New Monkey Island 2 SE Images

By John Walker on April 9th, 2010 at 1:28 am.

The wing's one micron too wide! Boycott!

The Special Edition of Monkey Island 2 has produced a collection of new screenshots. They’re the compare-and-contrast types, so you can see the original, then tut about some aspect of the new ones that aren’t precisely as you want them, most likely involving someone’s hair being a tiny bit wrong. Meanwhile no one complains about the controls being awful, and then gives it 100% because they remember enjoying the original when they were seven… Oh dear, I appear to be venting some frustrations in an inappropriate manner. Of course, we don’t know about the controls for MI2: SE at this stage, and I super-hope they’ve been fixed. So, to the new pics. They look rather good. Have a peek below to see what once was, and what will be.

Click on the new images to see them full-size.

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66 Comments »

  1. RodeoClown says:

    I really think the old pictures look better.
    Much better.

    • DMcCool says:

      I have to agree. Not that pixel art is cooler, or even that the retro look is that great, just the subued palette of the SE version hurt the impact of the simple pixel art.

      Great thing is though, its not like the old graphics are bad, or any access to the originals is being lost. So everyone can just play the version they prefer. Horrah.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Rodeoclown

      The colors seem flatter, don’t they?

      That said, as long as it contains the option to play with the old graphics (like the first one) I’ll pick it up simply because it’s impossible to find a copy of the original game.

    • Wulf says:

      Have to disagree, to me they–unlike Secret–look like incredibly faithful high-definition recreations, except for a few tiny details they look almost identical, just at a higher res, and with some visual improvements. I’m even okay with the look of Guybrush, since he looks like the one from the cover, and the one that we saw in Tales.

    • Wulf says:

      Also, I’m of the opinion that the colours don’t look ‘flatter’, but that they had a wider palette range to use. We saw a lot of this in VGA (more so CGA and EGA, but it was there with VGA too), where a near enough colour couldn’t be found, and they opted for particularly neon colours. Take a look at the rocks in the House of Mojo sign to see what I mean. This was perfectly acceptable because that was all VGA could do at the time, but I don’t think that using a more advanced colour palette makes them look flatter.

      To the contrary, in my opinion, there are some screens there that actually look more vibrant than the originals. For example: The boat hotel, Wally’s Place, and the Carpenter’s Place all look much brighter and more colourful than the originals. In fact, comparing all elements of the Wally screenshots, they really brightened up that screen quite visibly, and it looks lovely.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf

      Looking at it further, I’d say the interiors look better in the new version and the exteriors look better in the old. I think it’s just a matter of how color is used in each, I prefer the brighter, cartoonier look of the exterior shots. I also prefer the old character art, again to me in this context cartoonier is better. I actually preferred the 3d model of Guybrush from Escape more than the one in Tales (who is, IMO, too jagged) so I think I’m at least being consistent here.

      All that said, it’s all nitpicking anyway, both the original art and the new art are quite lovely. Never having had a chance to play the original, it’s nice to be presented with such eye-pleasing options.

    • Paul B says:

      Yes, I also prefer the new screens, especially when you click and see the big versions. They seem to suggest an improvement over the first Monkey Island remake. Though for some reason reminds me of a before and after eye-test.

      It’d be interesting to see if they can nail the animation though. I think the first remake suffered from having to sync the new style, frame-by-frame, to the old animations, loosing a bit of fluidity in the process. Hopefully this will be improved in the sequel.

    • Eamo says:

      You have to look at the big versions. Because the pictures (of the new screens) here are reduced they seem a bit blurry and indistinct. If you look at the larger shots they are really quite crisp and very well done indeed.

    • HermitUK says:

      This time round there’s also going to be the option to use the new voices with the original graphics, which is all I really wanted from the first Special Edition.

  2. Tom O'Bedlam says:

    Ooooo…. shiny. This looks like it might be worth the repurchase this time. Hopefully they’ve fixed the bloody awful controls.

    GO TO BED JOHN

  3. Jochen Scheisse says:

    No volumetric fog? Cheapskates!

  4. Wulf says:

    LE GASP!

    LE FAINT!

    LE EVER LOVING FREAK OUT!

    Yes, I quite want this.

  5. Miles of the Machination says:

    Any mention of when it’s coming out? The visuals make me nostalgic for Curse of Monkey island, and since I never managed to find a copy of the second game, this might be a fine purchase… as long as they fix the control issues that everyone complained about in the first one.

  6. Schadenfreude says:

    Think you can play with the old graphics + new VO this time, which is aces. Don’t think iMuse will survive the transition though. :(

  7. Martin Kingsley says:

    I dig it. Beautiful work. Nice lighting, too. Possibly dynamic? It sure looks like it. The swamp screenshot does look a little muted compared to the original, but otherwise, the rest of the comparison shots seem to bear out the SE edition as being altogether more vibrant.

  8. rocketman71 says:

    Well, looks like this time they did a better job.

    Still prefer the original, though.

  9. mlaskus says:

    The previous special edition was evil, it ruined my memories. :(

  10. Walsh says:

    What was so awful about the controls?

  11. Nikolaj says:

    What was wrong with MI2′s controls? Also, am I the only one who thinks guybrush’s hair looks awful in the new version? Still, I guess I’ll rate it 100%.

  12. RedFred says:

    Yeah I gave the first remake a go but have not really got past the first part due to it feeling a little hollow, something was missing.

  13. Lyndon says:

    The hair is the wrong colour. Time to riot in the streets.

  14. Yanko says:

    Seems like they’ve had a bigger budget this time! At least on those screens you can’t spot those nasty pixillated overlays that were all around the 1st remake (if you switched from the old version to the new, you could clearly see tons of sections that didn’t even change in some scenes).

    And god, please, give them more frames on the animations =~

  15. DerangedStoat says:

    I’m just happy Guybrush has normal hair once more. I liked the new art in the first special edition, but ended up playing it mostly as the original art simply because I could not stand the new do Guybrush was given.

  16. Chris says:

    Looks so much better than the remake of the first one. Vastly improved art and better lighting too. The characters sit in the environment much more nicely when their pallette roughly matches that of the background.

    Also I’m struck by the irony of a Longest Journey/Dreamfall fan complaining about bad adventure game controls.

  17. jeremy says:

    Noooooooo bring back the mi2 hair/beard! I beg you LucasArts, I am a broken shell of a man prostrated before you.

    • RogB says:

      yeah the first thing i noticed was ‘where is his pathetic studenty beard?’ , and ‘why does he always seem to be looking into the background now?’

  18. Risingson says:

    Looks nice, at least. Though sometimes it appears that it’s more a graphic filter than remastered graphics…

    • JuJuCam says:

      That’s how you know they’ve done well. If it looks remastered it means it looks different. Also testament to the quality of the original art.

  19. Mr Fossy says:

    I wonder is Lucasarts are going to port over the nifty ,a href= “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMUSE” title=”iMUSE”> music engine from the original ME2. The soundtrack on Sabb Island remains one of the best examples of music integration in a game – how you would wander from place to place, and different timbral and harmonic elements would fade in and out, all in sync :)

    Although it’s the sort of detail I can imagine would be overlooked in favour of a lush, remastered soundtrack.

    • Urthman says:

      I’d really like to know about this. My only real interest in the game comes from the Idle Thumbs crew raving about the iMuse system.

  20. Gap Gen says:

    Guys, April Fools is over. You can stop posting screenshots from old games now.

  21. Masked Dave says:

    Okay, seriously, am I going to be the only one to mention this?

    WHY DOES HE HAVE A PEG LEG?!

    Look at all the new screenshots, one of his legs is a peg! What?! His right… no.. wait… left… um… ah crap, it’s just that his far foot is always pointed directly at the screen in those shots isn’t it? Bugger.

    By the by, I didn’t mind the Special Edition controls. Not perfect certainly, but hardly bad.

  22. Rich says:

    The new characters look nice, except Guybrush! His head is too small, and where’s his beard?

    I suppose the problem they have, at least in appeasing my pickyness, is that they’re trying to explicitly draw the details that previously were only implied and filled in by my imagination. They’re trying to compete with my own imagination brush, which is never going to succeed. It’ll be good for anyone new to the series though.

  23. guigr says:

    The controls might suck but at least it looks much better than Secret of Monkey Island SE. Glad they improved that.

  24. Derella says:

    I love the old MI games — some of my fondest(and earliest!) gaming memories. I think the new look is damn near perfect.

  25. Binni says:

    Guybrush looks terrible….no really. He’s like some pompous asshole who should rather be dancing waltzes in Austria than pirating in the Caribbean.

    Everything else looks awesome…but Guybrush….seriously??

  26. Sagan says:

    This might have been my first game. At least I’m fairly certain it was one of the first three that I played properly.

    So definitely going to buy this. But I’ll play it with the old looks. Not because I don’t like the new looks, just because I want to.

  27. Shazbut says:

    The old looks are better for one simple reason: the faces. That dot of black for an eye is everything.

  28. Chiller says:

    Wow, if they weren’t contrasted against each other I could never tell the difference. I guess my eyes got used to ignoring the pixellation due to years of playing MCGA games (BEST RESOLUTION EVAH!)

  29. DeanLearner says:

    Im assuming there are high res version of the original backdrops that were made during development of the orginal, are they available to view online anywhere?

  30. jsutcliffe says:

    I was very disappointed by them not updating the animations in MI:SE — it looked lovely in stills, but I couldn’t get past how clunky it all felt in motion. I have a fear I’ll have the same reaction to MI2:SE — I’ll be seduced by the lovely graphics (e.g. Voodoo lady’s hut looks splendid) and then feel like I should have stuck to the original because the animations appear smoother. However, I do want to see my thick green loogie in HD.

    I imagine that, much like the grog mug sequence in MI:SE, the finale of ME2:SE will be a nightmare unless they address the controls. That section is a fiddly bastard even with the original controls.

  31. Reverend Speed says:

    “Meanwhile no one complains about the controls being awful, and then gives it 100% because they remember enjoying the original when they were seven… ”

    Aha! Aha ha! AH HAR HAR HAR HAR! Oh ho ho… *giggle*

    Let no one say Mr. John Walker lacks a sense of humour both ironic and self-deprecating! Tell us the one about The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, John!

    Go on!

    HE’S HILARIOUS!

  32. Reverend Speed says:

    Oh, and as the diest of die-hard MI2 fans, gotta say, those background are a major improvement on the originals in most respects. Wait, did it just feel as though a little piece of your soul just died? …So it was just me?

    Character-critical beard (…well… it IS…) seems darker and more prominent than earlier shots, though it could be my imagination.

    We know the sound’ll be top notch, so the only question is whether the animation will be any good (compare with MI remake). The game’s home page would suggest… not: http://www.lucasarts.com/games/monkeyisland2/#/home

    Dear Editor,

    Why oh why http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUE-aYJG_Js etc…

  33. Wooly says:

    Needs more Crysis!

  34. Reverend Speed says:

    “…a woodchuck can’t chuck any amount of wood because a woodchuck can’t chuck wood.”

    MAXIMUM STRENGTH.

    “…my hammer, you said? But of course! And maybe some nails to go with it, kind sir?”

  35. Nero says:

    At least his hair isn’t crap..

    Still, hopefully they have made interface changes since the new interface was horrible. I played the first remake mostly with the old graphics because it had a much better interface and switched sometimes when I wanted to hear the voice acting. Also, make the options to mix and match graphics/voice acting.

  36. Urthman says:

    I really like the new art but I much prefer that old gigantic font for the text.

  37. jt says:

    the new pics contain more “the real mood” .. imho

  38. jalf says:

    You know, this actually looks really nice. I prefer these screens over the original.

    Yeah, so shoot me.

    (Of course, it remains to be seen if the animation is as wonky as in the ME1 remake)

  39. Robin says:

    Oh, John. John, John, John. Etc.

    The new art doesn’t look slightly worse. It looks, to be as charitable as possible, like cheesy Flash vector art from an advergame for Hallmark cards. Or something you would find on the back of the box of a horrendous early-2000s German adventure game in the £3 rack at Morrisons. More accurately, it looks like an anonymous contractor has traced over screenshots of the original game as quickly and consistently (‘consistent’ in the sense of the animation quality of 1980s Saturday morning cartoons) as possible, safe in the knowledge that nobody involved with the original game will be within 500 miles of the LucasArts offices to complain about their work being lazily shat on.

    If they had to redo the art, would it really have been that much more expensive to do the job properly?

    Oh and @Eamo, someone will be with you shortly to reclaim your eyes. There’s clearly been some kind of horrible mixup. Enlarging the new shots just makes it even more obvious that they’ve been slapped together in 20 minutes in Painter without even being cleaned up. The detail on the hotel scene is just laughably bad. DeviantArt bad.

    Grrrr.

    • Wulf says:

      So… you hate artists?

      I don’t think you have a beef so much with the update but more that it’s painted, as you seem to have a deep-seated hatred for (and jealousy of?) anyone who possesses any amount of artistic talent, to the point where you attempt to be a vitriolic critic, but it doesn’t quite wash.

      I know deviantART and its contents, and I also know how many people have used deviantART to land themselves jobs with huge animation companies. If you’re going to pick a fight with the clear talent of the artists at a site like deviantART then you’re punching holes in the credibility of your own argument. Even professional and well known illustrators show their art on deviantART, after all.

      So you have some massive insecurity regarding painted art (perhaps your own art has been critiqued too harshly) and now you’re lashing out at anything that looks like a bloody painting? Not cool.

      I dabble in art as well and I’ve had my fair share of critiques, but I’m not so neurotic that I can’t appreciate the artistic efforts of other people.

      :/

  40. noom says:

    I wouldn’t call that being as charitable as possible; I’d call that being as inflammatory as possible.

  41. martin says:

    i does not matter if i like or dislike the new art. the most important point is that i will be able to play this game again, this time with voice acting

  42. b4dmash says:

    Well, the hair looks better than in the 1st SE.

  43. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    The new backgrounds look.. okay, I guess. Less atmospheric, though.

    The new Guybrush look.. awful. Then again, I only purchased the first and second games.

    I would so buy this, though.. if it were released for the mac.

  44. Robin says:

    @Wulf That’s a rather strange conclusion to reach from my post, considering the original artwork was, y’know, painted.

    I dislike the update because it doesn’t follow (or alternatively, improve on) the style of the original game, for no reason that I can tell beyond trying to deliver something too quickly and too cheaply to allow it to be done adequately. MI2 was not a heavily stylised, loose, impressionistic game.

  45. Big T says:

    I agree with both what you have to say, and that Wulf’s comment had nothing to do with what you said. I think it’s the opposite, if you love art you can’t say these are great renditions of the originals. The result is very amateurish in that it doesn’t add anything but sharpness and detail but instead takes away alot of the playful cheerfullness and soul of the backgrounds. There are compromises made which make no sense stylistically – in the pirate campfire scene the moon is added arbitarily, yet the lighthouse is retained almost verbatim to the original, resulting in lighting dischord which makes the whole image very flat. The other backgrounds suffer similar problems and seem either flat, even for all the contrasts, or washed with gray and blended together.

    This is the problem. They look sort of nice, the carpenter’s shack is pretty cool actually. But the artist’s inexperience leads them to add or substract small things which made the original backgrounds work and the lack of which makes these backgrounds seems odd or even wrong.

    While this is obviously a love or hate subject, I fail to grasp how such an infamous and beloved series couldn’t be better reproduced given the amount of talent out there, and on deviantart of all places. Baffling.

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