|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.
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.
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.
CCC Editor / News Director