LucasArts has been doing this for a while now, giving Tell Tale Games the creative licence to take franchises like Sam & Max to new places and, as is the case here with the Special Edition of Monkey Island 2, giving new life to classics by updating the graphics and features. But the true secret to their revitalization efforts is that they manage to maintain the same charm and humor that made these titles so successful in the first place.
Even after all this time, Monkey Island 2’s tale of hapless wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood and his battle to outwit and defeat the demon ghost pirate LeChuck is still pretty damn funny, and it’s made even more so by new voice acting and a reworked script. Thankfully, much of the original cast also returns to flesh out the experience, which is a big plus for nostalgic fans who were on board with the series back in the 90s. Put together, all this makes the story come together incredibly well, and even new players will get a chuckle from things like numerous Star Wars references and various pop culture in-jokes.
If anything, the game is almost worth it for the extra features alone. Optional commentary by the original team (Schafer, Gilbert, and Grossman) is a real treat to listen to, especially with memorable quips like “God, we used to program!” and humorous anecdotes about minor details in the game, like the name of the dog at the Phatt Island Jail. Monkey Island 2 SE also comes with the original version of the game, which carries the original graphics and music, although the in-game voice-overs can be layered over the old interface.
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