor in the MI2SE as in CMI, but it’s the wrong bloody voice.

Wally went through a lot to stay alive between MI2 and CMI. He broke. His voice broke. Soon his fake beard will latch through grime alone. He's bound to have changed.

 

Joking aside, I need to actually hear his MI2 performance for comparison. It can't be that different, right...? ;)

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3 hours ago, Lagomorph01 said:

I don’t have any beef with the casting of the main characters in the SE’s, though I think they too could’ve benefited from better direction. It’s most of the side characters that were newly cast that I don’t like for above mentioned reasons.

 

Listening to the video I linked to above, Armato seemed off in the MI1:SE to me. His Curse Guybrush was always chipper and upbeat, which worked wonderfully for me. His energy carries the performance. Guybrush is unflappably optimistic, and story wise SOMI Guybrush should be at his most upbeat. But there was something off in that performance... Like the director didn't tell him to brighten the line readings a bit, or they just went with his first take. Maybe it's my imagining.

 

For example: "I dunno, I kind of like 'Guybrush'". In my head it's the unflappable optimistic Guybrush saying that. Which is the source of the humour of the line for me: Making a very silly name seem reasonable.

 

But in the line reading they went with, Guybrush sounds like he's had his feelings hurt. Not how I imagined it:

 

 

 

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I don't really have a beef with the performances, I just think it's a quality of the writing in those days that works best with your inner voice. They weren't expecting anyone to act out those lines, they were crafting them with the intent of their words rendering in glorious pixelated text. The dialogue has a pithy, Far Side cadence to it. So deadpan it's silent.

 

Now that I've seen a bunch of SCUMM script I appreciate what a great creative tool it was for letting multiple people write a game collaboratively. That's what gives MI its charm, writing it was functionally pretty close to just some dudes making each other laugh on a BBS.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

Listening to the video I linked to above, Armato seemed off in the MI1:SE to me. His Curse Guybrush was always chipper and upbeat, which worked wonderfully for me. His energy carries the performance. Guybrush is unflappably optimistic, and story wise SOMI Guybrush should be at his most upbeat. But there was something off in that performance... Like the director didn't tell him to brighten the line readings a bit, or they just went with his first take. Maybe it's my imagining.

 

For example: "I dunno, I kind of like 'Guybrush'". In my head it's the unflappable optimistic Guybrush saying that. Which is the source of the humour of the line for me: Making a very silly name seem reasonable.

 

But in the line reading they went with, Guybrush sounds like he's had his feelings hurt. Not how I imagined it:

 

 

 

Hmm, maaaybe, but I find it hard to believe that Dom didn't know exactly how he wanted to deliver these lines.

 

This is the person we know as the huge Monkey Island fan who used to fantasize about voicing these lines long before Curse, I feel like he would have fully understood how those lines felt to him, and how he wanted to deliver them. He's been rehearsing them in his head for years. It's true that a great voice director can help provide the environment in which the actor can do his best work, and maybe that was lacking... but I don't think I can believe that Dom didn't understand (his intepretation of) the intended tone that the lines would be delivered in.

Also, like, for example, I never really bought Dom's delivery of 'I'm Guybrush Threepwood, a mighty pirate' in CMI or any other games, only because it's not how that line sounded in my head. To me it always sounded more childlike and naive than Dom delivered it. But the interesting thing about that it that it's one of the few lines used in CMI that was actually in the previous games. I think that isn't a coincidence.

 

I don't doubt that's how the line works to Dom, and I accept his interpretation. I'd just heard it differently in my head for many years. A problem with Dom doing MI1 and MI2 is that we've already heard these lines in our own head so many times before Dom could get to them.

Edited by KestrelPi
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Trapezzoid said:

I don't really have a beef with the performances, I just think it's a quality of the writing in those days that works best with your inner voice. They weren't expecting anyone to act out those lines, they were crafting them with the intent of their words rendering in glorious pixelated text. The dialogue has a pithy, Far Side cadence to it. So deadpan it's silent.

 

Yes, it's true that nobody thought the lines were going to be performed. And maybe they would have edited the dialogue differently to suit voice performers if they had. But it's also true that this is what actors do...

 

A great actor can turn awkward dialogue into something sparkling. (As I said before) I've seen my own clunky writing been transformed by the magic of acting before -- and I found it incredible how much subtly and nuance can be added. But actors need time to get there, especially ones new to the series, which I don't think they had on MI1:SE because the budget was apparently non-existent.

 

(I actually find this whole topic quite interesting and I've been around the performer world a little, so if you don't mind me rambling on a little...)

 

If you've ever done any performance training, the skill to make anything work is something I've seen performers specifically train in. For example, one exercise I saw in LA literally had one performer improvise a scene, while the other had to read lines from a completely unrelated script (eg. Pulp Fiction) in response to whatever the other person said, and then make those lines work(And no, they weren't allowed to change a single word.)

 

It was an impossible task, but it was designed to flex that muscle: Make anything work.

 

If actors didn't have this skill, then they'd only ever be as good as the dialogue they were given, which would suck for them because 90% of the stuff they have to read is written by people who are as bad as writing as me. Especially in video games (no offence to anyone here, but most games have terrible writing).

 

I've seen actors bring things to life in ways you couldn't imagine before they did it (at least I couldn't). It blows my mind -- I find it to be an incredible talent. 

 

If you still think I'm wrong about all this, consider one more thing: Everyone agrees that Earl Boen's LeChuck works, even in the MI1:SE. This is because Earl Boen freaking nailed it. It's not because he had an easier role to play than everyone else, it's because he's an extremely talented voice actor. He got the character, he got the nuance and he executed both perfectly. 

 

And most people love Dom's performance, too. Again, he had time to prep: He knew the game, the character, the lines, the context...

 

In short: I blame the production values of MI1:SE, not the style of writing (although I agree that wouldn't have made things easier). I don't blame the voice director either (Darragh O'Farrell also did Curse of Monkey Island -- so clearly he knows what he's doing). I just don't think they had the time to get it all right.

 

The performances in MI2:SE were substantially better across the board, too. More time, more budget = better performances.

 

I guess what I'm saying is: I think we need a MI1:SE:SE ;)

 

 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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