Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 5 - Rise of the Pirate God Review

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Tales of Monkey Island Publisher: LucasArts / Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games


Platforms: PC and Wii
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 2 GHz Processor, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0c compatible video card with 64 MB VRAM, internet connection, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Following Guybrush Threepwood's untimely demise at the conclusion of The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, Guybrush Threepwood: Mighty Pirate must somehow escape from the afterlife and return to the world of the living to rescue his wife Elaine from the clutches of the once-again-Demon Pirate LeChuck.

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


After a decent, but less-than-inspired fourth episode, Telltale Games' efforts really shine in the fifth and final chapter of (the first season of) Tales of Monkey Island. Rise of the Pirate God takes players back and forth between the land of the living and the pirate afterlife, finally wrapping up the plot arc that intertwined the fates of the Demon Pirate LeChuck and a prized voodoo sponge.

I found that Rise of the Pirate God started a little slow, forcing Threepwood to claw his way out of his own grave, and negotiate his fare to the afterlife with a mysterious ferryman. Threepwood's first encounter in the pirate afterlife was with the mysterious Galeb, but Galeb's accent drifted through so many nationalities that I was thoroughly distracted. Fortunately, I quickly finished my conversations with Galeb and began to explore, discovering fantastic (and gorgeously rendered) landscapes, filled with piratical pleasures.

Not only is Rise of the Pirate God filled with new locations, clever puzzles and the culmination of Threepwood's competition with LeChuck, it hits every button that an adventure gamer or Monkey Island fan could have. Despite claims that there would never be insult swordfighting in the new series, a form of insult swordfighting returns, cleverly nested within complement swordfighting for a serious three-way battle of wits.

The puzzles hit the right balance – it's a little difficult to zombify Threepwood's own corpse, but the adventure-game logic is sound and self-consistent, making the puzzle ultimately comprehensible. The only major quibble I had with Rise of the Pirate God (save Galeb's accent) was the fact that certain characters (like a dog and Galeb himself) tended to change location with insufficient clues, forcing me to search around for elements of puzzles.

Most importantly, the conclusion of Rise of the Pirate God is truly epic, right down to the effort that Telltale put into LeChuck's flagship and the final battle. Of course, Telltale all-but-promises further adventures, despite a seemingly final end to LeChuck's rampages. Ultimately, Rise of the Pirate God cements the fact that the first season of Tales of Monkey Island is worth the $35 price for the entire experience.

1 Comments

Dream Handy said:

I think that Rise of the Pirate God is a fantastic closer to the Tales of Monkey Island. The puzzles are challenging and hilarious, the script is strong and well-performed and it all looks very nice thanks to some great design work. Tales of Monkey Island is undoubtedly Telltale's best episodic work to date.

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