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Tales of Monkey Island Episode 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood (WiiWare) Review

Review for Tales of Monkey Island Episode 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

European Wii owners have so far been treated to four episodes of Telltale Games' Monkey Island reboot. Running over five parts, one released roughly each month just as happened with the five chapters of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Europe is merely awaiting the fifth and final entry - Rise of the Pirate God - to hit Nintendo's download service. To recap, Cubed3 has covered Episode 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, Episode 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, and Episode 3: Lair of the Leviathan. Now it is time to look closely at Episode 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood to see how it shapes up.

The protagonist of this particular tale, the Mighty Pirate himself, Guybrush Threepwood, has been on one heck of a rollercoaster ride over the past three episodes. Between turning the evil pirate Le Chuck into a dashing human fellow by accident, unleashing a lethal voodoo Pox upon the Carribbean, having one of his hands replaced by a hook, seeing his greatest fan Morgan LeFlay betray him, as well as being swallowed by a giant, injured manatee, Threepwood has had quite a tumultuous time. Sadly, for him, there is no rest for the wicked (or clumsy in this case). For this fourth episode, Threepwood is strong-armed back to Flotsam Island by LeFlay where he is duly handed over to the crazy scientist De Singe in exchange for a handsome reward. However, after all of Threepwood's antics on the island in the first episode, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, he is swiftly apprehended and put on trial for numerous crimes.

As with the previous chapter, Lair of the Leviathan, Telltale has focused more on smart puzzles instead of a collect-a-thon of items and going through various permutations of item-person-object to solve matters. Instead a modicum of logic is required as Threepwood initially attempts to dismiss all charges by representing himself in Court. The process of figuring out how to unravel a conundrum, then work out how to break free of the prison shackles and hunt down the required items is a far more satisfying process than merely collecting everything in one go and then cycling through a cluttered inventory. Later in this episode there is also somewhat of a treasure hunt, with (comparatively) 'cryptic' clues given and a handy map to keep tabs on where you travel to around the island and its jungle. Any issues found with previous entries have been wiped clear (such as the map, which is much easier to read than earlier in the series) and it is clear Telltale has been taking on-board as much user-feedback as possible to ensure this is the best episode so far.

Screenshot for Tales of Monkey Island Episode 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Since every Wii is standard, experiencing Tales of Monkey Island on the WiiWare service has one major advantage over the PC edition - the slowdown encountered on weaker home computers is not present here. Additionally, there is no need to use the keyboard and mouse combination, since the duo of Wii Remote and Nunchuk are the defaults and are considerably less cumbersome. Players can choose to use a Wii Remote alone, with infra-red pointing for highlighting and interacting with items, dragging the hero around in various directions or talking with people Guybrush meets on his journey, but use of the Nunchuk and Wii Remote in tandem is far simpler. Analogue stick walking (or running if holding down the Z button) is much more intuitive on the whole, leaving your right hand free to do all the Wii Remote point-and-clicking for a smoother experience all round.

Just like with Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, the heart and soul of the game has not changed considerably over the span of each episode. However, considering how solid the initial game engine created actually is, all that was required was a slight bit of tweaking here and there. A more essential factor was how Telltale dealt with the story's arc, and it has indeed been paced to perfection, with this episode providing the juiciest storyline yet, with twists and turns towards its conclusion that might seem obvious to long-term fans, but could well shock newcomers. This 1,000 Point chunk of gaming goodness will keep the average gamer occupied for up to five hours when soaking up the humour found by following all available conversation threads, and leads nicely into the final chapter (Rise of the Pirate God, which will hopefully arrive on the WiiWare service in the next week or so in all regions).

Screenshot for Tales of Monkey Island Episode 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Mixing an extremely user-friendly interface, plenty of smart puzzles contained within an easily manageable tight-knit world, makes this episode a joy to play through.

Graphics

Tales of Monkey Island continues to be one of the most visually pleasing games available on the WiiWare service, which is very impressive give the size of the PC edition it is based upon.

Sound

Perfect voice work, as with the other episodes, and an impressive soundtrack to boot.

Value

The few hours of puzzling enjoyment more than justifies the 1,000 Points cost, although some form of extras would have been ideal for replay purposes.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Telltale Games is definitely on a roll, with Episode 4: The Trial & Execution of Guybrush Threepwood not matching, but actually surpassing the previous three chapters overall in order to help continue the great revival of the Monkey Island brand. The pressure is now on to see if Telltale can make the final entry become the best of the bunch.

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20.01.2010

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Developer

Telltale

Publisher

LucasArts

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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AdamC3 (guest) 20.01.2010 13:31#1

This was by far my favourite out of all the episodes currently on WiiWare! Really has me in high hopes for the final chapter.

What are people's thoughts of the releases so far?

Defiantly the best yet, can't wait for 5 :3

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

What still never ceases to amaze me is how each episode so far has been storming the UK WiiWare Top 20. Whilst the Strong Bad game's started off really well, the later episodes seemed to drop off...

I wonder what's so different with the ToMI games? It's not even like the subsequent episodes have been eating into sales of the earlier chapters, since ALL have been hanging around at the top of the chart since Day One!

Whatever Telltale Games did this time round certainly worked a treat.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Kafei2006 (Offline at work) (guest) 21.01.2010 15:11#4

I played the whole series on PC, and while the first two were just OK (the second one being the one i liked less), 3,4 and 5, in order, were all more amazing than the previous one.

For those that wait for chapter 5 to come out on Wii, get ready for the pinnacle of the season Smilie.

Is this like a point and click game or a platformer adventure game? Because I have never played this series before?



SuperYoshi6 PSN name
3DS friend code 2878-9581-8999
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's a Point-and-Click adventure Smilie Although you can now also use the Nunchuk to move Guybrush around and just interact with people/objects by pointing-and-clicking.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Kafei2006 (Offline at work) (guest) 22.01.2010 15:08#7

I'm picking up Sam & Max Season 1 ASAP on Wii ^^. It's said it's got a few issues but i'd rather have it on disc for my Wii Smilie.

I'd buy Tales of MI for Wii right away if they were to make a disc release. Plus, it would allow them for larger storage space and could take advantage of this to correct the frame rate drops of the wiiware releases and poor sound and texture quality that had to be done in order to fit in the 40MB space limit.

Kafei2006 (Offline at work) (guest) said:
I'm picking up Sam & Max Season 1 ASAP on Wii ^^. It's said it's got a few issues but i'd rather have it on disc for my Wii Smilie.

I'd buy Tales of MI for Wii right away if they were to make a disc release. Plus, it would allow them for larger storage space and could take advantage of this to correct the frame rate drops of the wiiware releases and poor sound and texture quality that had to be done in order to fit in the 40MB space limit.

Good Man. That will be the funniest game on the Wii. You do have to go to the same places more than once. And the first episode is really hard to complete, you might need to use Gamefaqs for it.



SuperYoshi6 PSN name
3DS friend code 2878-9581-8999
AdamC3 (guest) 22.01.2010 21:14#9

I can't wait for Sam & Max Season 2 for Wii. Should be out in the next few months, with any luck. Kafei, a review of S&M Wii can be found on C3, done by your truly...just search for it.

I'm hoping Telltale does a disc release for both Strong Bad and ToMI to maximise sales!

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