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Head 2 Head Review: Escape From Monkey Island

The Match-Up:
Name: Michelle M. (a.k.a. Mish) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims



Name: Tristinian (a.k.a. Commodus) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims

Mish: Today Tristan and I are reviewing Escape From Monkey Island by Lucas Arts-the same ones who brought us earlier adventures in the Monkey Island series and of course Grim Fandango. First I want to say a "thank you" to Kris and Tristan for making me aware of this game. I have not had so much fun and laughed as hard in a long time.

Tristinian: No prob ;)-Grim Fandango is one adventure game that should have garnered more recognition than it did. But, since those days are long gone and another game by the same maker finds itself in the same position of quality-i feel have to make sure this time that it at least gets a deserving critique from this individual. And the critique to be delivered is a VERY positive one.

"If you don't have the patience to be subjected to endless corny jokes and crazy ass puzzles...EFMI might not be the game for you. "

Mish: "This one's for you Grim!!" Yes, this is positive. I have to start by commending the makers for their VERY witty comments. If I thought that Zeus was amazingly funny, then Monkey Isle is a gift from Zeus himself! The humor is astounding! I enjoy a game that stimulates more than my motor skills and reaction time. Just today I was sitting in the coffee shop swapping Monkey Isle wit with Tristan laughing over the hilarity of Guybrush Threepwood and his band of kooky krazy pirates!

Tristinian: Yeah, the humor is corny as hell-but it's just adorable humor. For those who aren't familiar with Lucasarts' recent adventure games , you should know though that if you don't have the patience to be subjected to endless corny jokes and crazy-ass puzzles that seem ridiculous-Monkey Island might not be the game for you.

Mish: But, but...not only do they say funny things but all the characters are funny looking. A weirder bunch you have not seen. But they are designed well from any perspective that you look at them. And the buildings are...I want to say "drawn well" because they and the characters remind me of Saturday morning cartoons that I used to watch as a kid. I feel like I have that Saturday morning 'fever' all over again.

Tristinian: I think what you're trying to say is that the graphics in general are as eye catching as can be. The backgrounds and other characters look to be straight out of a cartoon, but are perfect in their goofy imperfection. Beautiful. The music is fitting and the sound effects are always on cue and well chosen as well. But as usual-let's fill in a bit on the story of Escape From Monkey Island..

Mish: You are Guybrush Threepwood-master, pirate/goof. Tied to your ship's mast (?) and your new wife, the Governor of Melee Island, is defending the ship from pirates. You have just been attacked on your way home from your honeymoon. But the meat of the story is that you get home to find that the Governor's mansion is being demolished because your wife has been presumed dead. So now you have to stop the demolition and Guybrush has many a tasks to take on as a result.

Tristinian: Those who have played prior games in the Monkey Isle series will probably be familiar with those details. But all you need to know is that the story is sound, the voice acting superb, music well done, graphics pristine and the puzzles are...well....annoying as hell. But, that's something you get used to. The navigation of Threepwood throughout the game can also get a little tiresome.

Mish: You have hit it on the nose. Sometimes I wished that Threepwood could get somewhere faster, so I make him run-then he goes too far-so I have to put him into reverse...ugh...by the time I am done I should have just made him walk to his destination. Another thing that sucks, is that when you are stuck in a puzzle...you are stuck. You have to rummage through everything that you have ever picked up to see what odd-ball usage you can get of it.

Tristinian: Yeah the only flaws in this wicked game (and i mean only) lie in the control of Threepwood and the annoying puzzles. You always end up hating it when it took you a year to adjust your character to face the puzzle you wanted to grapple with only to realize that it'll take 10 years off your life to figure out how to solve the puzzle itself. Personally, the game loses a bit for control imperfections right there and with the puzzles...well...can't take off TOO much. But...either way, this game represents the adventure genre better than any game that comes to mind right now. It's that good despite the frustrations. We'd tell you more, but...with adventure games such as these it's the details that really count when you get into playing it.

"...shoot'em ups...sometimes are not nearly as fun as a game like this..."

Mish: This is such a fun game. You go out and pick up these war games, and "shoot'em ups" and rip this person or that person apart and 'YAY, I can snipe off a terrorist from across the room'. But sometimes, they are not nearly as much fun as a game like this. "Fun" for a lot of people loses its meaning as they grow older...this is like opening gifts on Christmas morning. Thanks Santa!!`

Tristinian: Playing this game is just plain fun and there's not much more that can be said. There are games that are just so good that you can blab on and on about it. And then there are some that you can merely just nod your ahead and say 'gotta play it..simple as that'. EFMI falls into the latter category. We can't really tell ya much about the game that you probably don't already know or should simply play the game to find out.




Graphics are sweet....really, we'd talk more about the plot of the game, but it'd just ruin it for this type of adventure.


Positioning yourself to either fiddle with an item or talk to the right person can get a little troublesome, but well worth it with this game.


Dueling to the death in a challenging match of 'insult swordfighting'. Don't get what the hell THAT is supposed to mean? ehh...play the game-it's absurd fun.