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I definitely get what you mean about the humour, which I have always thought of as quite understated and deadpan in the first two games.

 

I’ve always found it odd when reviews were like ‘This game is HILARIOUS!’ because I find it’s more the sort of game that elicits knowing smirks. I’d never think to show it someone and expect them to be rolling all over the place laughing.

 

Curse takes on a more family-friendly tone using increased goofiness, lovable villains, fewer grim moments, slapstick, etc. However it still retains some of that original ‘heh heh’ humour and is a balance I enjoy.

 

Escape and Tales I seem to recall going a bit more full-on with the goofy humour but it’s been so long since I played them I’ll need my imminent replay to refresh my memory.

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32 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

I sorta wish the lost crew had been the Men of Low Moral Fiber (hey it's been a while since they've been in the game and it's good to ground the outlandish setting in something a bit familiar - I think Murray also had this role somewhat in Chapter 3). Maybe they spin him a yarn about how they signed up on his crew after their latest business venture failed, and they believe De Cava died. Maybe they've taken up residence on an important organ of the manatee which is causing the problem and the puzzles are around getting each of them to leave.

That's certainly an interesting idea, though I think that ulimately it is much better to worldbuild and introduce new characters wherever possible. Like you said, Murray served the familiarity itch-scratching, but having the Men of Low Moral Fiber there too might've been a little too much. I also never found them to be that big of a highlight in the original 2 games, and the Brotherhood were actually way more engaging and funny to me. Don't get me wrong, they're still good characters, and I'd be pleased to see them in Return, but they were always kinda just there and never served any story purpose. Hell, in MI1 you don't ever have to engage them in conversation at all. 

Edited by OzzieMonkey
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35 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

For clarity I should say I don't think that 'swallowed by a giant sea creature' was a very bad place to take a Piratey game. I just think as a synopsis:

 

'Swallowed by a giant manatee whose sense of direction has been thrown off by a trio of pirates who have given up efforts to escape so that they can party on ichor based booze. Join their brotherhood to gain access the the cochlea, and then set the manatee up on a date with the help a manatee language phrasebook' skews a bit more cartoon-logic than I want from Monkey Island.

 

That was always a neckbreaking balancing act in LucasArts games, and I guess the preferences are very subjective. A lot of fans have no problem with Monkey Island looking and feeling like Day of the Tentacle. Others abhor the cartoony stuff and would rather have a gritty and at times brutal pirate story. And there's no "middle" here, no real balance that fits everyone. I'm quite with you, I would have wanted more of the grit in Tales. Then again, once we got to the ending of episode 4 and episodes 5, we had rioters over at the Telltale forum because this stuff was "way too dark for Monkey Island" for some.

 

Lair of the Leviathan was definitely too cartoony for me (could go on for hours about "Noogie"), but the pirate faces meme was a massive hoot on the forums, and the manatee language phrasebook a stroke of genius. The bad yielded the good, so I eventually just shrugged it away. ;)

Edited by Vainamoinen
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Just now, Vainamoinen said:

 

That was always a neckbreaking balancing act in LucasArts games, and I guess the preferences are very subjective. A lot of fans have no problem with Monkey Island looking and feeling like Day of the Tentacle. Others abhor the cartoony stuff and would rather have a gritty and at times brutal pirate story. And there's no "middle" here, no real balance that fits everyone. I'm quite with you, I would have wanted more of the grit in Tales. Then again, once we got to the ending of episode 4 and episodes 5, we had rioters over at the Telltale forum because this stuff was "way too dark for Monkey Island" for some.

 

Lair of the Leviathan was definitely too cartoony for me, but the pirate faces meme was a massive hoot on the forums, and the manatee language phrasebook a stroke of genius. The bad yielded the good, so I eventually just shrugged it away. ;)

 

I do think sometimes the 'grit' was overstated a bit. MI2 had more cartoony backgrounds and animations, so I already felt that the game's visual language was moving in a more cartoony direction even as the story itself got darker, but you're right, it's tough to balance these two impulses of the game.

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30 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

Don't get me wrong - 'dry' isn't meant as an insult. It's a style of wit, where the writing style is a bit detached and little bit understated, it's not overly screwball and goofy. I'm saying I like that the bone master thing didn't have a follow on joke, it was just a quick visual gag then done, never referred to again. I like that the humour is a bit dry and understated, and that I think especially in EMI onwards sometimes there's a bit of a tendency to write the jokes a little bit broad.

 

Here's another example of MI2 being dry. When he gets arrested on Phatt:

 

'Aren't you Guybrush Threepwood?'

'You must have me confused with someone else. My name is 'Smith'.'

'Smith, eh? That's an unusual name.'

 

And that line is left there (they call back to it with Kate, too, I guess) You could miss the joke if you aren't paying attention, but I think in more recent MI games they'd have been tempted to make guybrush make a face, or say 'It is?' or something. Dry wit, to me, is just wit that trusts the audience a bit, doesn't need a big signpost with flashing lights saying 'here is a joke'

 

Ah, I think you meant to say that MI has a dry wit. Saying it has "dry writing" is a very different thing!

 

And here's an example of some rambling dialogue from TP (in contrast to your great streamlined example of from GF).

 

Quote

 

CORONER: Howdee-who, I'm the Thimbleweed Park coroner. Welcome to the future-who! These are the latest in crime fighting computers made by Pillowtronics, Inc. This is all probably pretty advanced, even for the fed-a-whos.

 

RAY: Oh, do enlighten us.

 

CORONER: I love your sarcastic humor-who, Agent Ray.

 

RAY: It wasn't humor.

 

CORONER: Haha. There you go again.

 

REYES: We're interested in any help your computers can give us. They look marvelous.

 

RAY: *SIGH*

 

CORONER: Yes, happy to explain. So happy to explain-a-who. You might want to take notes. 

 

 

This whole conversation could have been tighter IMO. If you were forced to cut a third from it, the audience wouldn't miss anything.

 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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5 minutes ago, OzzieMonkey said:

That's certainly an interesting idea, though I think that ulimately it is much better to worldbuild and introduce new characters wherever possible. Like you said, Murray served the familiarity itch-scratching, but having the Men of Low Moral Fiber there too might've been a little too much. I also never found them to be that big of a highlight in the original 2 games, and the Brotherhood were actually way more engaging and funny to me. Don't get me wrong, they're still good characters, and I'd be pleased to see them in Return, but they were always kinda just there and never served any story purpose. Hell, in MI1 you don't ever have to engage them in conversation at all. 

I'll admit that even as I wrote it I thought 'is that too much callback' because I agree to a certain extent that there can be a tendency to overly fan-service things by calling back or bringing in old characters or locations. That said, I do think the time to do it is when you're in unfamiliar territory. I might be reading too much into it, but it feels like Murray was included in here at least in part to remind the players 'see? Still Monkey Island.' But I've long wanted the return of the Men of Low Moral Fiber and when I think of them getting themselves trapped in a whale as their latest misadventure that makes me smile.

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6 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

Ah, I think you meant to say that MI has a dry wit. Saying it has "dry" writing is a very different thing!

 

I think I was hoping that people would get from context that I was talking about the comic style. but I see the confusion - when I was saying 'if I can critique the writing' I meant that 'if I can critique the writing of Tales', in contrast the style of the first three games is drier.

 

But yes, I see your point about the writing in TP. Maybe in that context it isn't necessarily a positive that ReMI has so many lines of dialogue, but we'll see :)

Edited by KestrelPi
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2 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

I'll admit that even as I wrote it I thought 'is that too much callback' because I agree to a certain extent that there can be a tendency to overly fan-service things by calling back or bringing in old characters or locations. That said, I do think the time to do it is when you're in unfamiliar territory. I might be reading too much into it, but it feels like Murray was included in here at least in part to remind the players 'see? Still Monkey Island.' But I've long wanted the return of the Men of Low Moral Fiber and when I think of them getting themselves trapped in a whale as their latest misadventure that makes me smile.

Oh yeah, the rationale for them being there totally works, it's a great idea actually! I just wonder if the balance might be off with the familiar-to-new content in one chapter. Then it becomes a dilemma of "do we get rid of Murray here" and I wouldn't swap him for them , especially with what we ended up getting. You're definitely right on the money about returning characters being better in unfamiliar territory. It's why I've always been more on board for returning characters than returning islands in this series. I just know that you can still go overboard with familiar faces; I think current Star Wars has been relying on that a little too heavily with certain projects. 

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4 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

This whole conversation could have been tighter IMO. If you were forced to cut a third from it, the audience wouldn't miss anything.

 

Linking to this speech from "the other adventure game Gilbert":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfHpch-ipFU


"I'm David Gilbert and I'm here to talk about creating dialogue with fewer words. Basically, game dialogue should be shorter."
(Screen in background switches to "Thank you for your time" slide)

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2 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

 

Linking to this speech from "the other adventure game Gilbert":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfHpch-ipFU


"I'm David Gilbert and I'm here to talk about creating dialogue with fewer words. Basically, game dialogue should be shorter."
(Screen in background switches to "Thank you for your time" slide)

I accidentally met Dave Gilbert once. I was at a game event and had struck up a conversation with someone about adventure games, and we started walking and talking because they were going to meet a friend, and so they met the friend and we sat round a table together and gradually during the conversation I realised that it was Dave Gilbert.

 

I wasn't quite sure how to react because I like Dave Gilbert, I think he has a lot of good opinions (like the ones on this talk) but... I'd liked but not LOVED the games of his I played so I ended up in this weird situation of 'oh, wow, I'm talking to someone who I really respect for making his own adventure games and being the other adventure Gilbert, but I have literally nothing to say about his own work, but I'd still sort of like to talk to him about adventure games.'

 

Looking at the start of this talk though makes me want to try some of his more recent work because it looks like he's admitting to not being very good at writing dialogue in the early days, and I think mainly it's his earlier work I've played.

 

Incidentally, dialogue was part of what killed The Longest Journey to me. I was excited to play it but everyone just goes on and on and on and on.

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12 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

But yes, I see your point about the writing in TP. Maybe in that context it isn't necessarily a positive that ReMI has so many lines of dialogue, but we'll see :)

That's certainly a valid concern, as something I've long lamented about many modern adventure games is how overwritten the dialog can be. It often feels like the writers are too impressed with themselves and lack any sort of editing. I always appreciated how the LucasArts adventures in general were punchier. However, it's also possible that the large amount of lines has more to do with the scale of the story and where it takes us, with more interactable items and lots of locations, rather than a whole lot of overwritten dialog in smaller spaces. I certainly hope for that.

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1 minute ago, OzzieMonkey said:

It often feels like the writers are too impressed with themselves and lack any sort of editing.

 

Absolutely. Stephen King says you should automatically cut 10% from your first draft -- no matter what. Just do it. He says it was some of the best advice he ever got and his writing improved as soon as he started doing it.

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10 minutes ago, OzzieMonkey said:

That's certainly a valid concern, as something I've long lamented about many modern adventure games is how overwritten the dialog can be. It often feels like the writers are too impressed with themselves and lack any sort of editing. I always appreciated how the LucasArts adventures in general were punchier. However, it's also possible that the large amount of lines has more to do with the scale of the story and where it takes us, with more interactable items and lots of locations, rather than a whole lot of overwritten dialog in smaller spaces. I certainly hope for that.

Yeah and/or maybe it's a side effect of what they're doing with the UI. If the UI is designed, as they say to minimise the number of stock responses you get to interactions, perhaps that's encouraged them to write in more bespoke interactions.

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50 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

Looking at the start of this talk though makes me want to try some of his more recent work because it looks like he's admitting to not being very good at writing dialogue in the early days, and I think mainly it's his earlier work I've played.

 

I suggest to try Dave's Unavowed. Not so much because of the dialog (which is short and sweet), but because of some of its innovative experiments with mechanics and UI. In the course of this game, you're actually aquiring new team members, have to choose which ones to take in a new mission, and you'll face different challenges depending on what members you chose. It almost has an air of the RPG. I'm a bit meh on the ending(s) and the non voiced 'mouseover commentary', but fully on board with story, characters and the central turning point of the story. This is a much more grown up point & click adventure game that shows confidence in the things it tries to achieve.

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Oh man, this looks nice! First impressions: I love the style (also in motion), Guybrush looks good, LeChuck looks creepy/evil again (thank you!), the music is great... so much to discuss! 😍

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Wow. I am delighted with everything I just saw and heard. I don’t know what I was expecting for Guybrush exactly, but this has far surpassed anything I was imagining. I think he looks really good!


KPoRicZ.jpg

 

I find the details and lighting in the game’s art absolutely gorgeous. Everything is just so packed with detail, and it looks like there’ll be quite a lot of bespoke cinematic animation.

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