Informe Monkey Island 2 Special Edition,

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Guybrush Threepwood. Pocas veces un nombre invoca tanta nostalgia en la generación que hemos crecido en la época dorada de las aventuras gráficas de LucasArts (antes conocida como LucasFilm).


En un panorama en el que los FPS dominan sobre otros géneros en el mundo de los videojuegos, LucasArts se ha acordado de los que crecimos con los ordenadores Amiga, Atari y primeros PCs realizando unos remakes de las dos primeras entregas de la saga Monkey Island.


Admito que de entrada tengo reparos al mirar cosas que me entusiasmaron en el pasado. Series como 'V' o 'El Gran Héroe Americano' de las que guardaba un gran recuerdo cuando era niño, me resultaron insufribles al volver a verlas hace apenas dos años. ¿Con Monkey Island me pasaría lo mismo? ¿Afectaría el paso de los años al carisma de Guybrush, la maldad de LeChuck y a los chistes sobre recogeplatanos en los bolsillos? La respuesta es rotunda: NO.

Cierto es que LucasArts ha dado un maravilloso lavado de cara al apartado gráfico del MONKEY ISLAND 2 en esta versión especial. Sin embargo, volver a jugar a él, incluso en su versión de 1992 (a la que podremos cambiar en cualquier momento pulsando un botón), sigue siendo algo glorioso. El sentido del humor está ahí. El concurso de escupitajos está ahí. Largo LaGrande está ahí. El final más propio de 'Lost!' que de una aventura está ahí. Todo lo que hizo de MONKEY ISLAND 2 como una de las mejores aventuras gráficas de todos los tiempos sigue estando ahí, en estado puro, pero con unos gráficos y sonido más acordes a los tiempos en los que vivimos.

Como ya ocurrió con la edición especial del primer MONKEY ISLAND se ha modificado el interfaz del SCUMM que tantas horas de gloria dio a Lucas. Los verbos e inventario que teníamos en la parte inferior de la pantalla, se ha sustituido por un interfaz que activaremos al pinchar con el botón derecho del ratón sobre los distintos objetos con los que podemos interactuar. En ese momento nos aparecerán las diferentes opciones que tenemos (Coger, Empujar, Hablar, Usar...). Personalmente me gusta más el interfaz original, pero este puede llegar a ser más cómodo y más accesible a las nuevas generaciones que se incorporan a las aventuras gráficas.






The Monkey Island series is revered for its humor, creative and challenging puzzles, and charming characters. For the uninitiated, the Monkey Island games are adventure/puzzlers following the story of plucky wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood. After besting the ghost pirate LeChuck and winning over the lovely Governor Elaine Marley in the Secret of Monkey Island, Threepwood has fallen out of Elaine's good graces and decides to pursue the fabled treasure of Big Whoop.

The first Monkey Island SE was simply a re-skinned version of the original game with a few minor additions. The newest offering features re-worked controls that make it easy for console gamers and newcomers unfamiliar with the SCUMM menu to play. PC players still navigate the world with the standard point and click controls, but in Special Edition mode right clicking on an object or a person launches a wheel of the most appropriate actions. For example, if you clicked on Wally the Cartographer you'd only see "Look, Pick Up, Talk To" as options. "Pick Up" may seem like a strange choice, but choosing it produces a witty line about wrestling the monocle wearing mapmaker. The new control wheel successfully streamlines the game without removing the amusingly absurd choices.

The new artwork in the first Monkey Island SE was pretty, but the classic art still managed to out-charm it and the hint system was (and still is) useless for people that have already played it. The best addition was perhaps the voiceover work, but you couldn't integrate that with the classic graphics. That's been fixed, and now you can enjoy listening to the characters while watching them in their 16-bit glory. Most of the actors are spot on with their portrayal of the characters, with the exception of the actress who voices Elaine Marley. The Governor comes off as a whiny shrew, which is not at all what I imagined her to be.

Fans have more to be excited about this time around, as LucasArts got Monkey Island creators Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman to record their thoughts on the game. About an hour of that audio has been placed into the title, and while it's a satisfying element I wish there was a little more of it. Also, it would be great if the scene paused while the commentary played -- the strongest aspect of the game is its clever dialogue, so it's a bummer that people will miss out if they're busy listening to Gilbert, Grossman, and Schafer. The new art viewer is another goodie for fans to enjoy. As you play the game you will unlock concept art from both the original game and character models for the updated version.

If you're a pro at the Monkey Island series you probably won't need any help solving its puzzles. For those that do need assistance, LucasArts added two great features: the object highlight system and the hint system. The hint system was added in the first Special Edition, and it's back for round two. It's useful when you need a general nudge in the right direction, but when you need specific help it's best to hit up the good old Internet. The object highlight system is brand spankin' new. Whenever you'd like to see what you can interact with on the screen you can press both the right and left mouse buttons down at the same time and objects will light up. This can be a really helpful tool, but I didn't have to use it often.

The artwork is clean and beautifully drawn with the intention of keeping the spirit of the '90s version. I found myself torn between the classic and new visuals, but spent most of my time with the crisper imagery of the Special Edition (though pixilated Guybrush will always have my heart).

If the idea of updated graphics, voice acting, a hint system and object highlighting makes you sick to your stomach, don't fret -- you can still play LeChuck's Revenge in its original form. Of course, if you wanted to that you could just fire up DOSBox.

There’s something for everyone in Monkey Island 2 Special Edition. Fans will appreciate the colorful commentary from the franchise creators and unlockable art gallery, while those intimidated by the adventure games of the past will find comfort in the simplified controls, object highlighting and hint system.