Back to Monkey Island Review- Is It Worth Playing?
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Return to Monkey Island on PS5
Back to Monkey Island Review:- The point-and-click adventure game genre hasn’t always been well received by a modern gaming audience, but it’s certainly made some strides in the past few years. And when Guybrush Threepwood returns after 13 years, some would say the genre is truly back, with Return to Monkey Island being an absolute gem of the point-and-click genre that appeals to both longtime fans and those new to the genre with an interest in a good one old pirate days.
Following the events of Monkey Island, we’re picking things up and returning to Threepwood’s side to help uncover the secrets of Mêlée Island, but before all of that comes the first taste of Return to Monkey Island’s excellence in the form of its Quasi -Tutorials . Taking control of Boybrush Threepwood, our hero’s son, is both delightful and heartwarming as the boy and his best friend Chuckie help players acquire the knowledge needed to face the challenges of future adventures. It also helps set things up on the narrative front when it comes to the older Threepwood.
Of course, the return to Mêlée Island paired with the iconic music will ignite the fires of nostalgia. Indeed, Devolver Digital and Terrible Toybox are aiming for hearts here, successfully fusing love for the older games and giving new players the appeal to dive right in and possibly spark an interest in the series’ past.
At the same time, however, this nostalgia is contrasted with how much has actually changed since players were last on the island. There are familiar faces to reconnect with, but also a cast of newer characters that breathe new life into the environments and keep series fans engaged as they compare the past and present.
Should you need a refresher or just want to catch up on what happened, Guybrush Threepwood’s memoir is the perfect place to start. Characters, events and locations are all lovingly treated, with information provided in bite-sized chunks to give you a better idea of things’ timeline.
Thankfully, the one thread that remains consistent is Return to Monkey Island’s ability to weave humor into almost every interaction, whether it’s dialogue between characters, puzzles and their solutions, or the entirety of the world as a whole. When it comes to gaming fun, there is always a reason for a hearty smile, which cannot be said of other contemporaries. The writing is truly some of the best I’ve seen in video games, taking the subject wholeheartedly and absurdly while managing to up the emotional stakes in a pleasant surprise.
And we can’t really talk about this series without mentioning the puzzle design, and Return to Monkey Island delivers spades on that front by offering the old-school formula of puzzle design adorned with modern sensibilities and the spirit of Monkey Island well and true kept alive. If you’re into the same kind of logic puzzles that can turn seemingly mundane tasks into multi-step solutions, you’re in luck.
Exploring areas, collecting items, and revisiting locations are all part of the journey and are definitely made easier with some modern improvements. Inventory management is no longer a headache as clear indications of which items are compatible with each other reduce the fatigue of random guessing. While on the actual adventure front, the constant point-and-click mechanics are made more elegant with a system that allows players to cycle through interactive on-screen points of interest.
Does it make things less authentic compared to the show’s roots? Maybe, but that’s always been the case with Return to Monkey Island, especially when it’s a game that aims to bridge the gap between new players and the community that has always rallied around the genre.
However, if you don’t get frustrated with puzzles and prefer to enjoy the story, the in-game hint system is there for you. Otherwise, the developers have helpfully provided a mode that reduces puzzles, which would have been unthinkable at the time. The result is a fast-paced experience, with or without brain teasers, that will keep players intrigued and excited for what’s next.
Despite all this goodness evidently permeating throughout the game, there were some concerns about Return to Monkey Island because of the new art style. While there will always be sections of the community that want things to stay true, it’s pretty clear that this new look suits the game really well, bringing a level of vibrancy and charm that doesn’t dilute the series’ legacy, but does instead builds on it for whatever the future holds. Add to that the excellent sound design and voice acting, and for the most part, Return to Monkey Island has everything that works for it.
Ultimately, Return to Monkey Island has always involved risks, and opinions will be divided between the hardcore fans and the relative newcomers. What can’t be denied, however, is that this is an amazing point-and-click adventure that retains much of the charm it loves, while still updating the experience to be a more balanced affair. This is an excellent return, to say the least, and I can only hope that this is the start of a new era that Terrible Toybox will lead from the beginning.
|Charming and humorous in every way.||Puzzle designs can still be frustrating.|
More value for longtime fans.
|Accessible to all players.|
|The art style may not be for everyone.|
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