I can see how Monkey Island 2 killed off adventure games the first time around.
That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but having just finished the sequel to Secret of Monkey Island, I understand how people were put off by adventure games and their quirks. I personally have no desire to play the other two “classic” Monkey Island games and will probably move onto Telltale’s more modern Tales of Monkey Island series thanks to Monkey Island 2.
I listened to the audio commentary included in this Special Edition release and Tim Schafer and/or Ron Gilbert admitted that they wanted this sequel to be longer, bigger and generally more game than the original. While all nice things, these desires ultimately hurt the game.
Monkey Island 2 was incredibly long winded with a lot of wandering and traveling. Even with the help of the universal hint system, I was watching Guybrush do a lot of walking between the three islands.
I wasn’t fond of the three islands. They weren’t nearly as charming or memorable as the first game’s. I would have been happier with one giant island as it would have cutdown on number of visits to the damn boat and map screen.
I tried playing through the game without the hint system, but somewhere during the second chapter, I lost interest and gave up. It would take a couple of months before I returned with renewed determination and a bucket full of “I don’t give a damn”. With this second wind, I abused the hell out of the hint system. I just wanted to see the end.
I’m not sure if it was the hints or not, but it seemed like the game was becoming more enjoyable as I progressed. Once I collected all the silly map pieces, the game became much more focused.
My two favorite scenes include figuring out how to escape death by acid bath and running between the rooms to collect ingredients to build a voodoo doll of LeChuck. They were both time sensitive scenarios which I didn’t think was kosher in the adventure game genre.
So while the last couple of hours of Monkey Island 2 were entertaining, it did not make up for the first seven hours. Sure, the music was pleasant and there were bits of funny dialog, but they were all washed away by the tidal wave of monotony.
For more information on Monkey Island 2 Special Edition, visit the official website.