Platform: PC (Also Wii)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Review by: Kevin Haverty
After escaping from the belly of a manatee then being a wingman for the same manatee, Guybrush is back at Flotsam Island for the fourth chapter of Telltale Games’ Tales of Monkey Island. He is welcomed with a summons to pirate court for his various crimes during the series. Each crime bears the death penalty, so Guybrush must channel his inner Phoenix Wright to save his neck.
Telltale brings back the slick talking Smilin’ Stan S. Stanman to face Guybrush in the courtroom as well as sell souvenirs outside the courtroom. It is great to see Stan back with his flailing limbs and trademark suit, where the texture stays stationary.
Being back on Flotsam Island means not much has changed in the environment. Guybrush can now enter the courthouse and get some grog at Club 41. This time it is night on Flotsam Island and that means it is damn near impossible to see anything. Navigating the piers is a pain and some paths in the jungle can easily be missed due to how dark everything is. It would have been nice to have a brightness setting in the game’s options menu.
Like all of the chapters before it, gameplay remains the same. The trial setting takes up the first half of the chapter and puts a welcome twist in the typical routine. But the process of leaving the courtroom, then tricking the guard to let Guybrush loose gets cumbersome after the second time.
“The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood” is very heavy on exposition. This means the humor, a great strength of the series, takes a backseat for most of the episode. The trial half lazily ends with a twist while key characters give a rushed summary of Guybrush’s actions and true intentions.
The puzzles during the courtroom half are tricky, but have enough logic to them to help the player along. Like most of the previous episodes, there is one frustrating puzzle where Guybrush must be in the right condition to solve it. There isn’t enough information to connect the events required to complete this. But a map puzzle during the second half is the best laid puzzle in the series yet.
“The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood” takes a step back with its uneven pace and lack of humor. But the cliffhanger ending is satisfying and builds suspense to help bring the series back on track for the upcoming final chapter.
For more info, www.telltalegames.com
Pads & Panels received a download voucher for the game courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.