Gamer Limit Banner

talesofmi_ch2_guybrush_elaine

Since we last left Guybrush Threepwood in Telltale Games’ first piece of episodic content, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, fans of the series and newcomers alike have been aching for Tales of Monkey Island’s next voyage into the laugh inducing and voodoo inspired world. The first episode proved that Telltale had enough swashbuckling intrigue to revive the series and appease the fans, while appealing to an entire new generation of gamer.

Now, after six weeks of waiting, The Siege of Spinner Cay has appeared on the horizon, ready to continue where wannabe pirate Guybrush was left in a familiar life-threatening pickle. Can Telltale keep it fresh and entertaining? Or has the scurvy set in too heavily?

As the game launches, the famed fat voodoo lady appears on screen to recap the first episodes’ events in typical vague, fortuneteller fashion. Guybrush Threepwood is now captain of the Screaming Narwhal after escaping Flotsam Island and the lunatic Doctor DeSinge, but now finds himself looking down the wrong end of a sword, thanks to pirate hunter Morgan LeFlay. One thing I admire about Tales is the truly unique story that the first two episodes have introduced and begun to flesh out so well, but not straying far from the series’ roots.

The second episode hurls the player face first into the plot, with Guybrush losing his Pox infected hand and struggling to think of a way out of his predicament. You’ll have to use the ship’s surroundings and your ol’ noggin to defeat LeFlay, all without your trusted skills as an insult swordsman. The game also uses this beginning scene to re-familiarize the player with the controls. As awkward as they may seem at first, they eventually become comfortable, and necessary, to retain the experience of a classic graphic adventure game in a 3D world.

talesofmi_ch2_swordpoint

By utilizing the ship, Telltale keeps the puzzle adventuring fresh, making use of your positioning to your advantage, rather than frantically combining items in your inventory while you think of a solution. Though fun, repetitive use of any game mechanic gets old, and the simple inventory combination is no exception. Its refreshing to see an adventure game that not only remains true to the genre’s roots, but strives for innovation as well.

However, there will be times where frantic item combinations will occur, but whats an adventure game without a little friendly frustration? At certain points though, where Spinner Cay was meant to be brain-racking, it just simply wasn’t quite up to par. I breezed through the first half of the game, encountering only minor setbacks while Guybrush kept me continuously chuckling as I traversed the Jerkbait Islands. Yet the second half proved to be more challenging, making me sit back in my chair and think quite a bit. These challenges were very few though, as this episode was easier than the first.

talesofmi_ch2_trenchfoot_hardtack

Although the varying degree of difficulty may annoy some, the humor (a staple of the series) does not take a turn for the worse. The writing is superb and delivered relatively flawlessly by the voicing cast. It keeps all of the “Everyone 10+” audience laughing and entertained throughout the episode, even referencing some of Guybrush’s more unique talents.

To accompany the game’s unrivaled sense of humor, Telltale Games creates some impressively colorful and fitting backgrounds that add to, if not create, many of the jokes throughout the episode. The less-than-piratey antics of the crew and the fantastic surroundings compliment each other well, and help make the lackluster supporting character models seem a bit more intriguing.

Tales of Monkey Island: The Siege of Spinner Cay offers an enthralling adventure experience that is hard to come by: an experience, however, that is not without its problems. This second episode is quite short, clocking in around 2 to 3 hours, depending on your puzzle solving skills, and is generally easier than the first installment. However, what we lose in slight challenge and length, we gain in story and character development. We know more of the Pox and how to cure it, as well as receiving some much needed background stories.

The Siege of Spinner Cay will most likely not be the best episode in the series, but its still a fun continuation to a five episode set. And hey, if you played the first one, you’re already in for $35.00. So, seven bucks aint too bad for an episode, eh?

Rating Category
8.0 Presentation
The artwork for the backgrounds worked very well with the game. The supporting character models were a little bland, however.
How does our scoring system work?
8.0 Gameplay
There are no big changes to the fundamental gameplay, and none were expected. Telltale's interesting solutions utilizing one's surrounding kept the game fresh.
9.0 Sound
Quality music was a nice touch to the island settings, complimenting the nearly flawless voice work.
5.0 Longevity
Episode 2 was quite short, even for episodal content standards. And once you're done, all there is to do is wait for the next one.
7.8 Overall
The Siege of Spinner Cay is not as good as the first episode, but still worthy of carrying the Monkey Island name.

  1. avatar Velerad

    A 9 to sound??? Telltale ruined the sound by compressing it too much, one person out of five can hear voice problems like constant “lisping” (depends on personal physical ability to hear high- and low- frequency sounds)
    Check the TTG forum, the number of complains is amazing.

  2. @Velerand
    Really? That’s lame. I think Chris M. chose a 9.0 for sound because of the fact that the voice actors all fit, and the actual musical arrangements were quality.

  3. avatar Velerad

    Well, I think it’s lame to put a 9 for the wonderful voice actors I can hardly hear! I mean, check the thread http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8586
    95 complains and it’s only one thread out of 3 similar ones. And most people agree that it’s the worst quality of audio they’ve had among all TTG games.

  4. Actually, Telltale had said that the music and sound wasn’t complete just yet, at least in the copy that I had, I did not take they’re known problems into account when conducting my review. Not to mention I didn’t even notice the problems that Velerad and his linked thread expressed, I guess my ears have lost the ability to here that frequency.

    I never had a problem hearing the voice actors, and thought they were superb in they’re delivery of the awesome script used throughout the game.

  5. Quality was down however. If you want the most obvious example, listen closely when you talk to Elaine up in the Spinner Cay throne room. All the “s” sounds snap, crackle and pop.

    BTW @Velerad, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who noticed this, thought maybe I was just getting a bit picky :)

  6. avatar ArgentGamers

    oh wow, i tought it was my computer (the elaine voice quality at the throne room)

    if that’s a common problem then i have to say that this episode sound is really bad and i had more sound problems lika that
    even on music and voices

  7. avatar grog

    This episode had a conspicuous lack of actual puzzles. It’s more like a slightly interactive movie. Whilst it contains loads of dialog (which is the only thing that keeps this episode from “clocking in” at 12 minutes) there is little for the gamer to do but choose dialog options.

    Interesting story?–sure! Dialog … passable. And it sure is purty to look at but adventure? This chapter contains little to no actual adventure. It’s on par with a FMV.

  8. avatar Rick

    To be honest I never experienced any obvious sound issues either. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist of course, but when I played through this episode, no probs with sound. I agree this episode was too short though, and I didn’t find the locations very inspiring, but I still enjoyed it. I’m hoping that the next episode(s) have more ‘meat on the bones’ though.

  9. avatar Alysa

    I am no longer certain where you’re getting your information, however good topic.
    I must spend some time finding out more or understanding more.

    Thank you for fantastic info I used to be looking for this information for my mission.

    my weblog :: free website traffic generator software

Leave a Reply