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    jp's Escape from Monkey Island (PS2)

    [October 20, 2004 12:38:03 PM]
    I finished this game last night...and while I'm glad I got to the end I can't say that I would have been very pleased had I bought the game myself. The game itself isn't bad, it's just that I wasn't very enthused by it. I would have much rather enjoyed watching the whole thing unfold as a movie rather than have to figure out the puzzles myself.

    Is it that I don't enjoy figuring out the puzzles by myself anymore? I don't know. Maybe I don't have patience for these sort of games or I'm frustrated by the "archaic" design of the game? Hmmm..

    One thing that I did find interesting though is how this game violated an "unspoken rule" of adventure games. There is an item on the last island that I had to use 4 times! Even Guybrush Threepwood was surprised by this! Normally, in an adventure game, if you find something it is either: an item to be used once, a red herring, an item to be combined with another. That's the way it usually works and I guess it is so that players don't get too carried away trying to do weird things with all the items in their inventory. In this last part, well... that went out the window.

    Another note: Monkey Kombat sucked. What a drag to have to learn all that...I even dragged out some paper to make notes and all.

    Oh well..signing off!
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    [October 5, 2004 10:44:36 AM]
    Oh, another gripe I want to mention... I'm pretty sure I almost "broke" the game...though I didn't try it all the way. It turns out you have to get this mug and in order to get it you have to swap it out for another one you have. The first time I tried, I wasn't able to because I hadn't done something else previously. I got up and another character took the mug away. (I'm trying to not spoil too much here...)

    Well, in order to be in a position to actually get to the mug I had to do all this other stuff before hand. I tried to do it again (to gain access once more to the mug that had been removed) but nope. Not allowed.

    Fortunately I found an alternative way to gain access to the mug. Once again on a "temporal" basis like the previous occurence. I saved my game and tried to see if I could screw it up again. Yup. It worked. I didn't bother to go all the way back to try the previous occurence again...but still. I think you get my point. The worst thing of all is that I was so flustered that I took a peek at gamefaqs...and found no mention of this unusual incident! Bleagh.
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    [October 5, 2004 10:44:07 AM]
    My saved game is at a little over 7 hours and I've just finished act II. (there should only be three acts if the "hints" I've listened to are correct).

    I found act II to be a little easier than the previous act. This is a good thing, since some of the puzzles in the previous one were a little on the unfair side.

    This past act re-introduced some "famous" characters from some of the previous games. In particular, Stan the salesman. I know he turned up in Monkey Island 1 and 2, though I'm not sure about 3. It's funny to look at the characters all dressed up in 3D when I remember them rather vividly in 2D. The strangest thing is that they felt better characterized in 2D than in 3D. If the game had no voiceover now I would probably be puking over the television and moaning.
    The characters just had so much more personality previously! Of course, if (like in Grim Fandango, which worked fabulously) I had never seen the characters before this would not be a problem.

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    [October 4, 2004 12:08:32 PM]
    I played a bit more Monkey Island last night. I'm desperately trying to finish the game since it doesn't belong to me (and I have to return it). Trying to get through it in a hurry is obviously different from the usual way to play it. It also highlights some of the failings this type of game has. There is just so much to read, so much to listen to and so much to keep track of that you can't play for half an hour and expect to make any progress.

    I'm not complaining. Don't get me wrong here... I'm just describing what I see and feel. In fact, I would even take it further and say that one of the reasons the adventure game genre has dwindled is because of these few concessions to the player. There are clues that I had to write down on a piece of paper so that I could refer to them in parts of the game!

    It is about time this genre evolved into something that maintained the narrative strenghts, puzzles and general inventiveness but on the other hand helped the player keep track of his progress, goals, etc.

    Some games have a "journal" where you can see what you where up to. I'm surprised that other games haven't picked up on this. Especially when it has been done right!
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    [September 30, 2004 04:03:27 PM]
    I had another go last night and now I'm starting to remember all those things you hate about adventure games (and why you hate them).

    I made really good progress yesterday finishin act one. Some of those puzzles where fiendish though. It's not that the puzzles per se are impossible, it's that it takes you a loooong time to figure out what you might have to be doing before actually sitting down and doing it. I'm not implying that I go through the "brute-force" method of trying to use every object with every other's just that since the game is pseudo-non-linear (ie, you can pursue multiple goals at once) it makes it that much harder to find out if the clues you are picking up pertain to one or another of your goals.

    Anyways, if you've played this game and got to Pegnose Pete's house in the swamp I think you would agree that the whole time-paradox thing is one of the coolest adventure game bits ever.
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    [September 29, 2004 12:05:01 PM]
    I havne't been able to play this game for the past few days. Unlike other games, I find that adventure games always leave me thinking of what to do next in the game. I'm always wondering how to solve the next puzzle, get the next clue, etc. Isn't it weird that this doesn't happen with other games?

    I'm currently wondering how I'm going to get my hands on the clock that the chess players are using. I have a hunch that the solution lies in trying to talk to the bank teller girl (who is now next to a fountain)...but we'll see what happens. Monkey Island games tend to be very unpredictable.
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    [September 27, 2004 11:23:00 AM]
    Let's start this gamelog of by stating that I've always had a soft spot for the Monkey Island games. I only finished the first one (this was in the days before gamefaqs!), got stuck on the spitting contest in the second and never really got into the third.

    So, here I am with a loaner copy of the fourth game in the series and on the PS2 nonetheless. Will it be as good? As funny? As hard? (I took me several years to finish the first...I got stuck on Monkey Island unable to get the banana picker out of the hut)

    I've only played a little more than an hour and it is a fun game. Fun in the sense that the wackiness, humor, in-jokes, etc. are all there. I particularly enjoyed talking to my old crew from the first game. They where really annoyed at the fact that I abandoned them on Monkey Island in that game... hahaha! What a laugh!
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    jp's Escape from Monkey Island (PS2)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 25 September, 2004

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 20 October, 2004

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    If you love the series pick this up, otherwise it isn't really worth it.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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