Platform: DOS; Amiga; Mac
While equally as lauded by most to the first game in the series, I didn’t get quite as excited about Monkey Island 2. It begins well, with our hero pirate Guybrush stranded on an island in search of the means to discover the treasure of Big Whoop. But about a third of the way in (pardon me) it jumps ship, and barely gets on track in time for a raucous ending.
The first act is virtually identical to its predecessor in style and humour, which is welcome as nothing was broken in the first place. But the second act tries way too hard, and consists of little but a complex array of inventory puzzles that get in the way of the story. A good seventy-five percent of the game is spent deciphering baffling mindbenders such as what color of grog can be spit the farthest, not to mention why it’s even important in the first place. A few of the tasks are fun to complete (and the humour remains present throughout), but when the story inches along at a snail’s pace it becomes very difficult to persevere through the agonizing puzzles.
I rather enjoyed the endgame, both in terms of fairness and ingenuity. And I actually liked the WTF! ending, as it begs a sequel to clear up the natural confusion it causes. Unfortunately, the third game ignores it completely (probably in part due to the absence of designer Ron Gilbert), but I can’t fault this game for it. While I recommend LeChuck’s Revenge to fans of the first game, I would keep a walkthrough handy for the slow times.