Review: Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God

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Arrgh! Here we are, matey … back once again for the final episode of the first season of Tales of Monkey Island!

We have now reached the final episode of the series, so this is it … the end of the first season! It is hard to introduce the final episode without spoiling the end of the last one, so let’s just say that this chapter finds Threepwood over his head once again, but even more so than before! We already know from LeChuck that matters of life and death do nothing to stop the progress of a determined pirate, so Guybrush Threepwood will get an added ‘dimension’ to explore in this final entry.

This final episode mixes new and old settings effectively, but some of the areas feel like they really gave the artists full license to go wild – and to great effect! Some of the best designed areas in the whole series are in this episode, and the juxtaposition of the two main areas contrasts spectacularly.

Most of the other elements are similar in terms of balance and quality. The tone is darker here, allowing for more dark humor, which I enjoyed as a contrast to some of the more rampant silliness of earlier chapters. The writing, dialog, storytelling and voice-acting remain top-notch, and the character actors are really hitting on all cylinders at this point.

The addition of the new settings makes for some challenging puzzles, albeit ones that require occasional backtracking. There are some puzzles that are simple collection tasks, others that are multi-stage, and others still that focus on conversation choices. They are all logical and fun to solve. You even get some time-sensitive puzzles that push you a little bit and keep you on your toes as you approach the ending!

As for how this compares to the rest of the season, it is a tough call because it plays out very differently. In terms of overall quality it feels very balanced – other episodes have focused more on character or humor or puzzles, but here we get a good amount of all. Other than the first chapter, we have seen episodes move along the story arc, but here everything needs to be wrapped up. And the game does conclude nicely.

Now that I’ve completed this last episode, I just can’t wait for the NEXT season. How do I know there will be more? Well, I don’t – but I can always hope, and do you really think that the story ended conclusively? As I said before – If you haven’t already, grab the season pass and get ye to piratin’!

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Pros:
+ Classic adventure game style
+ Applies everything TellTale has learned
+ Great jokes
+ Challenging puzzles, but not too hard
+ Great story and characters
+ Satisfying length

Cons:
– Having to wait for the next season to be announced!

Game Info:
Platform: PC
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: 12/8/09
Genre: Adventure
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Players: 1
Source: Review code provided by publisher

About the Author

I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!