Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay

September 17, 2009


The second chapter in the renewed Monkey Island game has been out for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve only just got around to playing and completing it, and I’m disappointed to report that things seem to be on a downward spiral. Maybe it was the thrill of playing a new MI game that blinded me to the deficiencies of the first chapter, but the puzzles in The Siege at Spinner Cay are far less challenging yet at the same time often obscure and illogical, which means the game is damaged at the most fundamental level. Some of the items you receive are completely irrelevant, and not even included as a joke, and the new locations are devoid of character or any of the Piratey goodness present throughout the other games (prior to MI4). The writing is even a little worse, with fewer genuinely funny lines and far too many in-jokes to make it appealing to newcomers to the series. Add to all this poor character models that are usually generic carbon copies of previously encountered models rather than the original, well designed, memorable characters that the MI series built its reputation on, and you’ve got a pretty bland, lifeless game world.

All of the problems with the control and inventory system are still present (see my review of the first chapter) and there’s even another maze-like forest to navigate, although this time it has a linear layout which is a (minor) bonus. For more gripes about the new episodic series, check out the Zero Punctuation review, and then keep watching it every Wednesday for the best reviews online of any kind. Anyway, the single redeeming factor of this series is that they’re releasing it episodically every few months, which in effect lessens the impact of a pretty poor game. If it was released in one go, or you waited until they were all out and tried to slog through them, you would quickly chew your own pointy-clicky fingers off in a nostalgic rage.

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