Fall is in full swing, and as all gamers know, the barrage of games is just beginning to hit us. Pretty soon we’ll all be reveling in the goliath IPs set for release in just a few short weeks and months, inevitably losing days to such epics as Modern Warfare 2 and Dragon Age. Ever since E3, we here at Gamer Limit have been eagerly waiting this fall rush; I in fact caught Chris Carter drooling over the most recent Brutal Legends trailer. And boy, that wasn’t pretty.
But to help with this excessive salivation, Telltale Games gives us the third installment of their quirky five part graphic adventure series: Tales of Monkey Island. After two humorously solid episodes, can Telltale keep coming with the funny? Or does Lair of the Leviathan fall short on props and go down faster than Carrot Top doing…well, anything?
In his last episode, The Siege of Spinner Cay, we left Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate™, in the bowels of a giant manatee with famed bounty hunter Morgan LeFlay. Picking up at the cliffhanger, Lair of the Leviathan begins with Guybrush attempting to escape from the clutches of LeFlay, using his usual repertoire of “look behind yous” and insult sword fighting. Like the previous two episodes, you’ll have to use your ship’s surroundings to solve the first set of puzzles, acting as a tutorial for those who need a little point-and-click refresher.
To get down to it, this third episode is absurdly short. Although expected because of its episodic nature, the game’s length is atrocious; I sat down with the game and within an hour and a half, watched the credits scroll by with mouth gaping and eye twitching. Generally, a graphic adventure game’s length is affected by your puzzle solving abilities. The more difficult the puzzles, the longer it takes to complete the game.
However, in Leviathan, difficulty seems to be left with LeChuck’s rotting carcass. I don’t exactly consider myself a puzzle solving prodigy, but progressing through the game, every solution seemed to throw itself out in plain view as each clue was rather easy to figure out.
Though, where gameplay may be short, Telltale still keeps up with an entertaining and whimsical plot that’ll keep you laughing for the most part. The voice work remains up to par as well, delivering the well-crafted script with few to no hindrances, while keeping with the unique flare that the Monkey Island series offers.
In homage to the series’ roots, many nods are made to previous installments, as you’ll witness Guybrush hold his breath for ten minutes and the most loved, evil skull without appendages, Murray, returns for further torment at Guybrush’s expense.
I’ve mentioned previously that Tales of Monkey Island’s story is an enjoyable high point of the episodes, and episode three is no different. It continues with the same quirky twists and turns as the first two, though you’ll be confined to just four (five if you include the Narwhal, Guybrush’s ship) different screens.
This plays a big part in why the game falls short; only being able to explore four areas makes finding solutions a whole lot easier, though they are original and clever. Given the small space, character interaction is also limited to only six people, yet they hold a bit more depth than characters from the first two episodes.
Despite its ridiculously short playtime, Lair of the Leviathan fits in with the ongoing series, but its clearly a step backward from the first two. While the story remains stellar, the script continues to bring the laughs, and the music fits just right, its hard to look past the simple puzzles and limited settings.
Though it may not be the most challenging or longest graphic adventure, it does a sufficient job at continuing Tales of Monkey Island’s signature charm, and ultimately leaves the player wanting more of Guybrush’s shenanigans.
Though limited to just four areas, they are surprisingly vibrant and interesting, especially for the bowels of a manatee.
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Episode III is short on time, and short on challenge: don't be surprised if you finish this in one sitting.
Great voice acting accompanied by great music add to the unique flare of the series.
The shortest of the episodes by far, as this one clocks in at two hours or less, with nothing to do but wait until the next one.
Lair of the Leviathan is extremely short and not quite up to par in terms of difficulty, but its a generally solid continuation to the episodic series.