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Monkey Island To Return 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the chuckle-with-lechuck dept.
Briareos was one of several readers to write with news that TellTale Games, along with LucasArts, will be bringing new Monkey Island games later this year. Tales of Monkey Island will be a series of episodic games released for PC and WiiWare in the coming months, and The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition will be a remake of the original 1990 game, available on the PC and Xbox Live. A trailer is available for the former, and this is what the press release says about the latter: "The development team at LucasArts is bringing the game into the modern era with all-new HD graphics, a re-mastered musical score, full voiceover, and an in-depth hint system has been added to help players through the game's side-splitting puzzles. Purists will also delight in the ability to seamlessly switch between the updated HD graphics and the original's classic look." Grumpy Gamer has a nostalgic look back at the franchise.
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Monkey Island To Return

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  • Please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Azias (998326) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:56AM (#28179755)
    Please don't ruin it.
    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      Then dont play it. Dont watch the trailors, dont read the reviews. And definatly dont re-play the originals. It's the only way to prevent the nostalgia from being tainted.
      • Re:Please (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Per Wigren (5315) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:25AM (#28179965) Homepage

        Last time I replayed the originals was only about a year ago and they still ARE as good as I remembered them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        Then dont play it. Dont watch the trailors, dont read the reviews. And definatly dont re-play the originals. It's the only way to prevent the nostalgia from being tainted.

        The problem is, what we remember as a game will return as a product of the entertainment industry.

        LucasArts. *shudder*

        • Re:Please (Score:5, Informative)

          by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @09:58AM (#28181427)

          Lucasarts isn't making it. It's being made by Telltale Games, which is mainly composed of the same people who originally did all the good games from Lucasarts way back when.

          They are the same people who recently did two seasons of new beautiful episodic Sam & Max games and are gearing up for a third.

        • The problem is, what we remember as a game will return as a product of the entertainment industry.

          You only need to look at the production credits. The art. The writing. The music. The vocal talent.

          These are pros, man.

          You don't play "Grim Fandango" for the puzzles it offers.

          You play it for the stories it offers.

          It shone pale as bone,
          As I stood there alone.
          And I thought to myself,
          How the Moon that night,
          Cast its light,
          To my heart's true delight,
          On the reef,
          Where her body was strewn.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And definatly dont re-play the originals. It's the only way to prevent the nostalgia from being tainted.

        Could be true, if the games weren't as good as nostalgia tells you they were.

        But have you actually played Monkey Island recently? Still funny as hell, comic book graphics stand the test of time (imo) better
        than anything high-res 3D accelerated brought out in the 1998-2008 timeframe. The games are the peak of a genre.

        Btw. tainting nostalgia (for some) is not a boolean function. Say you'd revisit something like Dune 2. Today, the deficiencies are
        obvious. Yet, you can still have a bit of fun playing it. It's a

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by VGPowerlord (621254)

          Btw. tainting nostalgia (for some) is not a boolean function. Say you'd revisit something like Dune 2. Today, the deficiencies are
          obvious. Yet, you can still have a bit of fun playing it. It's a trade-off. Fun for (slightly) tainted memories.

          er... Dune 2 was already remade once with the Red Alert engine. See: Dune 2000 [wikipedia.org]. Then again, even the remake is over 10 years old...

          • by Jarlsberg (643324)
            Remeber Sierra? The last official remake they released of King's Quest 1 is now 19 years old. And I remember playing the original on my 286... I also played MI 1 on the Amiga. It was a wonderful game, and I'm guessing Telltale is going to do a good job remaking it :)
            • Telltale isn't remaking the original Monkey Island, LucasArts is. Telltale is working on Tales of Monkey Island.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by arevos (659374)

      TellTale have done very well with the Sam & Max games. If they're involved, I'm a lot more confident that this'll turn out well.

    • Re:Please (Score:5, Informative)

      by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:32AM (#28180495) Homepage

      Please don't ruin it.

      The "re-imagining" special edition looks like a slam-dunk. Same locations, same script, same puzzles - you can even toggle between the original presentation and the new one on the fly. They've re-recorded the dialogue, arranged the chip music for real instruments and recorded that, painted HD scenery and animated HD sprites.

      The video at http://www.lucasarts.com/games/monkeyisland/ [lucasarts.com] convinced me: this is something I want to pay money for.

      Conversely, Telltale's Sam & Max games were OK, but a pale reflection of the original LucasArts game, so I'm less excited about their new episodes of Monkey Island.

      • Re:Please (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Vintermann (400722) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @09:03AM (#28180811) Homepage

        I've never liked the animated look of "Curse" or these sequels. Guybrush should look like he could fit on the cover of an eighties pirate move cover, like this one:

        http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2702481152/tt0099816 [imdb.com]

        and indeed he does, on the original cover:

        http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/dos-games/1703-1.jpg [coverbrowser.com]

        Look at that haircut! It's cool, It's part of what makes him dorky. But as a cartoon character, it doesn't work. It's just another exaggregated feature.

        • by karstux (681641)

          I also think the cartoon graphics were a step backwards. Might be because the first two game's graphics were so coarse, imagination had to fill in, so to speak. And imagination usually does a very good job of it.

        • Totally, agreed TSoMI jumped the shark after TSoMI2 -- both in gameplay and graphics.

          Looks like wikipedia has already been updated:
          * Original Cover [wikimedia.org]
          * Special Edition [wikimedia.org]

          Is there a specific name for the style of art that the first two had? (Besides Good :)

        • by westlake (615356)

          I've never liked the animated look of "Curse" or these sequels.

          You'd be in the minority, I think.

          Reviewers at the time had nothing but praise for character design, art and animation that wouldn't have looked out of place in an A-list animated feature.

      • by Kokuyo (549451)

        The new episodes didn't look fun either. But I agree, the remake will get my money. This is one thing I am certainly not going to 'pirate' ;).

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by slodan (1134883)
        It's interesting how different our reactions are to this news. I loved all three of the Monkey Island games. To me, re-issuing a game with updated graphics is money-grubbing, plain and simple.

        The episodic content has potential, but I'm not sold by default. LucasArts must convince me that they still have the writing chops for comedy of Monkey Island caliber.
    • Re:Please (Score:5, Funny)

      by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:56AM (#28180745)

      Just you wait. In this new version, Guybrush insults first.

    • The series was already nearly ruined with Escape from Monkey Island. Man, that game just pales in comparison to the others. I forced myself to beat it just so I had beaten them all.

      • by slim (1652)

        The series was already nearly ruined with Escape from Monkey Island. Man, that game just pales in comparison to the others.

        True, dat.

    • they recruited Tim Shafer to help manage the project. He was there for MI 1 + 2. This guy had a talent for helping producing some of Lucas Art's more creative adventure games: Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and Full Throttle ... skip the last one, they force him to do that. Since Lucas Arts killed their adventure games department and focused on rehashing Star Wars themes, its been hard for me to get excited about anything they announce lately, as it's probably motivated by money more than anything else
  • Second best (Score:5, Funny)

    by D-Cypell (446534) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:58AM (#28179773)

    Wow! This is the second best slashdot article I have ever seen!

  • 'Nuf said. The controls from W&G were a huge step backward from Sam&Max, I hope they don't do that to a game in a traditionally mouse-driven series...

    • Actually they were more than ok if you played them with a Gamepad, as for mouse driven, they were not ideal, but far from the broken controls Grim Fandang, Dreamfall, or MI4 had.
      I personally even liked it more with a gamepad because it allowed me to play W&G in the livingroom sitting on a sofar with the laptop being in front of me and the gamepad being plugged in.

  • by ardor (673957) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:02AM (#28179801)

    You fight like a dairy farmer!

  • by Daemonax (1204296) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:06AM (#28179833)
    If they mess this up there will be many people who will want to roll through the gates of hell carrying the developers heads on a spike... While they use their arm to pat kittens of course.
    • by Bashae (1250564) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:21AM (#28179933)

      One of the original designers, the original composer and a few other members of the original team, plus the voice cast from games 3 and 4, are in this game's development team.

      I'm hopeful.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MrNiCeGUi (302919)

        I'm not. The S&M episodes have been getting worse since Season 2. The studio is just pumping "product" on a very tight schedule and damn the torpedoes. This is not a medium that would induce quality.

        Also the fact that Lucas Arts chose another studio to produce the games, instead of making them themselves, show that this is not a "return to roots" for them, only another management initiative to get more money from old IP.

        • by Bashae (1250564)

          All the people who used to work on these great games left LucasArts. I very much prefer to have a game developed by people with experience and emotional attachment to the previous ones. Also, it looks like this has been in the works for a while.

          I'm not that crazy about Sam and Max in first place, and it's a different game, with different expectations and scheduled differently. Wasn't the new episodic game made for GameTap? I know from my experience with Uru Live that GameTap demands speed above everything a

          • by Bashae (1250564)

            Also, sorry for double posting, but remember that the previous Monkey Island games are divided in self-contained "chapters", usually each being an island or ship. I think this makes conversion to episode format easy, although admittedly I'd also prefer to have just one full game...

          • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:21AM (#28180399)
            All the people who used to work on these great games left LucasArts. I very much prefer to have a game developed by people with experience and emotional attachment to the previous ones.

            Very true. And didn't most of those people go on to form TellTale Games? So with TellTale developing this, aren't you getting exactly what you want?
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:11AM (#28180303) Journal
          I enjoyed the Monkey Island series, but I think Grim Fandango is the best game in this genre that I've played. I'm very glad they never made a sequel to it - it was a great stand-alone game but didn't leave any loose ends that needed tying up. Much as I enjoyed the Monkey Island games, I'm not sure that they need more sequels. I'd rather see more original games in the same style but with new settings or characters.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by LKM (227954)

            When playing a game like Monkey Island, you really kind of fall in love with the characters and want to see what they're up to. The ending of Monkey Island 2 especially made me want to see what Ron Gilbert would come up with next, where he would send my pirate pals in their next adventure.

            And some games are so good that you simply want to keep playing them even when they're over.

            I'm all for new IPs and original games, but I'm also very, very happy that we're going to get some new Monkey Island, and I truly

          • by Kokuyo (549451)

            Grim Fandango was boring as hell, in my opinion... then again, it might have been due to the German translation... still I am and remain a faithful MI fanboy.

          • by Spit (23158)

            Wallace and Gromit.

    • by bugi (8479)

      I want my Dungeon Keeper back! :(

    • by Per Wigren (5315)

      roll through the gates of hell

      Can I call you Bob?

  • A Classic ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGreatDonkey (779189) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:07AM (#28179835)
    Guybrush Threepwood: Well, if there's one thing I've learned, it's this: never pay more than 20 dollars for a computer game.
    Elaine: What's that?
    Guybrush Threepwood: Never mind. I don't know why I said that.
  • I'm doubly thrilled at this announcement; first because I love the first two Monkey Island games, and second because it's been so long since Telltale's Sam and Max Season 2 ended and I miss playing episodic adventure games with my wife. None of Telltale's series since Sam and Max interested us so Monkey Island is doubly appreciated for finally filling the void!

    These Telltale adventures are the perfect activity to enjoy with a loved one. They're clever and funny and have great stories, plus the frustrating bits are that much easier when you put two heads together on a puzzle. My wife and I would always count the days until the next Sam and Max episode, so I did not hesitate to preorder the Monkey Island season the moment I learned heard this announcement last night (plus I got a free game of my choice from their site last night for doing so).

    Telltale is a studio I put my full faith into, and in my 24 years of PC gaming that's been a very rare thing for me to say. Their games are well programmed, the art style is creative and attractive, and the writing is consistently outstanding. I also love that you can get a very attractive DVD of the season plus some extras for free (plus about $7 shipping) if you own the digtal download season.

    Now please excuse me - I'm off to practise my insult swordfighting.

    • Ever heard of them? Lucasgames/arts? Were one good too, made quality games, treated their customers rights etc etc. Then management happened. For me the rot set in when a Star Wars game had a third party logo in it.

      So Telltale for me is good, for as long as they are good.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Ever heard of them? Lucasgames/arts? Were one good too, made quality games

        Just to illustrate; Tie Fighter, one of the best-loved games of all time, followed X-Wing and was actually an improvement; by most accounts XvT is either better or about the same, and came still later. Meanwhile, Star Wars: Battlefront II has less and usually smaller maps than the original. Having sequels superior to first releases is a sign of a healthy game company. When the sequels are inferior it's clear that management is pushing stuff out the door.

      • Not to nitpick, but the original Tie Fighter games were actually made by a third party, so its kind of always been like that :)

    • No kidding about some of those puzzles needing two people as one of my friends back in late 91 or
      early 92 had this game and I was around on occasion, just hanging out before getting addicted to
      this game.

      The recipe for getting to the Island was something that drove us nuts because it was so devious
      and clever: pressed/flat skull = jolly roger, "one or more of the following {chemicals} = Capt.
      Crunch (final ingredient that got the cauldron going).

      Getting off the boat...sheesh...Guybrush's "I need a helmet"...da

  • I remember this being released on the Amiga computer. The second best game of this era was Zack McCrackin and the teenage mind benders!

    Long live the Amiga!

    • by Faw (33935)

      U mean Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders [wikipedia.org]. I never finished that one or Maniac Mansion.

      • by nkh (750837)
        I was 8 when I finished Maniac Mansion, 9 for Zak McKracken (I had to draw the maps for the Mars and Peruvian temples). Now I'll say this to you once, not twice, just once: go finish both those games right now!
      • by Per Wigren (5315)

        I did. And I recorded it. [youtube.com] :-)

        I did finish the Amiga version back in the days also, though I had to cheat a few times by reading the "hint" sections of (paper) computer magazines...

  • The second video shows gameplay, and it looks like it's very true to the original. I'm going to stay positive on this one, given that I need excuses to buy more games for my Wii... ;)

  • No nostalgia here either, i recently installed ScummVM on a nokia 770 tablet, and replayed all the monkey Islands, they were absolutely fantastic. There are a lot of good handheld games these days too, but nothing comes close to the level of comedy or cinematics as did Monkey Island.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONmmlOJzE5E [youtube.com]

    So good!

  • by dzfoo (772245)

    Will someone cut George Lucas' hands already so that he cannot mess with our childhood memories any more? Geez!

            -dZ.

  • "According to LucasArts, these efforts are "just the start of LucasArts' new mission to revitalize its deep portfolio of beloved gaming franchises.""

    Come on guys, give us Grim Fandango 2. Seriously, the original is my favorite game of all time.

    • by Archon-X (264195)

      This is, without a doubt, the greatest game of all time.
      The graphics, the soundtrack, the story. Simply - amazing.

    • "According to LucasArts, these efforts are "just the start of LucasArts' new mission to revitalize its deep portfolio of beloved gaming franchises.""

      Come on guys, give us Grim Fandango 2. Seriously, the original is my favorite game of all time.

      As much as I loved Grim Fandango, I wouldn't want to see a sequel per-se. I do think a game set in the same universe would work though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slim (1652)

      My inner nostalgia freak wants a HD remake of Day of the Tentacle. I'd enjoy replaying it, without the distraction of the creaky old graphics.

      Plus I like the idea that a new generation could experience its joys.

      • by asdf7890 (1518587)

        My inner nostalgia freak wants a HD remake of Day of the Tentacle. I'd enjoy replaying it, without the distraction of the creaky old graphics.

        I replayed DOTT a while ago and I can't say the graphics were a problem at all. In fact I'd go as far as saying that they were part of the "charm".

        I might have to get SCUMMVM installed on my netbook and shovel a copy over for the train journeys over the coming months (or I might just read a book...).

        Plus I like the idea that a new generation could experience its joys.

        Aye, the new generation might not put up with low-res cell-animated-cartoon-style graphics. But they are too busy mussin' up my lawn to care anyway...

        • SCUMMVM's graphics filtering does wonders to smoothe out the blocky graphics when playing at high resolution. If you showed a 10-year-old the original version running on SCUMMVM with 3x scaling I bet they'd never guess how old the game is.

          • by slim (1652)

            Filters can work wonders, but they can't turn this [eurogamer.net] into this [eurogamer.net].

            (notwithstanding the user comment on Eurogamer that the new screens look like something from someone's Deviantart account)

      • I agree with this 100%. I'd wager it would take relatively minimal effort to redo the art at higher resolution and upscale the locations to widescreen. DOTT is absolutely timeless.

        I replayed it recently using SCUMMVM on my Gameboy DS (full talkie version) and it was a perfect game for the mobile platform. I'd gladly have repurchased it for that platform if only it were on sale!

      • Creaky old graphics? PLay the talkie Macintosh version of Day of the Tentacle sometime with the Graphic Smoothing option turned on. As gorgeous as a real cartoon.
  • by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:35AM (#28180531) Homepage

    Many readers of TFA won't realise that 'Grumpy Gamer' is Ron Gilbert, one of the creative geniuses behind Monkey Island. His blog post is fascinating.

  • Quotes (Score:2, Informative)

    by skyriser2 (179031)

    "That pig shaped bush frightens and confuses me."
    - Guybrush Threepwood, Escape from Monkey Island

    "That's the second biggest monkey head I've ever seen."
    - Guybrush Threepwood, Escape from Monkey Island

    "Somehow I knew that in hell there would be mushrooms."
    - Guybrush Threepwood, Monkey Island

    http://www.quoteaddict.com/ [quoteaddict.com]

  • yes I know we all hate these, but this time it's worth it

    In Soviet Russia, Monkey Island returns to YOU!

    (I can't find a proper link, but there was a VERY old release called "Return To Monkey Island", for the Apple II etc)

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.

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