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Return to Monkey Island [SPOILER FREE]


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30 minutes ago, Joe monsters said:

I think however that your review gets deleted when you ask for the refund.

 

I may be wrong, but I have read that reviews remain even after a refund. I guess that makes sense, since a refund can be a strong indication of an actual problem with a product.

 

30 minutes ago, Joe monsters said:

I’m more worried about Metacritic like ThunderPeel said.

 

The User Score can be easily gamed, yes, but the Metascore comes from critics and it isn't generally affected by review bombing. I hope it is the kind of vote that people trust the most and that most people consider review bombing as a form of unfairness to the game.

 

Added: also, Steam depends only on user reviews. This user average vote displayed in the shop itself, near to the Buy button, might influence buyers' decision more than users reviews read elsewhere.

Edited by LowLevel
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Thanks for opening the spoiler free thread! I used to visit the regular thread often, and I generally am not one for shying away from spoilers, but once that interview/preview dropped that allegedly revealed spoilers about the opening and the secret, I decided to call it there. True, that article seemed like the exception to the rule, but the fact that promotion for the game has otherwise been very close-guarded about the nature of the plot and structure of the game, down to not even releasing a demo of the opening scenes (and "censoring" some of the new gameplay video content) has really cemented it for me that I'd like to experience it all during my first playthrough. It's two days away and it feels so unreal that it's almost here. What a whirlwind these past few months have been. That April 4th announcement with the Monkey Island family (both the fan community and the talent behind the games) all coming back at once really was something special.

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While we are here in the infobunker... shall-we-play-a-game?

 

Here follows a chart of Google Trends (Source) that shows two things:

  • at the far left, the blue peak of search interest registered for "tales of monkey island" the day its first episode was released.
  • at the far right, the red increase of search interest related to people searching for "return to monkey island".

image.png

 

Here is the game:

 

What's your prediction for the release day of Return to Monkey Island? Will people search interest surpass the one registered in 2009 for "Tales"? 🙂

 

Boring technical clarification about those numbers:

 

The values that you see in the chart don't show the raw number of searches but only relative values. A higher peak for RtMI would mean that the percentage of searches for "return to monkey island" recorded on release day was higher than the percentage of searches for "tales of monkey island" that was recorded in 2009, the day the first episode of Tales was released. So, in theory one should consider that there were fewer people on the Internet in 2009.

 

Edited by LowLevel
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I have now finished my playthrough of the series! After only 8-9 months since my last playthrough, mind (after receiving the LimitedRun boxset at Christmas), so I think I've got a pretty good idea now as far as my overall thoughts on each entry. Will give a very brief rundown below:

 

- Secret is a great starting point for the games, though I'd consider it as something of a middle-ground/transitional period between the games that came before it (Maniac Mansion, Zac, Last Crusade, Loom) and the games that came after (MI2, Fate of Atlantis, Tentacle, etc.) It still feels fairly limited as far as the technicals go, (i.e. limited music, not a huge amount of dialogue, still fairly primitive in its' interface, etc.) but it really laid the groundwork for the games that followed, both in the MI series and the other Lucas games in general. Hell, adventure games in general. It's because of SoMI that I'm interested in game design to begin with.

 

- MI2 and Curse have aged the best of all the games. MI2's puzzle design and general expansion of the world, plus the fantastic soundtrack and introduction of iMuse, makes it one of the LucasArts classics. I couldn't help getting excited at the end upon selecting Guybrush's final dialogue tree option of "This is weird... what's going on here?" knowing that we're finally going to have some degree of closure on MI2's ending after all this time. Curse's atmosphere, artwork, soundtrack, and animated cutscenes really elevates it, even after all these years. The attention to detail in the backgrounds really struck me this time, in that you can see the games' other locations in the distance, which can alternate depending on your in-game actions at times. It really makes the world feel connected and alive. And yes, for a game that had no input from the original creators in terms of the story, they did a fabulous job in continuing the series and clearly doing so with passion.

 

- Escape probably has more dated elements in so far as the visuals, and some of the dialogue. I still maintain it's a better game than people give it credit for, but time isn't as kind to it as Curse, for sure. I also do legitimately like the designs of the world and the characters, but of course, the technology of the day limits them. I don't think incorporating a point and click interface, at least as an optional feature, would've been a bad idea either.

 

- I don't hate Monkey Kombat like others do, but MAN I despised it this time. There was ONE "insult" that the monkeys just weren't giving me and I wasn't able to win against Jojo Jr. until one of the monkeys randomly gave it to me about 30 minutes in! At friggin' last!

 

- Tales has probably aged the most in my opinion, and honestly, this was my least favourite playthrough of the game yet. I think I notice the dated elements more in Tales than Escape because Tales is generally aiming to be bigger and better. Escape still uses traditional adventure gaming camera angles and animations, even in 3D (with backdrops rendered in 2D of course) so because of that, I subconsciously know not to expect anything too dynamic in terms of the visuals, and I instead pay more attention to the stronger elements such as the music, the voice acting and, by and large, the dialogue. With Tales, we do have more dynamic camerawork and animations, and where Escape knows its limitations, Tales tries to go beyond them, and yeah, when we're forced to look at closeups of late 2000's low-budget, low-polygon 3D assets, with awkward expressions and dated, unfinished-looking animations dotted throughout, it does take me out of the experience moreso than Escape did.

 

- In terms of writing, of all the games, the humour in Tales does *not* do it for me. Guybrush has amusing comebacks to make about *everything* he comes across, and practically every line is written as if a marketing executive wrote it. Seriously, count how many times Guybrush says something along the lines of "Ah... nothing like a good __________ to get you through the day!" or the like, throughout the game. Taking nothing away from the fabulous voiceover work from Dom of course, particularly in the final chapter, nor the generally good story as far as the main characters' developments and relationships go, which is probably the strongest and most meaningful developments of the series since the original games, but dialogue-wise, Tales is the weakest for me. And just weird other things like the Voodoo Lady having a different actress, and a few other spotty actor deliveries bring it down too, where EMI's voice acting is practically flawless across the board.

 

- All three Stan voices are practically tied for me. I can't choose a favourite. I welcome Gavin Hammon back in ReMI with open arms.

 

- Man, I'm going to miss Earl Boen in ReMI. Please don't let me down, Harnell!!

 

 

I think my ranking of the series probably now goes:

1. Monkey Island II: LeChuck's Revenge

2. The Curse of Monkey Island

3. The Secret of Monkey Island

4. Escape From Monkey Island

5. Tales of Monkey Island

 

 

I still don't think lite remasters of Curse - Tales is that unlikely anymore, with ReMI reigniting "The Fires of Monkey Island" (next game title?!), and I look forward to the day when we see the announcements of their remasters coming! (Possibly in a bundle?) All I'd be looking for would be increased resolutions with upscaled art/textures, some recastings for the sake of continuity, and additional platform support. I think that's all they'd need, to be honest!

 

Anyway, sorry for the rant, I had a spare hour! Two days to go!!

Edited by fentongames
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20 minutes ago, fentongames said:

- In terms of writing, of all the games, the humour in Tales does *not* do it for me. Guybrush has amusing comebacks to make about *everything* he comes across, and practically every line is written as if a marketing executive wrote it. Seriously, count how many times Guybrush says something along the lines of "Ah... nothing like a good __________ to get you through the day!" or the like, throughout the game. Taking nothing away from the fabulous voiceover work from Dom of course, particularly in the final chapter, nor the generally good story as far as the main characters' developments and relationships go, which is probably the strongest and most meaningful developments of the series since the original games, but dialogue-wise, Tales is the weakest for me. And just weird other things like the Voodoo Lady having a different actress, and a few other spotty actor deliveries bring it down too, where EMI's voice acting is practically flawless across the board.

Yeah I've mentioned it before but the tendency towards writing Guybrush in this weird, overly-wordy rambly way is a thing about Tales' writing and also I think it's a problem in EMI that really stuck out to me on my recent plays. If they'd written MI2 in the Tales/EMI style, instead of his generic Look At thing being "Nice [item]." it would have been something like "I've seen some [item]s in my life and, yep, that sure is a [item]". Dom does a fine job with it but I feel like Guybrush always used to have a sort of dry, deadpan side to his humour, which has recently got a lot more soggy. Guybrush stop going on about everything all the time challenge.

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I recently finished both first MI games and hope that the humour remains the same in ReMI.

Don't know why so many people like CMI the most.

It is a fine game to me but there is sth it is lacking. But cannot pinpoint to what it is.

And I con't like the artwork.

Would have loved a makeover with the art of Peter Chan or Steve Purcell - but that will never happen.

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So close!!!

 

Just checked Steam to see if the download had enabled at this milestone, but still nothing yet. (Any idea of when this might be activated or is it just randomised?) Switch owners apparently are able to download the game at this point.

Edited by fentongames
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19 hours ago, Jake said:

I suspect Return will eclipse it.

 

My prediction is that it will be more or less the same.

 

I don't remember: did Tales receive a similar media coverage, before its release? Was it advertised in similar ways?

 

2 hours ago, MichaelSon said:

Don't know why so many people like CMI the most.

 

I've always thought that a large part of the reason is that it was, for many, the first Monkey Island game that they played.

 

I like the game and I think it's a good game, just not a real continuation of the story of the first two games of the franchise.

 

49 minutes ago, BillyCheers said:

Less than 24 hours, guys! :monkey4:

 

For what? Is something happening and nobody bothered telling me? 🤔

 

43 minutes ago, fentongames said:

Any idea of when this might be activated or is it just randomised?

 

"September 19 at 9AM Pacific on both Nintendo Switch and Steam" (Source)

 

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2 minutes ago, LowLevel said:

I don't remember: did Tales receive a similar media coverage, before its release? Was it advertised in similar ways?

Tales had a shorter window and less press, but I also feel like the landscape of games was smaller then so you didn’t have to be as loud. There were far fewer big service games running always churning out news, and far far fewer independent developers and publishers out on social media and news sites talking about their games. So you may be right that it’s the same! It’s very hard to tell. We’ll see.

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22 minutes ago, LowLevel said:

"September 19 at 9AM Pacific on both Nintendo Switch and Steam" (Source)

 


That’s when the game’s activating, right? Sometimes with Steam releases, we can download the games earlier but they’ll only activate at a specific time. Haven’t seen any signs of being able to download the game early yet.

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Really hard to tell. As Jake said, the world felt smaller in 2009. I would guess the REMI will hit lower than Tales... but it's just a random guess.

 

5 hours ago, MichaelSon said:

Don't know why so many people like CMI the most.

 

I was late to the Curse party. I played and loved the originals so many times, so when I heard that Ron wasn't involved, I guess I just thought it would be a disappointing spin off. Eventually I purchased a copy and decided to give it a go... it would such a delightful surprise.

 

It's a fantastically designed and polished game. They got SO much right. The voice acting (barring Elaine), the music, the atmosphere, the humour, the puzzles. Yes, it's maybe lacking the edge (if that's the right word) of the first two games, but there's so much to recommend it. 

 

In hindsight it's the one I'm most likely to pick and play, if I feel like a MI experience.

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1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

It's a fantastically designed and polished game. They got SO much right. The voice acting (barring Elaine), the music, the atmosphere, the humour, the puzzles. Yes, it's maybe lacking the edge (if that's the right word) of the first two games, but there's so much to recommend it. 

 

In hindsight it's the one I'm most likely to pick and play, if I feel like a MI experience.

I agree, I think it does more right than I would ever expect with a whole new creative team. In hindsight it's a bit ... basic, maybe, but it's a really solid, self-contained Monkey Island that goes down real smooth. It doesn't surprise me people favour it. I might like it more than MI1, once I strip away all my nostalgic feelings about 1. It's close, at least.

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I think one thing about Curse that's under-appreciated (and was missing in Escape) is the attention to detail. There's a seemingly endless number of little bits of joy to discover. The developers seemed to "get" the adventure gamer mentality: Pick up everything, talk to everyone, explore every dialogue branch, try everything with everything. And they rewarded that behaviour. There's just so many nice little touches all the way through the game.

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Almost there.

 

Time for one last replay of my favorite parts of the previous games, listen to some old interviews, and re-watch the Monkey Island Mondays and trailers one last time before the big event tomorrow.

 

I'm still in a little disbelief that this game is actually happening. To think that only 6 months ago, it was as if this game was nothing but a huge "what if" in fans' imaginations and I didn't even think it would be possible until years and years later, if at all.

 

Been great speculating with everyone for the past 5 months and to be active on a Monkey Island forum once again. 

 

Mere hours now.
 

Edited by demone
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I’m both excited and puzzled that we’re already there. Most of the time the games that I’m really, really hyped about get announced more than 2 years before release. I’ve been waiting for Zelda Tears of the Kingdom for more than 3 years now, and when it’s released it’ll be almost 4(!!), while this game has been announced, teased, revealed, trailered, teased some more and released in less than half a year! Somehow I feel that I’ve skipped (or missed out on) some of the waiting process!

Anyway, real excited! The only thing I’m a bit anxious about is the recasting of LeChuck. I hope Jess Harnell can fill Earl Boen’s bootstraps, but it’s gonna be a tough act to follow.

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It’s crazy. In a few hours I’m going to be playing a Ron Gilbert Monkey Island sequel. It’s actually a little bit overwhelming. I can’t quite believe it. 
 

How did we get here? Ron has talked for so long about wanting to make his MI3. Some people thought he was deliberately emotionally manipulating fans. That he never had any intention of following through, and yet the Mojo review revealed that he’d been trying to get MI3 off the ground for years. 
 

In fact, if TellTale hadn’t scooped him to it with Tales, we may have gotten it back then. 
 

Eventually, after so many failed attempts, he wrote the Infamous Blogpost on a particularly grumpy day. Sort of hinting it would never happen, while also clearly wanting it to. 
 

Then so many years later the opportunity to do it finally landed in his lap. The thing he’d wanted for years… suddenly real. Uh oh. The pressure. Should he just walk away to avoid disappointing everyone? Nobody would ever know if he did. 
 

It’s one thing to want something, it’s entirely another when it becomes real. 
 

He called up Dave Grossman and asked for advice. Grossman and Gilbert worked through it and decided it was worth doing. (So it seems that if it wasn’t for Grossman, we may not have ever gotten this. Thank you, Dave!)

 

The two of them set off and started making this thing. This thing we’ve all dreamed of. And now the entire ReMI team are sitting somewhere anxiously wondering how the next 24 hours are going to play out 😅
 

Good luck, anyone on the ReMI team who reads this! Whatever happens I’m so glad you were brave enough to try! I can’t wait to see what you’ve created.
 

Thanks Ron, Dave, David, Rex, Jenn, Michael, Peter, Clint, Dom, Kris, Devolver and everyone else I’ve missed. 
 

This old fan will be always be grateful!

 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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In my leadup to release, I’ve finally finished the Monkey Island Chronicles book that came with the LimitedRun Anthology collection. (I’ve been putting it off for a while and wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t finish today!)

 

Man, the end of the book is so ironic and weird to see so much of the team saying that there’ll never be another Monkey Island, that it had a good run, that they hope Ron’s third game gets a chance to happen, and Ron himself stating that he’d love to make another game. Particularly knowing that when the book was being made, he was in active development on ReMI. (Just envisioning him now signing all of those certificates and cackling to himself.)

 

Overall it was a great book. Lots of anecdotes and backstory behind the games, lots of input from the original team, lots of archival art and a good amount of deleted content, etc.  I’d say all that holds it back is it needed another lookover before publishing. The number of typos and errors (ie. Earl BONE, Tales FROM Monkey Island, etc.) and randomly misplaced sections (I.e. an anecdote about El Pollo Diablo in the middle of MI2’s retrospective) and other moments like that do add up.

 

Plus, the set is basically obsolete now anyway given ReMI. Maybe we’ll see a 35th Anniversary set which will include ReMI and the Curse - Tales remasters that will definitely happen probably maybe.

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1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

It’s actually a little bit overwhelming.

 

I can relate to that. That dash of healthy detachment that I applied in the previous months is beginning to crumble in these hours.


The things said by Noah Falstein and Dominic Armato have really raised my expectations, and although I have taken every statement made over the past few months with a pinch of salt, the only thing I feel now is a very strong trepidation to find out what they were talking about.

 

It is not just a game that I have been waiting for 31 years; it has become in my mind an event that I am sure will be an extraordinary experience, regardless of the merits of individual aspects such as story, art style or puzzles.

 

I see myself shiver with antici...

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I would strongly suggest you do your best to lower your expectations! Not because I think the game will be bad, but because nothing can withstand incredibly high expectations. Forget what Falstein said. It could be interpreted so many different ways. (I’m certainly not taking what he said seriously. I have zero doubt that I will not agree with his assessment — or rather I can see what he was getting at, but that I wouldn’t have used those words.)

 

Ron set out to make a straight pirate adventure. Just set your expectations on that. I know if that’s what is delivered, I’ll be happy. 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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I have so many contradicting feelings about it! I'm actually a bit afraid to start playing the game tonight...

I feel like this game is gonna be great, but can it really fulfil the excitement I've been feeling the last couple of months?

...

I'm just so anxious....!!

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