Review The Secret of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChucks Revenge

Given the success of last year’s HD remake of Lucasarts’ classic The Secret of Monkey Island, fans lived in hope that the sequel, LeChuck’s Revenge, would receive similar treatment. And now it has! Classed by many as one of the best point and click games of the ‘90s, the game has been released on various downloadable services, allowing many to revisit and enjoy this wonderful title, or even discover it for the first time.

LeChuck’s Revenge places you back in the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a short time after the successful conclusion of The Secret of Monkey Island. As the title suggests, LeChuck manages to return from the grave and once again its left to our intrepid pirate to defeat him. The story builds greatly on the first, involving a greater number of characters and environments, all of which remain intact in this update. The visuals form the most noticeable alteration, benefiting from being beautifully redrawn and adding new animations to the characters. Like the first game, the Caribbean inspired music has been re-recorded and its possible to enter classic mode at any time, allowing the player to compare both visuals and audio.

Unlike the first update, Lucasarts have included a developers commentary with Monkey Island veterans Dave Grossman, Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert. Prompts throughout the game highlight when these discussions can be played and, from a fans point of view, are a truly wonderful feature which offer a funny and insightful look into the games development. Artwork is also unlocked along the way, showing off concept art for locations and characters through the many different design stages. It all makes it feel like a much fuller package than last year’s Special Edition release.

Admirably Lucasarts listened to the various complaints from fans about the first remake and have addressed the majority of those for LeChuck’s Revenge. One major complaint was Guybrush’s character art, which has now been altered to make it feel much more akin to the original. The ability to have voices during classic mode has also been included and finally the control scheme has received an overhaul. The ability to directly control Guybrush with the left thumbstick makes it feel much more natural when playing with a pad, but unfortunately its not quite a flawless result. He can sometimes get stuck behind objects and scenery which would normally be avoided if the AI controlled how he moved according to what was clicked. Finally the hint system has been tweaked to include the ability to highlight objects to interact with.

Nearly twenty years since it was first released, Monkey Island 2 is still a joy to play. If there were any criticisms it would be the exclusion of an easier version of the game, selectable at the start, and the omission of the opening and ending credits. Its certainly unusual why these have been left out, as they only ever added to the overall package.

Hidden away in this update are further references to Day of the Tentacle, another Lucasarts classic could this be a hint as to their future plans? Hopefully so and, if LeChuck’s Revenge is anything to go by, these remakes can only continue to get better.