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The Secret of Monkey Island Reviewed by Chad Reinhardt on . Rating: 92%
The Secret of Monkey Island
The Secret of Monkey Island The Secret of Monkey Island The Secret of Monkey Island The Secret of Monkey Island
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I can't tell you how ecstatic I am to have found this game for my Sega CD. The Secret of Monkey Island was the game that introduced me to the Adventure genre, and since then I've purchased, downloaded or borrowed as many of them as I could find. From King's Quest to Space Quest, Sam and Max to Kyrandia, there really is nothing like a top-notch adventure game to test your wit and try your patience.

In the dark ages, before FAQs were so readily available, these games could really swallow up a lot of your time, forcing you to deduce from the items in your inventory how to overcome the current roadblock and keep the story progressing. The Secret of Monkey Island is a great game to introduce newcomers to this genre; it contains difficult but not impossible puzzles, an excellent sense of humor, bright, colorful environments, and a first-rate musical score. There is so much to enjoy in this game that it makes me sad to know there are people that have yet to experience it.

Throughout all of the adventures in the Monkey Island universe, you assume the role of would-be pirate Guybrush Threepwood. Guybrush has come to Melee Island hoping to begin his career as a genuine salty sea cur, and to achieve this he must pass the three pirate trials. From the beginning of the game you're sword fighting, flying out of cannons, sneaking into kitchens to steal fish, and gliding across ropes with your trusty rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. Probably not the images you initially conceive when thinking about pirates, but it all makes sense once the game begins. Guybrush was created as the ultimate underdog, from his hilarious half-baked comebacks to his somewhat feminine composure (which is constantly the subject of ridicule). He tries in vain to embody the visage of the sea-hardened roustabouts he grew up idolizing, but is never once taken seriously.

The gameplay mechanics are of the typical adventure style; that is, there is a menu on the bottom quarter of the screen with a list of options (talk, pickup, use, open, etc.) to aid you through your travels. Next to the options is your inventory menu, showing small pictures of the bizarre item you will collect along the way. Every item you collect will and must be used, contrary to some games where you can actually collect items that have no relevance to the puzzles you encounter. The bulk of the game involves moving a cursor across the screen and pressing the A button to direct Guybrush to that location.

One of the best parts of this game is the musical score, which has a beautiful Caribbean feel; perfectly fitting whichever part of the game you are at. The dialogue throughout is very witty or just plain silly, which sugarcoats the overall experience; no matter how stuck and frustrated you may get, interacting with a new character will always make you chuckle. As I said before, some of the puzzles are genuinely difficult, but not as bad as, say, Broken Sword 2.

This game is well worth the time it takes to track it down. There have been several sequels, none of which are available for the Sega CD, though. My only complaint has to do with the occasional long load time, but these can be forgiven easily enough. I would recommend this game to everyone on the planet; it is a true classic and has stood the test of time famously.
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