Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal Review (PC)

by July 29th, 2009
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You mean Lucasarts DOES actually care about a franchise other than ‘Star Wars’?

You would think that being an editor of this site would mean I keep on top of all of the big releases, right? Wrong! It worries me when the first new game in 9 years is added to my favourite franchise, and the first I hear of it is a text message informing me that the details to download a review copy are in my inbox. It seems I wasn’t the only one who was surprised to learn of a new series of Monkey Island games developed by long-time producers Lucasarts & the episodic adventure games developer Telltale (which is largely made up of former Lucasarts employees), this news really did come out of nowhere!

I have found myself eagerly anticipating the next instalment.

For those unfamiliar with Lucasarts’ masterpiece, Monkey Island is a series of adventure games revolving around mighty pirate wannabe Guybrush Threepwood, and his attempts to thwart the plots of his arch nemesis, the evil ghost/zombie/demon pirate LeChuck. Set in a fictitious area “Deep in the Caribbean”, the Monkey Island games are packed with adventure, humour, wit, satire & cultural references, and have gone on to heavily influence films such as ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (amusingly, the Monkey Island games were originally inspired by the Disneyland ride of the same name).

The latest instalment of this series is no exception, and is filled with all of the great features the series is known for. For the first time however, Telltale have integrated both the keyboard & mouse for the control interface, making it much more versatile and user friendly. This is a welcome feature, and the only really new thing that Telltale have added in terms of gameplay.

Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal Without spoiling too much, the story revolves around a battle between LeChuck & Guybrush, which ends with our hero poxed & stranded on an island from which there appears to be no escape. Guybrush must find a way off the island to rid himself of the aforementioned voodoo pox & rescue his wife from the clutches of his rival. This seems a suitable piratey premise upon which to base the series, and I have found myself eagerly anticipating the next instalment.

The graphics have been revamped in a style that will be familiar to those who have played the Sam & Max games previously produced by Telltale. I found this style to be rather easy on the eye, and fitting for the series. The detail on non-main characters is lacking a little, but this does not detract majorly from the game as a whole. The scenery is also well designed, and the graphics in general, while not excellent, are perfectly suited to the games.

I was particularly glad that Dominic Armato reprised his role as Guybrush Threepwood, and the return of Alexandra Boyd as Elaine Marley was also a welcome one. The secondary voice actors also seem very good, and all of the characters sound as I would expect them to. The music is also well composed, and provides a suitably epic & piratey feel to the game.

Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal Overall, fans of adventure games & games in general should NOT miss out on this. I feel I should apologise that this review is not quite up to my usual standard, but I feel hard pressed to write a fair & unbiased review (despite playing through the game twice) of a game I had almost given up waiting for, but have been hoping would eventually see the light of day since the last game was released in 2000. Let me end simply by saying that I was not disappointed, and by the looks of things, this series will definitely have been worth waiting for.

Episode 1: –
Episode 2: http://www.yetanotherreviewsite.co.uk/tales-of-money-island-episode-reviews~696~PC.htm
Episode 3:
Episode 4:
Episode 5:

The Good: Great story, Packed with wit & humour, Improved control system, IT’S MONKEY FRICKIN’ ISLAND!!!
The Bad: More effort could be put into the secondary characters, I don’t really want to wait a month for each new episode.

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Gold Y AwardGold Y Award
4.5 4.5 / 5
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Sam P

Sam, 21, recently graduated music & theology student. I live in Coventry, and currently work as a waiter in a hotel, which isn't the most glamorous job, but it's paying off my debts. My first experience of gaming was bubble bobble on the commodore 64, and I've been pretty much hooked since. I really enjoy the old point & click adventure games, and adventure platforming games in general.

About Sam P

Sam, 21, recently graduated music & theology student. I live in Coventry, and currently work as a waiter in a hotel, which isn't the most glamorous job, but it's paying off my debts. My first experience of gaming was bubble bobble on the commodore 64, and I've been pretty much hooked since. I really enjoy the old point & click adventure games, and adventure platforming games in general.