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Monkey Island 2 - Le Chuck's Revenge logo

Endlich hat Lucas Arts die Amigaversion der zweiten Affeninsel fertiggestellt, endlich haben alle arbeitslosen Piraten wieder eine sinnvolle Aufgabe, endlich überschüttet uns der Postbote nicht mehr mit Anfragen, wann denn dieses Game endlich herauskäme. Endlich, endlich, endlich!

Monkey Island 2 - Le Chuck's Revenge Es schien sich aber auch wirklich alles gegen uns Affenliebhaber verschworen zu haben: Während PC-Piraten Freund Guybrush bereits seit über einem halben Jahr durchs aktuelle Karibik-Abenteuer schleuchen dürften, wurde die Amigaversion immer wieder verschoben. Alles vergeben und vergessen - die Umsetzung ist astrein ausgefallen!

Auf stattlichen elf Scheiben wird das Game geliefert, erstaunlicherweise läßt es sich dennoch auch von Disk relativ passabel spielen: Sämtliche Daten, auf die das Programm ständig zurückgreifen muß, sind gleichermaßen auf allen Disketten zu finden, wodurch sich (im Gegensatz zu beispielsweise vielen Dynamix-Adventures) die Wechselei in erträglichen Grenzen hält; dennoch wäre hier eine Harddisk sicher nicht verkehrt. Die Grafik wurde im 32 Farben-Modus erstellt und ist wunderschön anzusehen, das Scrolling hat auch zu PC-Zeiten schon geruckelt, und der Hauptdarsteller ist nun zwar etwas langsamer unterwegs, im Vergleich zu manch anderem Amiga-Helden rast er aber geradezu irrwitzig flott über den Screen. Lediglich beim Sound müssen größere Abstriche gemacht werden, denn Musik ertönt auf der "Freundin" nur noch gelegentlich, und die Effekte fehlen weitgehend. Aber Story und Handlungsablauf sind selbstverständlich hundertprozentig identisch zur "Urversion".

Am Anfang steht eine Begegnung zwischen Guybrush Threepwood und Elaine Marley, jener hübschen Inselgouverneurin, die der frischgebackene Pirat im ersten Teil aus den Klauen des üblen Geisterkapitäns Le Chuck befreien könte. Mittlerweise ist das aber Schnee von gestern, denn nun erzählt Guybrush Elaine von seinem nächsten, viel größeren Coup: Der sagenumwobene Schatz "Big Whoop", an den sich bisher noch kein Pirat rantraute, soll ihm zu Ruhm, Ehre und ein bißchen Kleingeld verhelfen. Er begibt sich deshalb nach Scabb Island, wo er aber unrühmlicherweise erstmal seine komplette Barschaft an den ehrlosen Banditen Largo los wird. Und schon wird's kompliziert, denn sehr bald stellt sich heraus, daß der gesuchte Schatz gar nicht auf Scabb Island liegt - aber eine sofortige Weiterreise ist nicht drin, weil da sowohl Largo als auch Guybrush leerer Geldbeutel etwas dagegen haben...

Monkey Island 2 - Le Chuck's Revenge Nun, gegen Largo hilft eine Voodoo-Puppe, die die bereits vom Vorgänger her bekannte Wahrsagerin im Sumpf gerne anfertigt, immer vorausgesetzt, man besorgt ihr die erforderlichen Zutaten. Überhaupt wollen immer alle was von einem, beispielsweise stellt der hilfsbereite Captain Dread sein Schiff nur dann als Fluchtfahrzeug zur Verfügung, wenn man ihm einen Talisman und 20 Goldstücke überreicht. Dazu mal ein kleiner Tip: Ein ausgezeichneter Glücksbringer ist das Monokel des skurrilen Kartographen Wally, der Guybrush auch erzählt, daß der Lageplan für Big Whoop in vier Teile zerrissen wurde und sich daher jetzt im Besitz von vier verschiedenen Leute befindet. Klingt nach viel Arbeit? Ist es auch! Im Vergleich zum ersten Teil haben Rätseldichte und -knackigheit drei Zähne zugelegt, manchmal muß man schon um mehrere Ecken denken, um die abstrusen Denksportaufgaben zu lösen!

Amiga Joker Hit Wie gehabt verteilt sich die Geschichte auf mehre Inseln (genauer: dreieinhalb), auf denen der Held als winzige Pixel-Figur nach Belieben herumlaufen kann. Sobald er eine interessante Örtlichkeit erreicht, wird von der Vogelperspektive wieder auf die normale Seitenansicht mit einem vernünftig großen Guybrush umgeschaltet. Wenn dann nicht zufälligerweise gerade eine jener Lucas-typischen, trickfilmartigen Zwischensequenzen (in die man nicht eingreifen kann) ansteht, läßt man ihn in gewohnter Weise per Maus und Verbenliste agieren. An der rein mausgesteuerten Benutzerführung hat sich also wenig geändert, mal davon abgesehen, daß die Gegenstände im Inventory nun als Icons erscheinen. Geredet wird im Multiple-Choice-Verfahren, man darf endlos viele Spielstände anlegen, es gibt eine Codeabfrage als Kopierschutz, und das ganze Programm ist komplett in deutsch zu haben. Im Gegensatz zum Vorgänger sind hier jedoch deutlich mehr Orte zu erforschen und mehr Rätsel zu lösen: man begegnet auch mehr Personen, teilweise handelt es sich dabei aber um alte Bekannte wie die schöne Gouverneurin Elaine oder den wiederbelebten Bösewicht Le Chuck.

An Komplexität herrscht nun also kein mangel mehr, und an (manchmal aber witzigen!) humoristischen Einlagen ohnehin nicht. Hier ist einfach alles drin und dran: Liebe, Drama, Wahnsinn, stimmige Atmosphäre und Knobelspaß satt - da sieht man über die letztendlich äußert geringen "Umsetzungs-Verluste" gerne hinweg. Mag das Spiel auch etwas Disk-Wechselei mit sich bringen und die Musikbegleitung spärlicher sein als auf dem PC ,Hauptsache, das Gameplay ist in Ordnung. Und weil dem selbst auf "Problem-Amigas" wie dem A500 Plus oder dem 3000er so ist, gibt's hier nur eine Devise: Entert schnellstens die Geschäfte! (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, September 1991, p.p.52-53

MONKEY ISLAND 2
(LUCAS ARTS)
MOVIE-ADVENTURE

87%

"PIRATENKLASSE EINS!"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPASS
85%
83%
72%
-
85%
88%
VARIABEL: 2 STUFEN
PREIS DM 89,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
11/JA
JA
SPIELSTÄNDE
KOMPLETT


Monkey Island 2 - Le Chuck's Revenge logo

Game: The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Publisher: US Gold
Price: £37.99
Authors: Ron Gilbert (Design) & The Lucasfilm Games Team
Release: Out now

Guybrush is back in the most eagerly awaited adventure of modern times...

Monkey Island 2 - Le Chuck's Revenge H umour in computer games is a rare and beautiful thing. But why is it so rare? Well, it has been argued (quite a few times actually) that comedy is such a subjective thing you'd have problems making it appeal to a wide audience, but I can't see it. (Comedy films and TV shows wouldn't be big hits if that was true). No, I reckon the real reason there aren't many (deliberately) funny computer games is that most programmers and designers aren't very funny people. Most are far too serious for their own good - and yours and mine for that matter.
Not so the guys and gals at Lucasfilm. They like a laugh as much as the next man - as they have so ably demonstrated with their range of graphic adventures, particularly Maniac Mansion, the underrated Zak McKraken and, of course, The Secret Of Monkey Island. These are games that were good anyway, but made great - and so much more playable - by not being sober.

ANOTHER GUYBRUSH WITH SUCCESS
And now here's this: the eagerly awaited sequel to the biggest and best of what we might call Lucasfilm's comedy adventures, Monkey Island - a real AMIGA POWER favorite, and arguably one of the most significant games of the last five years. The great news is that, although this new game is a definite improvement over the original in a number of significant ways, it retains its soul and proves just as entertaining (see THE SECRETS OF MONKEY ISLAND'S SUCCESS). In short, it's just as much a doozy as its predecessor.
Monkey Island 2's story begins not where the first episode left off, but with Guybrush Threepwood hanging around in a pit where he's discovered by the light of his life, Elaine Marley. She wants to know how he got into this predicament, so Guybrush explains and the adventure itself begins... as a flashback!

Monkey Island 2 - Le Chuck's Revenge BABY, BABY, BABY LITE MY WAY
From the word go, both the jokes and the user-friendly nature of the game makes themselves apparent - sometimes intrinsically linked. For instance, when you first start the game you can choose between Monkey Island 2 ("I want it ALL! ALL the puzzles! All the work!"), which is the full blown adventure, or Monkey Island 2 Lite ("I've never played an adventure game before. I'm scared.") which has less puzzles. It is funny, but it is also a considerate touch. Even if you go for the full-blown adventure, however, it's far less intimidating than many similar games - you never worry that you might just get stuck and unable to continue. One reason for this is that making life-threatening mistakes during play is impossible - you know that you will win at some point, it just might take a lot longer than is necessary. Thus a very welcome confidence is instilled in any player - in some ways it's less of an adventure game, as such, than an interactive 'experience', and you find yourself coming back to it as you would a good book.

Let's look as it as if it were a book then. This particular novel isn't very deep - it's more a punchy, wacky-zany-crazy short story concentrating on inoffensive humour. An abundance of encounters with, and references to, characters and exploits from the first adventure do well to create a sense of belonging, and the non interactive 'cut-scenes' (where the action momentarily shifts to the main baddie or some other character, where you see something significant back happen, then flicks to your own predicament) serve to enhance the cinematic feel.
As in all good novels, the pace varies, although not always for the best - for example, the exploration and conversations on Phatt Island drag on a bit at times. On the whole, though, the dialogue, characters and situations are judged just right, with more than enough variety to keep you from getting bored, yet without moving everything on so fast that you begin to feel lost. The situations are generally completely unbelievable too, and this is used to good effect - it's all so far removed from the real world that you just can't help being drawn into it. The puzzles don't seem like individual problems, as they so often do in adventures of this type but as just one part of a cohesive whole - and solving them is all the more rewarding for that.

GORILLA TACTICS - NIT PICKING
However, with Monkey Island 2 being such as big-time release, it's only fair to stop getting carried away with praise (though it deserves praise, make no mistake about that) for a moment, and to step back and take a look at some of its faults. It does have them, and I sincerely hope they can be smoothed out in time for another sequel - otherwise I can't see how a third Monkey Island will be practical on the Amiga.
For a start, Monkey Island 2 lacks some of the charm of the first instalment, partly because we've seen something similar before - the element of surprise is lost - but also because expectations are so high this time round. To be honest, I don't see how this could have been avoided.

Monkey Island 2 - Le Chuck's Revenge It's not so easy to pardon the level of disk swapping and accessing involved, though. Installation on hard disk is recommended, but for the sake of the majority of you out there, I also had a go at playing Monkey Island 2 from good old floppies. Ouch. It takes a good 10 minutes and over half a dozen disk swaps to get started - and that's skipping the film-like title and introductory sequences. Loading a previously saved position from scratch can take a further five minutes and involve yet another half a dozen or so disk swaps.
As always, all this malarkey taints the suspension of disbelief something cronic, and does no justice at all to the carefully crafted atmosphere. Here's an example of the sort of thing I mean, and one of the worst instances. Bad guy Largo walks into a bar and spits - and at this point the screen goes blank, the music stops and you are asked to insert Disk 3. The screen is blanked again and the music plays for a few seconds more before you have to insert Disk 2. Eventually a close-up of Largo's green glob of gob is shown flying across the room! Now this scene would probably look fabulous in a more fluid state, but from floppy disk it's shown up for the stilted series of still frames it really is.

Other quibbles? Well, I'm surprised that the sense of humour doesn't extend to the 'Please Insert Disk...' messages. We know it has to be done with this product, so why not make light of the fact? Also, the game could do with being slightly more consistent, or just plain cleverer, in the way it deals with the various possible permutations there are on the order of events.
Let me explain: for example, I saw Captain Dread before going back to the beach for another chat with Bart 'n' Fink. They suggested I went to see Captain Dread and Guybrush spoke as though he'd never been there. Surely the dialogue could have been adapted accordingly? (Of course, nearly every adventure game suffers from this sort of problem, it's just that Monkey Island 2 is so slick in other areas, what weaknesses there are somehow become much more glaringly obvious).

TREASURE BURIED IN THE DISKS
And last, but not least, on the whinging front: Lucasfilm Games are attempting to create a film-like experience here, and yet the AmigaDos and Workbench screens are displayed in all their blue and white ugliness during the initial stages of loading. Am I being pedantic? No, I'd like to have experienced a cinematic event from start to finish.
This all said, however, Monkey Island 2 is still a great game. You must bear in mind that it's not been built for the standard Amiga - although I reckon it could have been if a top coder had been allowed to get his hands on it - and that you're going to suffer moments of frustration if you try and run it off the floppies, but if you own a hard drive I'd whole-heartedly recommend it.

Monkey Island 2 is, by and large, a sheer delight to play. Certainly, compared to a great many other Amiga releases similar adventures in particular, Monkey Island 2 is quite excellent - a better game than its illustrious predecessor even. Sure it's not completely seamless experience not yet, and I'm disappointed by the very high price tag, but few games will make you smile like this one will.
Gary Penn

Amiga Power, July 1992, p.p.38-40

THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND'S SUCCESS
A s you can see, the scenery looks jolly pleasant. There's a healthy attention to detail, appropriate and atmospheric lightning and a sense of depth (objects closest to the viewer are blurred). There are a few special effects, but most fall flat due to lack of size and aural accompaniment.
However, on the plus side, the scrolling is smoother than that in the first game (but still not as slick as it should be), though the way the characters shrink or grow when they move 'in' or 'out' of the screen, and the way their heads and mouths move to indicate speech, all works well. The absence of close-up shots isn't very noticeable either.

GUYBRUSH'S COMMANDS
The mouse-and-keyboard-driven interface has been tweaked slightly for added user friendliness. For a start, the text for the commands is physically larger, and there are only nine commands instead of Monkey Island's 12.
When you want Guybrush to walk somewhere, you simply point and click to the destination on the Action Window. And when you want him to talk to someone, you select 'Talk to' and then point and click on the person for a list of questions or replies. It's that simple, albeit a little sluggish at times for some strange reason.

GUYBRUSH'S INVENTORY
Objects in Guybrush's inventory are shown as pictures, not words which makes selecting them easier. Hoorah!

SOUNDING OFF ABOUT iMUSE
The iMUSE (interactive Music and Sound Effects) system is theoretically used to tailor the soundtrack and spot effects to suit the mood of the action. But it doesn't work - certainly not on my one megabyte machine. I'd like to have heard some spot effects as well as music throughout, but Monkey Island 2 is played mainly in silence. Boo, hiss.

"By and large a sheer delight to play"

Upper UPPERS
Gorgeous graphics - the lush scenery doesn't look computery at all, and is all the more atmospheric for it - and with so many groansome gags on offer there's a laugh and a half of full cream fun for everyone. That the user interface is superb, the plot witty and suitably twisting, and the tone perfect almost goes without saying - these were the great plus points of the first game, and little has changed.
Downer DOWNERS
Unless you have a hard disk drive you can't ignore the fact that there are 11 disks and plenty of swapping involved, which does mar the proceedings to a greater or less extent, depending on how easily annoyed you are. It's a pity the music system doesn't work as well as it might, too.

THE BOTTOM LINE
A worthy sequel, as they say - and to be a worthy sequel to the excellent Monkey Island takes some doing - despite a few flaws. Essential if you enjoyed the first game (and, let's to be honest, who didn't?), with enough in the way of improvements and changes to keep you on your toes.


90

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