It seems that the Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition must have been enough of a success for LucasArts to pursue the idea further. It’s been announced that the sequel is receiving the same treatment, now called Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: Le Chuck’s Revenge. And it’s arriving in the Summer.
There’s no video of the game yet, but screenshots are about. Once again the game has been completely overhauled, while still technically running identically in the background. You can switch back and forth between the original and new versions any time. However, whether they will have addressed any of the really rather enormous issues with the first remake is not yet known.
It was problematic that the special edition managed to make the game so much more awkward to use, a ghastly inventory and muddle of inputs that made it often far easier to just switch back to the original mode and play with that. Cycling through nine different interacting options that – bewilderingly – didn’t appear in the same order each time, was inexplicable. Even using the verb pop-up box still required multiple key presses and mouse clicks, cycling through options, and tearing at hair, taking a big backward step from the two-decade-old original clumsy interface. Since the game’s in super-widescreen anyway, this time I really strongly hope they have the top and bottom of the screen be mouse-over pop-up menus for the inventory and the verbs, to make a slick, simple way of playing with minimal fuss.
However, there’s news that there’s to be a new control mechanism, with Guybrush available to be directly controlled. This will be optional, for purists. And they’ve reworked his hair, which, oh heavens, it was weird enough that everyone complained about that the first time.
The remake looked lovely, the music was great, and the voice work was absolutely wonderful. Clearly they poured a lot of love into it. But there’s certainly room for Revenge to be a lot better, and I’m very hopeful it will be. So long as LucasArts didn’t only read the really worrying number of reviewers who appeared to be wistfully writing about their memories of playing it twenty years ago.
Now everyone argue about whether Secret or Revenge was better. Go!