More than just fan service?

Despite his more than unusual name (or maybe because of it), Guybrush Threepwood is one of the most famous series heroes of all time. The blonde-maned budding pirate debuted in 1990 The Secret of Monkey Island and returned with the sequel to the 2009 released episode of Telltale Games Tales from Monkey Island back in four more adventures.

Since then there has been radio silence – until now! The sequel is now available on PC and Nintendo Switch Back to Monkey Islanddeveloped by series creators Ron Gilbert personally. We’ve played Guybrush’s new Switch adventure for you and revealed why the return to Monkey Island is primarily for fans of the legendary series.

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True sequel instead of tabula rasa

Some friends on the show might have wished Ron Gilbert was in Back to Monkey Island implements its vision of the “true Monkey Island 3”. After all, the American developer, whom fans of the genre love adventure classics like manic mansion or the one released in 2017 Parc Thimbweed Guybrush invented Threepwood, but was only directly involved in the first two parts.

However, Gilbert decided differently, as “Return to Monkey Island” is a regular sequel, which includes all of Guybrush’s published adventures thus far as part of the series canon. Former Governor Elaine Marley has the clumsy wannabe pirate, since the end of The Curse of Monkey Island known, actually married. And characters introduced after Part 2, like the talking skull Murray, also celebrate their return in “Return to Monkey Island.”

Nevertheless, the events of later parts of the series only play a minor role overall. Apart from completely new locations such as the icy Caribbean island Brrr Muda (sic!), in “Return to Monkey Island” you will only visit locations that also appear in the first two parts of the series.

© Dévolver/Lucasfilm Games

Specifically, your journey begins on Booty Island, the ending of which is apparently still controversial among fans. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. In fact, Guybrush’s son and his pal Chuckie are just re-enacting that scene. At the end of the prologue, you meet the real Guybrush, slightly aged, who tells his offspring how he discovered the secret of Monkey Island, which has never been solved in any part of the series. So you’re replaying the events in flashbacks, so to speak, which begin on the island of Mêlée and thus the starting point for the first game.

One reference drives out the next

Of course, we don’t want to spoil you unnecessarily and therefore withhold details about the rest of the story. But still, this needs to be said: since you don’t have your own ship at the start of the game and can’t find one either, you can’t avoid signing on as a crew member with LeChuck. Her punt is initially anchored off Melee Island, but you can only board it if you disguise yourself as someone else.

Along the way, you will explore the island and visit a number of well-known places. The Governor’s Villa, for example, where Sword Master Carla now resides. Or the harbor scum bar, where you hope to meet the “important pirates” from Part 1, replaced by a new, even less useful trio.

Back to Monkey Island
© Dévolver/Lucasfilm Games

Of course, there’s still the Voodoo Lady’s shop, where you have the first chance to ask her name or whether the “shop closed” sign really indicates a final sale or is more like a store’s sales pitch. oriental rugs.

There are also places that are new, changed or no longer exist. For example, the hut of Guybrush’s former crew member, Meathook, has disappeared on Mêlée Island, while in the home of Captain Smirk, who introduced Guybrush to the art of insult swordsmanship in Part 1, a brand new character now runs a museum.

References to earlier parts of “Monkey Island” abound throughout. Otis, who plays no role in the plot itself, is back in prison and believes himself to be a victim of justice. The museum exhibits the coffin and oar that Guybrush used to get to the Voodoo Lady through the swamp in Part 2, or part of the map that led to Big Whoop’s treasure also sought in “Monkey Island 2.”

Back to Monkey Island
© Dévolver/Lucasfilm Games

Of course, Guybrush and the museum director, who tell a false story about almost every object, have something to say about it. Except for those familiar with the series, no one can overdo it. These references, and the nostalgia they inspire, are even reflected in many of the puzzles we’ll explore later.

It’s great for fans, and sometimes even helpful in fixing the problem. If you don’t know the (closer) predecessors, you’ll probably shrug your shoulders. This “problem” runs through the entire game. We don’t mean that those who don’t know the series won’t be able to do anything with “Return to Monkey Island”. However, the hints, especially in the first two parts, are so central to the gameplay experience that a sizable chunk of the appeal is lost for serial newbies or, in many situations, it doesn’t even open. not for them.

In other words: ‘Monkey Island’ immaculates are more likely to have less fun, especially since even those familiar with the series won’t be able to ignite all the hints and gags, some of which are quite superficial.

Back to Monkey Island
© Dévolver/Lucasfilm Games

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