I want to be a pirate!

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And here it is! The best game LucasArts produced since Monkey Island, Monkey Island! Okay, okay – they did more great games… :) Monkey Island 2, for example. :P

I hereby praise whoever had the idea to do this, the way they did it! A few years ago this happened in my dreams. A major classic game recreated with current technology, but also the option to switch back to the original. Hasn’t any player dreamt of this possibility, at one point or another? Well now it has officially left the realm of fantasy and become REAL. Shocking!

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By pressing F10, both realities can be traversed. The effect of blending between them is also really nice. I do it all the time. All. The. Time. In above pictures, Guybrush is standing in the exact same spot. Sorry, I know it’s obvious.
I guess it can be discussed, if this specific graphic style/interpretation is the best for Guybrush, but especially with the environment I really have to say, that they did a damn fine job! People were divided about Guybrush’s looks in Monkey Island 3 and Tales of Monkey Island too. It’s just tricky to “translate” a “pixel” hero to “high def”.

Seriously, all of this could only be any better, if Ron Gilbert himself would finally spill the SECRET of Monkey Island!
It’s the same kick-ass game with additional (I cannot stress enough how important this is to me, since all of it is a pure addition, nothing was taken away!) great graphics, sounds and voices.

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The graphics are flowing really smooth across the screen and even the handling is almost ideal. There are keyboard shortcuts, but only where they aren’t in the way of the mouse control. CTRL brings up all command verbs (mouse wheel can scroll through them as well), so the entire screen is just the game world and ALT reveals the inventory (in the new version, of course). Clicking left executes the selected command and clicking right activates a default action (which appears, very fitting, also on the right – so there’s no guessing what might happen), like talking, if the cursor is above a character. This behavior is identical in “both worlds”. Typical SCUMM™. When deciding to exit the game, a game window appears, that offers to save the game progress. Very neat.
I like both (graphics and handling) so much, that I already wish the same team would have done Tales of Monkey Island (sorry Telltale!). Monkey Island Special Edition also used my native 16:9 definition automatically. Tales of Monkey Island doesn’t even have it selectable. No biggy, but it’s yet another sympathy bonus for sure.

All of this comes to the price of a mere 8,99. I can’t remember when players could get this much quality and fun for such a price. It’s almost too good to be true!

The only negative thing I could find so far, is that in menus, be it dialogs or save/load game features, clicking options only works, when the mouse cursor is slightly below them and not directly above them. This is against anything computer regulars are used to. Since I don’t intend to alter my behavior (I’m a horrible person), I already started to use the cursor keys to select choices in conversations. This sticks out, compared to the already briefly mentioned general good interaction between game and player.

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Yes! I’m really never bored, by comparing both, old and new, graphic styles! ARRR!

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And with that, I’ll switch into full gaming mode™. If I’ll encounter more cool details, I’ll be back. Like LeChuck always returns!

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