Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island – Episode 5: Rise of the Pirate God

After last episode, I had to see how this series ended especially after what happened to Guybrush. Even though I kind of seen it coming, I mean even the title of the episode said it plainly, I was still a little surprised. Sometimes title’s can be misleading and I thought that was what episode 4 was doing, but it totally wasn’t. Shocking. Keep reading to see what I thought of the episode as a whole.

I really thought I had seen where this episode was going especially with the demise of Morgan. I mean, throughout the episode I was secretly hoping that Guybrush would ditch the wife and end up with Morgan and now that they were both dead. Anyway, I was wrong and thoughout the episode Guybrush fights death itself to return to Elaine, who is now LeChuck’s demon bride, and live happily ever after. With a little help of both Morgan and Elaine, LeChuck is destroyed and everything in the world is set right again. Upon delivering LeChuck’s spirit to the Voodoo Lady, Morgan is granted her life back, and they all lived happily ever after.

While I was a little disappointed with the ending, I just could never actually get to liking Elaine throughout the whole series and thought that Guybrush was better suited for Morgan, I thought that it was fitting and the series as a whole came together full circle. This episode was much of the same as before with all of the fetch and come back quests, I really didn’t mind them this time around knowing that this was the final episode. After this episode I will say that even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the series I was hoping that they would do another series that maybe focused on Morgan.

The real downside of this episode and series as a whole is the playability. It’s like this with almost every Telltale game and I wish they would just get it right for once. I can’t stress enough how much the movements were awkward and there were the problems with the loading times along with some lag. These types of things really take away from the game and ends up hurting the game as a whole in the end.

Overall for this series, I really enjoyed the graphics. I thought that they were fitting for the theme of the game and fitting for the game as a whole. That being said, these types of graphics don’t always work for every game but when you have graphics that are fitting for a game it does enhance overall gameplay.

Finish this episode and do everything it has to offer and you’ll get your final 11 trophies. While there isn’t a platinum for this game, if you played through every episode you will end up with a total of 55 trophies to add to your gamer card which isn’t bad and you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment since you completed the whole series.

As always no multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Great final story that wraps up the series nicely.
+ Fitting ending, even if it wasn’t the ending I wanted.
+ Nice graphics throughout the course of the game that were fitting to the game as a whole.

What’s Not So Great:
Common Telltale problems that I’ve talked about so much I don’t even think I need to detail them out anymore.

Even though I enjoyed how this series ended and enjoyed this series as a whole a hell of a lot more then Back to the Future, I’m still going to say that if you aren’t a Monkey Island fan then to wait until this one goes on sale. If you’re expecting The Walking Dead or even The Wolf Among Us type gameplay and quality from this game you’re going to be sadly disappointed.

This being the final Throwback Thursday Review, I want to thank everyone who stuck around for a little over a year and read these blogs. I really enjoyed going back and reviewing all of the games that I either got the platinum on or got the 100% on and I really hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences. My weekly Thursday blogs will continue though and since I really couldn’t decide whether to just answer some questions about video games that I got asked or do character profiles, I’ve decided to do a little of both. I’ll be starting off next week with my first Frequently Asked Video Game Question that I found popping up in my search box quite often.

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Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island – Episode 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood

Moving right along with the Tales of Monkey Island series, I went into this episode with a lot of trepidation. I did this because I know that Telltale has a knack for having some really bad 4th episodes. Sure they lead up to the final episode, but not all of them are done well. Did this series do the same or was this one of the rare occasions where the 4th episode was actually good? Keep reading to find out.

After Morgan’s betrayal from last episode, Guybrush finds himself back on Flotsam Island. While Morgan is collecting her bounty, Guybrush is taken away by the townspeople who aren’t too happy with him after his last visit. I mean come on can you blame the people of Flotsam? Guybrush released the pox on the whole gulf, of course they’re going to be pissed! But it’s LeChuck to the rescue! Yes you read that right, LeChuck tells his story about how he created the pox and Guybrush is released. That’s not the end of this episode though, there’s more death, chaos, twists and turns, and then the death of Guybrush himself.

Overall this wasn’t a bad episode and it didn’t live up to the dreaded episode 4. It actually turned out to be not that bad and the story picks up a little bit more leading into what’s going to be happening in the 5th and final episode. While I didn’t enjoy this episode as much as the previous one, I still liked it a lot more then the first two. This time around it took a little time for me to actually get into the story and the game but I was eager to finish up and see how the story ended once this episode was over.

As with the previous episode there were the usual awkward movements, slow loading times, and various other bugs and glitches. I can’t stress enough how disappointing this is each and every time I play a Telltale game. The only time I didn’t have these types of problems was when I played The Walking Dead Season 1 and 2 on the PS4. This made me think that the times of the troubled playthroughs were over, but I was wrong. These problems continue to make a reappearance in a lot of the newer games including Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands.

Being that this episode takes place on Flotsam Island again, the graphics are pretty much the same as the first episode. It’s not like the changed all that much in the series as a whole, but they were still pretty good and were fitting for this series.

Now to the fun part, the trophies! Finish this episode and do everything this episode has to offer and you’ll find yourself with another 11 trophies to add to your gamer card. Not a bad count of trophies especially if you played through the whole series. With each episode having 11 trophies you’ll add another 55 trophies to your gamer card which is pretty good for a game series, especially one that’s easy. As with the other three episodes you’ll have to either follow a walkthrough to get them done at once or play a couple of times to go back and clean up the trophies you missed.

As with any game in this series there is a total lack of multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 3.5 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Not a bad 4th episode.
+ Story twists and turns that set up what’s coming up for the 5th and final episode.
+ Enjoyable graphics that have been stable throughout the series.

What’s Not So Great:
The awkward movements, loading time problems, and other various bugs and glitches continue.
A little on the short side.

While the last two episodes showed a lot of promise for the series, it seems like a little too late. If I wasn’t someone who just has to finish an entire series then I would have stopped after the first two episodes. When it comes to these types of games, I think that you really have to grab your audience within the first two episodes or risk losing them. Anyway, if you’re a fan of the Tales of Monkey Island series you’ll enjoy this game, but if not and you just want to try this game out I would wait for a sale.

Next week is not only the final episode for Tales of Monkey Island, which is entitled Rise of the Pirate God, but it’s also the final Throwback Thursday Review. As I said last week, I have two ideas swimming around in my head for my next series since Throwback Thursday is ending. I might have recently been swayed to go in one direction, but you won’t find out until next week when I unveil my newest Thursday blog.

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Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 3 – Lair of the Leviathan

I have to say that after the way episode 2 ended, I was pretty eager to see how the next episode played out so I didn’t hesitate to play the third episode in this series right away. As I said last week, this my favorite episode throughout the whole series and that’s kind of saying a lot. Anyway, here’s what I thought about the episode.

At the end of last episode, Guybrush and Morgan were swallowed whole by a giant manatee, which kind of makes no sense since manatee’s are gentle sea cows, but moving on. They were swallowed whole and now they have to find a way to escape in order to secure La Esponja Grande. I like saying La Esponja Grande over and over again as I write these reviews because it sounds so elegant when it really just means the large sponge. It’s kinda funny when you think about it. Anyway, while trapped inside of this giant manatee, Guybrush and Morgan discover the crazed pirate DeCava along with his crew who were also swallowed by this manatee. As always, Guybrush saves the day by rescuing the crew and healing the injured manatee, no wonder why the manatee was so pissed, and finally secures La Esponja Grande. A turn of events causes this game to not be over but end on another cliffhanger of sorts to get you ready for the fourth episode.

Out of all the Tales of Monkey Island episodes, I found this one the most enjoyable. I liked the story that went along with it and I enjoyed that Morgan played a bigger role in this episode overall. I think that out of all the characters in this series Morgan has the most development and is probably the most interesting out of all the characters. This was also the longest episode for me to play I think because there was a lot of running around. It was kind of like do this, go here, do this, go back to where you were, do this, go back again sort of episode and after a while it became a little tedious to play.

I never really see a change in playability from episode to episode in these types of games, especially these earlier ones from Telltale. It’s kind of like if movements are awkward in one episode there going to be awkward throughout the whole series. It was the same thing with the loading and lag as well and that really sucks and takes away from the game as a whole.

The graphics for this episode were just as good as the other episodes and it’s pretty easy to see that they aren’t going to change from episode to episode. I would think that if anything playability would change since that’s something that can be improved upon during the time it takes to create each episode but with the graphics it’s the complete opposite. Not like I’m complaining though because I like the graphics as a whole for this series.

Finish this episode and you’ll get another 11 trophies to add to your gamer card. As with the other episodes I would suggest using a walkthrough if you want to get all of the trophies in one shot so you don’t have to go back and get stuff that you missed or you can always play how you want knowing you’ll miss some trophies and then go back to clean up at a later time.

This is a single player game which means no multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ The best story throughout the series. (I’m sensing a trend that all of the third episodes in Telltale games are some of the best…)
+ Nice character development.
+ Fitting graphics.

What’s Not So Great:
Common playability problems that plague this series as a whole.

With one more episode down, there are only two more to go. As always I’m going to say that if you’re a fan of Tales of Monkey Island then you’ll enjoy this game, but if you’re just wanting to see how the earlier Telltale games played out I would wait for a sale in order to pick this one up.

Next week will be a continuation of Tales of Monkey Island with the review of episode 4 – The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood. No spoilers there huh? As I promised last week, I do have a couple of ideas swimming in my head about what to replace Throwback Thursday with when I’m finished with it in just two weeks. I was either thinking about doing a Video Game FAQ since I get a lot of questions typed into the search box. Most of which I know the answers to, no surprise there. Or I might start a character profile on some of the most memorable video game characters. At the moment it’s a toss up and hopefully I can figure out what to do within the next two weeks.

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Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 2 – The Siege of Spinner Cay

After sensing another Back to the Future type of game coming my way from the first episode, I decided to just push myself through and play each of these episodes back to back. While I did enjoy this game a little bit more then Back to the Future, I’m still not a big fan of these earlier Telltale games which is why Jurassic Park is sitting on my PS3 just waiting to be played. Here’s what I thought about episode 2.

In episode 2, we continue right where we left off with Guybrush. After discovering what was causing ships not to be able to leave Flotsam Island and reversing it, Guybrush is on his way to the Jerkbait islands to find La Esponja Grande. Since this is Tales of Monkey Island, you could just imagine the fun that Guybrush gets himself into this episode. He’ll become involved in a dispute among some pox infected pirates and the residents of a new area to explore as well as have his pox infected hand cut off by the one and only Morgan LeFlay.

While I think the story as a whole that plays out through all five episodes is interesting, playing the game at times is tedious which in turn makes the game a little less enjoyable. I’m a fan of the whole point and click adventure games to a certain point and I think that this one just goes a little too far. Any game that becomes tedious to play and then continues on that path will always be less enjoyable for me.

Like the previous episode, the movements of this game are stiff and awkward and those are paired together with the fact that there are atrocious loading times as well as other various problems with lag. These have to be the number one complaints that I have with all Telltale games and I really can’t be the only one. As I said with Back to the Future, you would think that these things are fixed in the later games but sadly they are not.

I continued to enjoy the graphics for this game as with this episode you got to explore a whole other area that was different from Flotsam Island. I once again thought that the graphics were fitting to the series as a whole and were one of the winning points.

If you play correctly the first time or have multiple playthroughs you’ll get another 11 trophies to add to your gamer card. While you might get some of these trophies on your own the first time you play, unless you use a walkthrough there is no way you’ll get all of them yourself. If you don’t want to go back and make multiple playthroughs it’s best to use a walkthrough.

At this point you should already know that there isn’t any multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 3 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Interesting story progression and the introduction of new characters.
+ Fitting graphics that enhance the game.

What’s Not So Great:
Another tedious point and click adventure that soon becomes boring and tiresome.
Awkward and stiff movements, long loading times, and lag.

The ending to this episode made me eager to play the next one because I just had to see what happened. This was one of the shorter episodes of the series as a whole and I’m going to say that if you like Tales of Monkey Island this game is for you, but if not I would give it a pass or at least wait until the discount to purchase is really high.

Next week I’ll be reviewing episode 3 for the Tales of Monkey Island series, Lair of the Leviathan. I would say that this was probably my favorite episode out of the 5 in this series. I’ll also be trying to come up with something to replace Throwback Thursday after this series is over. I have a couple of ideas swimming around in my head that I’ll probably expand on next week.

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Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 1 – Launch of the Screaming Narwhal

Oh PS Flash Sales, how I have this love/hate relationship with you. You dangle these games in front of me with a price tag of only $0.99 always tempting me to buy, but then I get to play the game and then realize why the game was priced at $0.99 to begin with. I picked up this game along with Back to the Future and a couple of other games during the same sale, and playing Back to the Future should have given me some kind of indication of what this game was going to be like. You would think I learn from these kinds of mistakes, but I don’t so I got sucked into playing yet another episodic adventure from Telltale and here’s what I thought about the first episode.

The fifth installment of the Monkey Island series, this game was released as an episodic adventure rather then a complete game and follows the continuing adventure of Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate who was turned into an actual pirate even though he’s dimwitted at best. Guybrush seems to have it all in the beginning of the episode, but that damn LeChuck just won’t give up. LeChuck steals Guybrush’s wife, I say good riddance to the annoying wife, and in other events causes Guybrush to accidentally release a voodoo pox. This first episode takes place on Flotsam Island where Guybrush must try to find a way to stop this voodoo pox and find the cause of the winds not allowing ships to ever leave Flotsam Island.

While the actual story of the game and the way the game progress’s is enjoyable, there’s just something about it that left a sour taste in my mouth. I think it has a lot to do with the whole static nature of the game. Instead of making this a more adventure type game, this is a very basic point and click puzzle solving game. I understand that the game wanted to stay true to the original series, but it should also be understood that at a certain time games need to progress and reinvent themselves. The two hours that it took to play this episode soon became tedious making the episode as a whole less enjoyable.

The movements of this game as well as the playability as a whole were extremely stiff and awkward most of the time making the game less and less enjoyable as time progressed. Nothing seemed to flow smoothly from movements to the solving of the puzzles, everything just seemed stiff. Of course this game also had its fair share of loading issues along with a couple of glitches here and there.

A winning feature of this episode was the graphics. They fit perfectly into the whole Monkey Island series and enhanced the game as a whole. The graphics were the one thing that made playing this episode a little more enjoyable as each scene and area was vibrant and full of detail.

Yay trophies?? Not really. While there are 11 trophies for this episode, this is yet another game where you have to play a certain way in order to get all of the trophies. This doesn’t really matter all that much since this isn’t really a decision based game, but I think in this case the trophies sometimes ruin the experience of playing especially if you realize that you missed something half way in and you’re going to have to go back and play again.

As with any other Telltale game there was no multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 3 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Interesting story that pulls you in.
+ Great graphics that are fitting to the series.
+ Good writing making the game and characters enjoyable.

What’s Not So Great:
Awkward and stiff movements.
Tries to be an adventure game, but is still just a point and click game.

While I enjoyed this series as a whole a little bit more then Back to the Future, I still think that this earlier game of Telltale’s was still a little tedious to play and really not up to par with their later games. While it’s nice to see a company progress, my wallet doesn’t really like it all that much and I would suggest only picking this series up if you can find it on sale or if you’re a Monkey Island fan.

Next week I’ll be letting you know what I thought of the second installment of this episodic adventure, The Seige of Spinner Cay. I will say that in this episode comes the introduction of one of my favorite characters for this whole game Morgan LeFlay. I enjoyed this character way more then I did Elaine and secretly hoped that Guybrush would end up with her. I know, I know, scandalous!

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