PS3 Attitude’s 20 Days of PSN – #16: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
Avast ye, me hearties! At PS3 Attitude, we’re celebrating the PlayStation Network with our ‘20 Days of PSN’ feature, and coming in at number 16 is Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge.
Monkey Island 2 was released in 1991 with more characters, puzzles, islands and dialogue than Secret of Monkey Island. It’s the strongest of the series and possibly the greatest graphic adventure ever. PSN has the quintessential 2010 Special Edition version.
Read on to find out why Monkey Island 2 is #16 in our Top 20 PSN titles…
Monkey Island, like a certain Hollywood franchise, is inspired by Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It follows the adventures of an inept (but lucky) young pirate called Guybrush Threepwood.
In Monkey Island 2, Guybrush is cocky after defeating the evil ghost pirate LeChuck, but he lacks the wits to match his arrogance. So he foolishly shows his trophy, LeChuck’s beard, to anyone who doubts his mightiness. Unwittingly, he shows the beard to Largo LeGrande, a follower of LeChuck, who steals it and uses it to resurrect his master.
The only way Guybrush can stop LeChuck is to find the famous treasure of Big Whoop. This sends him on a journey across five Caribbean islands, where he’ll take part in spitting contests and explore the bottom of the sea. He’ll meet old friends (Stan), old flames (Elaine) and a whole host of new and excellent characters.
Monkey Island is a graphic adventure game, otherwise known as a point-and-click puzzler. It’s basically a story-led puzzle game in which you speak to strangers, find objects and solve bizarre and amusing puzzles.
The PSN version is the remastered ‘Special Edition’ version, and it really is special. It features countless improvements, such as:
- Remastered visuals. Those smudgy, incomprehensible visuals of before are gone. They’re replaced by glorious hi-res artwork that brings to life the Caribbean.
- Added voiceovers. Monkey Island 2 was originally a text adventure, so you had to imagine the voices in your head. It wasn’t always easy. Now characters feel fully realised and brimming with personality.
- Behind-the-Scenes commentary from the famous Monkey Island team, featuring Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman. The commentary is interesting, amusing and enlightening.
- An optional hints system, meaning newcomers won’t have to fear Monkey Island 2’s notoriously challenging puzzles.
The changes make it feel fresh and modern, without losing any of the things that made it special in the first place. Adding voiceovers was especially risky — no-one wants their favourite character to sound like a twit — but the actors are fantastic in their roles. They’ve worked on later Monkey Island games, so they know their characters inside and out. Dominic Armato captures Guybrush’s charm and charisma, while Earl Boen doesn’t fail as LeChuck, the ultimate panto villain.
Sure, Monkey Island 2 is a slow, thinking man’s game, which won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it also makes you feel like a mighty pirate — which is never a bad thing. It has great characters, sharp writing and lots of humour; it really does have countless genuinely funny moments. It also has some of the most fiendish puzzles to ever grace a PlayStation console; they’re straight from Davy Jones’ Locker.
These qualities don’t age, and it’s why Monkey Island 2 is as essential today as it was in the early ‘90s.
#16 in our 20 Days of PSN goes to Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge.