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Have You Played... The Curse Of Monkey Island?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

“It’s important to admit when you’re wrong,” wrote John when he revisited The Curse of Monkey Island years after release only to realise it was better than he’d remembered. It’s also important to shout about when you’re right, though: I always liked the third Monkey Island game.

It’s got more jokes than the previous two games and though there’s nothing as memorable as the famous moments in the second, it’s much better than the first. The puzzles are fine, as they always were. Dominic Armato’s voice for Guybrush Threepwood is perfect. Bill Tiller’s art, which renders the world as a cartoon with lush, painted backdrops rather than pixel art, is gorgeous.

The only thing I don’t like about it is what it did to Elaine Marley, Guybrush’s long-suffering love interest. The first two games sometimes give you cause to save her, but reveal either immediately or in the long-run that she’s much more capable of saving herself than Guybrush is. The Curse of Monkey Island meanwhile turns her into a gold statue for much of the game, making her a genuine damsel.

Sure, I’d also like to see Ron Gilbert get to make his third Monkey Island game, and to reveal the ending he had in mind after the strange twist at the end of Monkey Island 2. But whether that ever happens or not, Monkey Island 3 remains a fine adventure game.

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