The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition Review
Xbox 360 | PC
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition box art
System: X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: LucasArts 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: LucasArts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: July 15, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Further improving the game is that of the lush musical score. Rather than abandoning the quality tunes of the original, LucasArts went back and simply made those same themes sound richer and rounder. Flipping back and forth between the original and re-mastered versions of the game really helps to hit this point home.

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot

Likewise, visual presentation is also quite different this time around. Most players will really enjoy 1080p, hand-drawn, HD look the game now sports. The backgrounds and sky effects are especially beautiful. The only problem I had with the game's fresh new look was that of its characters. Character animations aren't nearly smooth enough, and their airbrushed visage isn't as detailed and engaging as the old-school sprites are. In fact, the title's characters look a bit too much like something you'd find in a Flash-based game. Regardless, the modernized production does keep the game sounding and looking fresh while incorporating the charm of the original.

Another boon to the game is that of the integrated hint system. LucasArts obviously realized that today's gamers tend to be a bit on the impatient side. Besides, slogging through some of the game's more challenging (obscure) puzzles can be frustrating progress halters. Now, with the press of a button, players can have access to ever-more-detailed hints to get them back on the right track. While I think this hint system is crucial for the casual sect, patient players will be better served by solving the game's mindbenders on their own, as a lot more satisfaction will be derived from the experience.

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The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition is a great starting point for new players to get a feel for the franchise and for tested veterans to experience the antics of Guybrush Threepwood in a whole new way. As is the case with nearly all point-and-click titles, adventure-puzzle buffs are the only gamers that need apply. Everyone else will likely find the magical world of Monkey Island to be little more than a parlor trick. Still, at only $10 (800 MS points), you're getting a classic game and its spiffy remake for a bargain price.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
The new hand-drawn look is great for bringing the environments to life, but the character animations and appearance aren't anything special.
4.0
Control
The game controls very well whether you're using a console controller or a mouse.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Jokes are often made funnier by the quality voice over work, and the musical themes are even richer this time around.
3.3
Play Value
The game only lasts about 5-6 hours, and many will find what's on offer exceedingly dull. Still, point-and-click fans and puzzle-adventure buffs should really enjoy it.
3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Hilarious swashbuckling misadventures: Embark on a bumbling misadventure in an attempt to become the most infamous pirate in the Caribbean, win the heart of the beautiful governor, Elaine Marley, and confront the evil ghost pirate, LeChuck!
  • High-definition graphics: The game is all-new and re-imagined with a contemporary art style, hand-drawn and presented in 1080p.
  • Voiceover talent: Complete voice over using original Monkey Island franchise cast members brings the story and characters to life like never before.
  • Renewed music score: Enjoy the re-mastered and re-recorded musical score using live instruments.
  • Special Edition and Classic modes: Scene-for-scene hot swap lets you seamlessly transition between Special Edition and Classic modes at anytime during gameplay.
  • Enhanced gameplay: The all-new intuitive game interface and controls provide a more interactive gameplay experience.
  • Hint system: Not sure what to do next? The in-game puzzle hint system keeps the puzzles fresh and fun.


  • Screenshots / Images
    The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition screenshot - click to enlarge

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