Reviewed on PS2


Reviewed By: Scott MacDowall

Computer Platform: PlayStation 2
Produced by: Lucasarts
Price Range: $40-50
Learning curve time: 20 min.
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 4 of 5
   (slightly offensive)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Escape from Monkey Island
Most PS2 gamers if inclined to purchase an adventure game would most likely head to towards the grandest third-person escapade filling the shelves at their local gaming emporium. Little would they know that cowering behind all the violent, gore-fests of our world rests a different kind of adventure… one that scoffs at deadly monsters and titters at the thought of vulnerable main characters. Its ostentatious name is “Escape from Monkey Island” and let's hope creators Lucasarts will giggle when yet another gamer leaves it gathering dust.

Not that Lucasart's will be going bankrupt anytime soon as "Monkey Island" has already done considerable business on the PC. The latest update in the comedy misadventures of self-confessed mighty pirate Guybrush Threepwood, “EFMI” is actually the fourth title in one of the adventure world's most successful franchises. This time around Guybrush is sailing home to Melee Island with his wife and Governess of the aforementioned island, Elaine Marley. Upon their eventful arrival, Elaine is shocked to discover that she has been officially declared dead and a malfunctioning catapult is in the process of destroying her home. It's your job to help Guybrush unravel this mystery and restore equilibrium. Your weapons are the ability to start humorous conversations and solve devious puzzles, many of which test the faculties of all sane individuals.

Screenshot from 'Escape from Monkey Island' For the first time ever in a Monkey Island game all the item collecting and riddle solving is enacted by glorious 3D characters. Backgrounds remain 2D making Monkey Island resemble a hybrid between Walt Disney and Resident Evil. A wonderful, Caribbean inspired, soundtrack and good voice acting from the main leads ably supports the pretty graphics.

At its heart Monkey Island consists only of listening to long conversations and using items in their proper place. It's not a cardiac inducing white-knuckle ride. Guybrush Threepwood cannot die and neither will he fight a single enemy. If you find that idea repulsive then you're well catered by other games. The mind is challenged here, not finger reflexes, and if Lucasarts are right there's a group of people out there hospitable to such an idea.

Wannabe swashbucklers should be wary though for “Monkey Island” is heavily dependent on jokes, many of which require knowledge of "Monkey Island's" 1-3 to be fully appreciated. It's also the weakest installment in the series but PS2 owners unspoilt by the delights of the former PC games will have nothing to grumble about here. Even from a Christian point of view it's in good health. Occasional sexual innuendo, and lighthearted references to voodoo lower the tone a notch but nothing serious. Inevitably it comes down to how much can you bare playing an adventure game with more puzzles than action. If that's acceptable then consider “Escape from Monkey Island” highly recommended.

Year of Release—2001

Positive—I loved this game. I thought the only part that could be slightly offensive was the part with the two parrots. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Peter Rowlands, age 13

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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