I mentioned this in my Monday MUpdate, but unfortunately my Monday MUpdate's tend to be long and full of (sometimes) incoherent ranting, so I'm never offended when people admit they don't bother to read it. However, this bit of news is news that I find entirely relevant and worth it's own post in order to announce it, so I will do so:
On July 15th, the Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition will come to XBOX Live! and Steam (on the PC) for only 10 dollars (or 800mp).
With the new Tales Of Monkey Island games coming exclusively to PC and Wii (of which I have formally stated time and time again that I refuse to ever buy), I'll miss out on all the new adventures of Guybrush Threepwood, a pirate who puts Captain Jack Sparrow to shame. It's in that fact that I am ten times more excited to be able to get this game for as little as $10 and be given a new way to enjoy an all time favorite. This game utilizes the exact same script as the first one, but now features full voice casting, a rerecorded soundtrack, and a virtual makeover. I personally am very excited over all of that, but I feel that since I am the resident cynic of BGE, I should note the downsides to all of this. It's great that they are using the original script, and I can see nothing wrong with that, but obviously when re-doing some of the other parts you lose a little bit of the original charm. There will be no more bleeps and bloops but now fully recorded strings by some professional orchestra. Guybrush's 8-bit antics will now be brought more to life, but does that neccesarily make it better? We know for a fact that there is a market for classic games in their original format as we've seen games on Live! such as Doom, Mortal Kombat 3, and even the brand new Mega Man 9 was produced to represent the original style. However, as an advocate for this game, I fully endorse what they've done despite my natural cynical nature. Sure, I may have small complaints about what the character models look like, but on the other hand, the whole point of this remake was to give it a new look, and while obviously not all remakes are worth while (Bionic Commando, anyone?), it's an obvious risk to take when bringing something like this to a new market.
Monkey Island, to me, is the absolute definition of classic gaming. I've played this games so many different times throughout my various stages of youth that the events in this game are somewhat branded in my mind. The three sequels I'll admit to only ever playing once, but the first one was something that I found had endless replayability, especially because after a year or two of not playing it I'd forget how to solve all the puzzles and it would in turn become hard again. Games that make you really sit down and think and take notes are a definitive thing of the past, replaced with glitzy and hi-def animated action games that are very capable with the presentation but lack substance. Monkey Island is not as flashy as modern games, but I feel that the things most missing in modern gaming are adventure games like this. Sure, we have all the games that Tell Tale provides, but those aren't all accessible on consoles. I'll never get the opportunity to play the Bone games because I own a Mac, and that's unfortunate. However, with what little consolation I'm given, I feel that I need to make the best of it.
So while I myself will not be able to purchase Monkey Island the day of (if only due to monetary constraints), I most certainly highly recommend this game to any and all. If you liked Sam And Max Save The World, this game is right up your alley. If you are tired of the humdrum stereotypical run around and shoot things type of game, this is right up your alley. If you're just looking for a great game with LOADS of laughs (we're talking legitimate r.o.t.f.l.y.f.a.o. funny here), then go ahead and grab Monkey Island. What do you have to lose? $10? You can get that back easily. So go on, get it. I'll be here. We can discuss it afterwards, possibly over a nice coffee or something. You can drink the coffee, I'll just sit there. I can't drink coffee. It puts me to sleep. There's something weird in my brain with that. But I love talking, and I love talking about Monkey Island, so you go get the game, I'll go grab you a coffee, and we can sing the theme song in harmony in our local Starbucks for the rest of the evening. Deal? Deal.