Game Review: Tales of Monkey Island – Chapter 5: Rise of a Pirate God
Release: December 8, 2009 (US)
Developer: Telltale Games
Available Platforms: PC, WiiWare
MSRP: PC – $34.95 for Chapters 1-5 (cannot buy individually), WiiWare – 1000 Points per Chapter, or 5000 for the set.
ESRB Rating: Not Rated (PC), E 10+ (WiiWare for Alcohol Reference, Cartoon Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes)
‘Rise of a Pirate God’ is the final chapter in the five-part episodic gaming series, Tales of Monkey Island, from TellTale Games and LucasArts based on the Monkey Island franchise. In the previous chapters, we’ve been led on a fantastic adventure throughout the Caribbean Islands by our dashing hero, Guybrush Threepwood, as he pursues the evil Pirate LeChuck.
Each of the previous chapters have had the same control scheme, so I won’t elaborate on that. What I will elaborate on, however, are the puzzles. This is an adventure game. That means that there is little to no action over which the player has direct control. The only times you will be performing actions are to put two and two together to solve a puzzle that is likely a piece to a larger puzzle, which is a piece of a larger puzzle and so forth. If you like detective games, then you should enjoy each of the chapters of Tales of Monkey Island.
The great thing about this chapter is that you have all of the positive mechanics from the previous chapters, as it wouldn’t make sense to deviate from the norm. You have fantastic voice-acting as well as extremely witty writing from the team at TellTale Games. The animation, even in the press build (not final) was spectacular, so those of you receiving the final build will be getting a major treat. The final great thing (which can also double as a negative) is that we are finally coming to the end of the series. This may be the ending of this set of episodes, but the Monkey Island franchise has a horde of followers that can’t wait for the next series to start up.
Honestly, there aren’t many things that can be improved here. TellTale Games seemed to really put forth an amazing effort to close out Tales of Monkey Island with its best work. The lone negative that I can find is the fact that this is definitely a niche game for a niche audience and a niche genre. If you are into action-based and shoot-em-ups, then move on because this will seem like a waste of your time. Adventure games are created to test your intelligence, not you reflexes and precision with a gun.
Patrick’s Final Say: Tales of Monkey Island succeeds on so many levels that if there was an award for ‘Best Episodic Game of 2009’, then it would receive my vote. This is not only because I like the genre, but also because the story was well-written, well-voiced, and well-paced. ‘Rise of a Pirate God’ is the crescendo of a fantastic concerto created by TellTale Games. BRAVO!! ENCORE!! ENCORE!!