Review by do_mi_no

"Now THIS is how a point and click adventure should be made!"

I've been playing the Monkey Island games since the dawn of the series and seen its ups and downs. With the genre nearly dead, I was once worried I'd never see another Monkey Island game ever again. Telltale Games has come to save the day, providing us with a new adventure with Guybrush. I had my doubts in the beginning as to whether releasing a story in chapters instead of a full game would work or whether or not the 3D would make gameplay awkward, but Telltale has given the series a proper resurrection that gets better with every chapter.

Gameplay: I play the Tales of Monkey Island series on the Wii (I'd like to play it on PC, where the games are cheaper and chapter releases are sooner, but my computer is a piece of junk; if you're in the same situation, the Wii version does not disappoint). The controls are comfortable with the Wii remote, which suits the point-and-click genre perfectly: just point the remote to interact with Guybrush's environment. The nunchuck makes walking/running easy. Playing without the nunchuck is awkward and a bit uncomfortable, but you don't have to unless you lost your nunchuck or have masochistic tendencies.

The gameplay of this chapter has a fun mix of the usual puzzles combined with conversational puzzles. Unique to this chapter is the courthouse, where you get to play as a defense attorney to prove Guybrush innocent. As a fan of a certain other puzzle-y series where you play as an attorney, I had a lot of fun with this one.

The puzzles are made more fun by the ability to combine items you find into new and useful objects. The item combination option made the game more fun to me than Telltale's Sam and Max revival, where you just had to use items you found as-is. I'm glad the option was brought back for the Monkey Island series; the series just wouldn't be right without its ridiculous item combinations.

The one downside to the puzzley goodness that this chapter had, though, was it was a bit too easy. Creative puzzles, but some of them were way too easy and obvious. This was the first chapter of the Tales of Monkey Island set that I didn't get stuck in. One puzzle's solution was so obnoxiously blatant that I had my face in my palm: there was a note randomly on the ground basically telling you exactly what to do even though the game had placed so many subtle hints throughout the game that a little problem solving would have done the trick and felt more rewarding. The lower difficulty level, however, did not keep this chapter from being even more enjoyable than those before it.

Sound: Relaxing music. Not the greatest soundtrack ever, by any means, but the music is pleasant. Nice and tropical. The voice acting is amazing-- some of the best I've ever heard in a game. The guy playing Guybrush Threepwood is as amazing as always, delivering each line in such an interesting manner that you can't help but click and re-click on every little item that you can possibly examine even if you know that the clicking won't advance the plot.

Graphics: Cartoony but attractive 3D with well-designed character models. Their faces are especially expressive and well-animated. Looks very nice for a title that is not only a Wii title (face it: as far as graphics go it's the ugly little sister of its console generation) but it's also a downloadable Wiiware game. In fact, looks better than most other Wii games I've played off a disc.

Plot: Here was the big shocker for me: the plot had me on the edge of my seat! I usually play the Monkey Island series without any emotional involvement or great attachment to the goofy adventure that is going on, but events in this Monkey Island revival actually managed to pull at my heart and make me feel genuinely concerned about the characters. I felt pulled into the story and the pirate-y world around me. This chapter has unexpected twists around every corner. The cliffhanger at the end was perfect for making me salivate for the next chapter.

As with previous chapters of the series, the writing is top-notch. Some of the best you will find in the wide world of gaming. This game is hilarious and the writing is clever and full of all of the delicious subtle humor and wordplay that the series is famous for.

Overall: Yup, giving it a 10 out of 10. Not because it's the best game on the planet, but because it's the best of its kind. It excels both as a WiiWare title and as a point-and-click adventure: it's the best point-and-click adventure I've played since the genre made a shy leap into 3D. Well worth the $10 I spent (it's even cheaper for those of you playing the PC version!). That's, like... the price of a movie and a bag of popcorn. This game will entertain you for about three times longer than the movie and you won't even have to leave the comfort of your couch. Definitely gets a 10 for making me walk away feeling like I got every penny's worth of what I spent.

Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/13/10

Game Release: Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood (US, 11/30/09)

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