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Return To Monkey Island - MI2 sequel from Ron Gilbert

Darkozric

Arbiter
Edgy
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Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,710
I just finished watching this on YT. Here is my analytical review.


 

Morpheus Kitami

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May 14, 2020
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This discussion is cute but kinda pointless. I mean this kind of discussions could have had a meaning if they were about to be taken into consideration by modern devs.
Although Modern devs don't give a flying fuck about deaths, dead ends, hard puzzles and feedback. It's like as if all of you entered in a time capsule and "fighting" each other about your fav adventure/mechanical tropes.
It could be useful for adventure codex devs but they are few here.
I appreciate it. I mean, I'm probably not ever going to be a commercial dev, but I am planning on remaking an obscure older adventure. One that got lost to time thanks to ugly flight sim-esque graphics and a bizarre control scheme. It was very open-ended, so this conversation about dead ends is very useful. Removing dead ends would remove what made the game good and the idea of a fan remake is to at least try making the game better...
Speaking as someone who was interested in it once upon a time, it is an absolute pain to get running. And by pain, I meant that back when I tried playing it the game just wouldn't run.
I downloaded the GOG version and this thing is hilariously unacceptable. I'm on W7 and the game crashes after the intro. I tried everything, all the compatibilities and even the 4G memory patch.

Every time it crashes I laugh like a maniac while wondering why the fuck are they selling this shit! Would you buy a TV if it was only capable to show a black screen?

Even if I manage to find a solution, I'm pretty sure it will fuck me later. It reminded me of Prelude to Darkness, but at least with that game I was able to play a few hours before I gave up.

Anyway, nuke it from orbit.
I was going to bring up the PS3 version, but someone else did. Funny how at least the console versions seem playable. I think when I last tried it I was on Windows 8, frankly its a miracle the game ever worked at all long enough for people to release it...I assume.
 

Morpheus Kitami

Liturgist
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
2,586
but I am planning on remaking an obscure older adventure
Which one?
If you feel like torturing yourself, its Galactic Empire. It doesn't look like one of course, but that's part of the reason why its been forgotten, in addition to those aspects I named. Oh, and its a pain to get running too, since it doesn't work in regular DOSbox last I checked. Guess that's one of the things my theoretical remake would fix.
 

Maxie

Wholesome Chungus
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Glory to Ukraine
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I finished the game. Someone in the thread said the fourth act was the best part of the game. I agree with that.

Overall, the game is not horrible. But I can't call it good either. Not very funny, not very pretty, not very clever, not very challenging. Not a good game, on the whole.

Often authors who are asked to write a sequel say they will only do it if they have a really good idea. I don't think there is such an idea behind this game.

In the secret letter at the end of the game, Ron writes that such an idea was a desire to reflect on the theme of being a has-been, on nostalgia, on trying to relive the past, etc. That sounds promising. And some hints of this theme are evident in the course of the game. But what's the message? Should we stop trying to relive the past? Stop being nostalgic? Why make this game at all then? It's literally parasitic on nostalgia. Moreover, it doesn't feel like Guybrush is really letting go of his past at the end. Maybe it's a game about the inability to let go of the past? A tragicomedy? But does it work as a tragicomedy? It didn't feel that way to me.

I also didn't like the collapse of the game into allegorical nonsense by the finale. In fact, it's about time someone declared that the allegories are overrated. At least pure allegories that completely ruin the entire narrative. You want an allegory, first make your story work on a basic level. Make sure it's coherent and interesting, with a normal ending. And then on top of that, create an allegorical level of interpretation. Now that's a work of art.

RtMI begins as a normal (comical and not very serious, of course) story, but then it rolls into pure allegory at the end and completely stops working as a normal narrative. It's worse than the hated MI2 ending. At least there was a final fight first, and the mindfuck ending had some intrigue and humor. Here there is no final confrontation, no intrigue, just the artsy-fartsy show-off. What was LeChuck's arc all about? At first we are hinted that he is a mirror of Guybrush. But where does he end up? Are his choices different? Was he unable to let go of the past and his obsession (the secret of Monkey Island? his love for Elaine? his revenge on Guybrush)? What is the point of this scene with the attraction turning off at the end? Is Guybrush symbolically letting go of his past?

Fuck this game.
wow is ends kinda like thimbleweed park
 

AdamReith

Magister
Patron
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
2,109
Enjoy the Revolution! Another revolution around the sun that is.
Sounds like Gilbert achieved his greatest wish.

MI2 will no longer have the worst ending in the franchise.

Will not be touching this with a stick, Monkey Island is pure and good to me and always will be. Telltale games were misguided fan games which is forgivable but this one has a more sinister air of feigned authenticity.
 

Neuromancer

Augur
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
1,238
The "action" sequences are very weird and feel almost tacked on just so you can shoot zombie like ghosts or escape from scary murder man, both of which may or may not be real (I theorized a bit because standard gun has infinite ammo, like it's just a finger gun used against imaginary foes).

That is exactly what happened.
The shooting sequences were added very late in production, because the publisher thought, the game would sell better in the west with these sequences included:

https://www.polygon.com/features/20...dly-premonitions-creator-on-making-a-good-bad
Like many fans, Gerstmann isn't shy about calling Deadly Premonition's gameplay "awful." Swery doesn't mind, though.

"The combat might not be as good, but that's because it's being compared with shooting games," he laments. "That's the wrong comparison. Deadly Premonition is not a shooting game. We might have been able to create much better combat, but that wasn't important to us. I'm OK with people not liking that part of the game." In fact, Swery says an early version of the game had no combat; it was added later at the request of a publisher who told them it would not sell in the Western market if there weren't guns.
Swery also notes that Deadly Premonition isn't the only game to feature combat in a secondary role. He mentions a recent release that he's played for over 100 hours despite finding the combat completely boring. Then he laughs sheepishly and asks me not to mention the game by name. For as much as his game gets singled out for its failings, he doesn't feel comfortable calling out another developer.
 

toughasnails

Guest
Eh iirc what turned out to be shooting segments were initially meant to be either all stealth or escape sections. Now the latter as they were in the released game weren't exactly liked to put it mildly but on the other hand no combat, stealth-only became p much dominant formula for horror games post Amnesia's success so I don't know if that direction would've made Deadly Premonition any less liked.
 

Hobo Elf

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Joined
Feb 17, 2009
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Platypus Planet
Finished the game and got what I came for which was spending more time with the fun characters and cartoony setting. While I wouldn't say that the ending is good it was still satisfying since it didn't end on another cliffhanger, and I thought the final scene with Elaine and Guybrush was sweet enough and teased the fact that the adventure was far from over while everything with this story was "resolved". By now I'm used to Ron's endings being bogus and you just have to accept that and try to make the most out of the journey itself. I do agree that even then the journey in Return does have its share of schizophrenia (why pretend like any of the characters matter or had motivation if they were just animatronics who would get no conclusion whatsoever, or even just quietly killed off screen despite being one of the most important characters?) It's a weird game. I enjoyed my time with it. It just ultimately failed to say anything about the themes of nostalgia and new vs old. I wouldn't be too surprised if the game's ending sequence was rushed and unfinished.
 

Star Citizen

Learned
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South Africa
Finished the game and got what I came for which was spending more time with the fun characters and cartoony setting. While I wouldn't say that the ending is good it was still satisfying since it didn't end on another cliffhanger, and I thought the final scene with Elaine and Guybrush was sweet enough and teased the fact that the adventure was far from over while everything with this story was "resolved". By now I'm used to Ron's endings being bogus and you just have to accept that and try to make the most out of the journey itself. I do agree that even then the journey in Return does have its share of schizophrenia (why pretend like any of the characters matter or had motivation if they were just animatronics who would get no conclusion whatsoever, or even just quietly killed off screen despite being one of the most important characters?) It's a weird game. I enjoyed my time with it. It just ultimately failed to say anything about the themes of nostalgia and new vs old. I wouldn't be too surprised if the game's ending sequence was rushed and unfinished.
Unexpected take back coming from you, so I'll definitely grab it and also I legit want to critique it myself
 

Fatberg Slim

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Q-Link
I can’t say I wasted my time playing the game - it exceeded the very low expectations I had going in. I’m mostly disappointed that the takeaway message is going to be that the audience wants more games like this, rather than like Thimbleweed Park which I enjoyed a lot more (but which also had an unsatisfying ending). This experience does make me want to replay CoMI and EfMI since I realized I remember very little about them, whereas I can recall most of MI1 and MI2 despite not having touched either of them in 30+ years.

A few other observations:
  • Puzzles were Tales-tier if you like that sort of thing, although IMO Tales had better dialogue and used it more effectively as part of puzzles. Many puzzles trees were solved in one or two fewer steps than I expected. An example involving the pirate museum: In Act I, you need to steal something that’s guarded by a parrot that you need to distract. It’s pretty easy to solve but hey, it’s still the beginning of the game and you don't want to scare people off. Much later in Act 4, you need to steal a different item from the same museum, and this time it’s guarded by two parrots! Surely we’re going to need a different approach here! Nope, you use the exact same item you used the first time to distract them both. Why even include this? Admittedly the item you steal isn’t actually the item you end up needing, but you do still need to steal it to advance the plot and the game doesn’t give any indication that this simplicity is intentional (e.g. by Guybrush saying: “No wonder that was so easy!”). Many such cases!
  • Lots of references to previous games shoehorned in, seemingly at random (was anyone dying to once again see the boat you used to reach the Voodoo Lady in MI2?) or without much effort to make a greater connection to previous games beyond using the same characters you see in every MI game. For example, in Act 3 on Monkey Island, the secondary antagonists capture you and throw you off the cliff where the catapult was in MI1. Of course, this was the scene of a funny gag in MI1 where Guybrush falls off the cliff and we see a Sierra-style death screen, but he bounces back up unharmed because he landed on a rubber tree. That would be great to reference here – maybe Guybrush could bounce up after everyone else leaves and say how he planned his escape that way because he remembered that tree (and make the player feel smart for remembering it too), or even make a wiseass remark about how he’s glad no one dies in “adventures” anymore. But no, he falls to the bottom of the cliff and is severely mangled, then somehow gets up and walks away with no real explanation. Why even have this scene? Why did I think about this so much? :cry:
  • Humor was OK, I chuckled a few times
  • The music was high quality if not particularly memorable. Always nice to hear a güiro :)
  • Did not like the meta ending. The writers could have made the exact same points while also including a satisfactory conclusion to the actual adventure we just finished
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,253
Finished this one just to see if it was as bad as it looked. It is mediocre, which is worse IMO. Graphics look terrible on human characters, but somewhat okay on monstrous one (except for Lechuck). Music is okay, but recycles music from the older games too much. Puzzles are easy, for good and bad (no "tell me what these fingers say!" puzzle at least) , and the humor is safer and not as nasty as it used to be.
The ending is as bad as mentioned before. Considering the variations, looks like Ronny tried to do everything at once and failed at everything, as it usually happens. It's incoherent and doesn't make sense on its own. Worse, it's a repeat of the thing of MI2 but it shows up without warning, build-up, or anything. Even worse, it won't make any sense if you didn't play the original games, and choosing the "didn't see anything!" option makes it even more incoherent as it's not clear WTF happened. Then Elaine's sudden comment about another potential adventure makes the entire message look even jankier.

What was Ronny trying to do here?

Also, Ronny never knew or forgot what was the deal about the ending of MI2, which was what I really wanted to know, and has one character say it was stupid and didn't make sense because it was just a game, hurr durr.

Perhaps it was rushed, as there's an entire mini-island of cut content you can find in-game (and Guy says so word for word).
Lastly, I like how Ronny said it was meant to be the last game of the series, but quickly changed his mind once the money started rolling in.
 

taxalot

I'm a spicy fellow.
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Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
but I am planning on remaking an obscure older adventure
Which one?
If you feel like torturing yourself, its Galactic Empire. It doesn't look like one of course, but that's part of the reason why its been forgotten, in addition to those aspects I named. Oh, and its a pain to get running too, since it doesn't work in regular DOSbox last I checked. Guess that's one of the things my theoretical remake would fix.
Holy shit dude.

I kept playing this game when I was 7. For hours. I literally can't wait.
 
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Pyke

The Brotherhood
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South Africa
4000 reviews in its first 2 weeks puts it at around $5 000 000 gross. It'll probably do double/triple that over the next few months and then carry on sellling at a steady pace for years. Hell, we still sell 2 copies a day of Stasis 7 years later. A game like RTMI will keep on going for decades.

It's not Walking Dead numbers, for for a 2D classic point and click that probably cost around $1000 000 to make (not sure what the licence fees were) - it's very much a success.
 

Morpheus Kitami

Liturgist
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
2,586
but I am planning on remaking an obscure older adventure
Which one?
If you feel like torturing yourself, its Galactic Empire. It doesn't look like one of course, but that's part of the reason why its been forgotten, in addition to those aspects I named. Oh, and its a pain to get running too, since it doesn't work in regular DOSbox last I checked. Guess that's one of the things my theoretical remake would fix.
Holy shit dude.

I kept playing this game when I was 7. For hours. I literally can't wait.
Posts like this are why I love this forum. I'm serious, its always neat bringing up some obscure game I've played in the past couple of years, and then someone chimes in about how it was like playing it back in the day. Its a confirmation that someone actually played it at the time and its not just played exclusively by people taking a lawnmower approach to games years later.
 

Boleskine

Arcane
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
4,045
ReMI has been nominated for two Golden Joystick awards, and Terrible Toybox is nominated for studio of the year.

Go forth and vote for it, retro fascists.

https://www.gamesradar.com/elden-ri...ng-opens-for-the-golden-joystick-awards-2022/

Best Storytelling:
  • IMMORTALITY
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • NORCO
  • I Was A Teenage Exocolonist
  • Wayward Strand

PC Game of the Year:
  • Neon White
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker
  • Teardown
  • Total War: Warhammer 3
  • Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters

Studio of the Year:
  • Roll7
  • Terrible Toybox
  • Half Mermaid
  • FromSoftware Inc.
  • Interior / Night
  • Tribute Games
 

mindx2

Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter
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Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
ReMI has been nominated for two Golden Joystick awards, and Terrible Toybox is nominated for studio of the year.

Go forth and vote for it, retro fascists.

https://www.gamesradar.com/elden-ri...ng-opens-for-the-golden-joystick-awards-2022/

Best Storytelling:
  • IMMORTALITY
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • NORCO
  • I Was A Teenage Exocolonist
  • Wayward Strand

PC Game of the Year:
  • Neon White
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker
  • Teardown
  • Total War: Warhammer 3
  • Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters

Studio of the Year:
  • Roll7
  • Terrible Toybox
  • Half Mermaid
  • FromSoftware Inc.
  • Interior / Night
  • Tribute Games
I recognize none of these games or studios (well, maybe FromSoftware) except for RtMI and just because it was such decline. :negative:
 

Morpheus Kitami

Liturgist
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
2,586
ReMI has been nominated for two Golden Joystick awards, and Terrible Toybox is nominated for studio of the year.

Go forth and vote for it, retro fascists.

https://www.gamesradar.com/elden-ri...ng-opens-for-the-golden-joystick-awards-2022/

Best Storytelling:
  • IMMORTALITY
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • NORCO
  • I Was A Teenage Exocolonist
  • Wayward Strand

PC Game of the Year:
  • Neon White
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker
  • Teardown
  • Total War: Warhammer 3
  • Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters

Studio of the Year:
  • Roll7
  • Terrible Toybox
  • Half Mermaid
  • FromSoftware Inc.
  • Interior / Night
  • Tribute Games
I recognize none of these games or studios (well, maybe FromSoftware) except for RtMI and just because it was such decline. :negative:
Such tends to be the way of awards. Its rare for them to ever be right, as most aren't actually about which games were best, but which hipster studio hit the award makers likes best that year. Who remembers half the random video game awards of yesteryear? The Codies, anyone? If it actually appeals to people no one cares. I do find it interesting that almost all of the best storytelling in games were for adventure games. Really bringing those games back, Ronnie, me boy.
You can tell they don't actually care about the quality since its October and they're already doing their end of year awards.
 

Tavar

Cipher
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Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
1,069
Location
Germany
RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
ReMI has been nominated for two Golden Joystick awards, and Terrible Toybox is nominated for studio of the year.

Go forth and vote for it, retro fascists.

https://www.gamesradar.com/elden-ri...ng-opens-for-the-golden-joystick-awards-2022/

Best Storytelling:
  • IMMORTALITY
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • NORCO
  • I Was A Teenage Exocolonist
  • Wayward Strand

PC Game of the Year:
  • Neon White
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker
  • Teardown
  • Total War: Warhammer 3
  • Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters

Studio of the Year:
  • Roll7
  • Terrible Toybox
  • Half Mermaid
  • FromSoftware Inc.
  • Interior / Night
  • Tribute Games
I recognize none of these games or studios (well, maybe FromSoftware) except for RtMI and just because it was such decline. :negative:
I've only played Neon White from this list and it is amazing. I've already created a thread for it, but interest has been low so far.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,253
EDIT:

The part about the ending and what it was meant to be the Secret, for real:

https://twitter.com/Cressup/status/1579275529810677761


Was it a theme park? Yes, it always was.

Except for the parts where characters and things of the alleged park exist outside of the "tale", like the Key of the magical chest, or Captain Madison. Or whatever the "deny what I saw!" endings meant. Or the endings where the chest is destroyed/burnt/interacted with somehow.
 
Last edited:

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