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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Adventure

 

Publisher

Telltale Games

 

Developer

Telltale Games

 

ESRB

N/A

 

Released

October 30, 2009

 

 

‑ Despite not being as funny as the previous three episodes, story does an excellent job of moving the series to its conclusion with a great cliffhanger leading to the finale

 

 

‑ The usual hilarious Monkey Island comedy story has morphed into a dramedy with a bit too much gloomy death and apparent dying by main characters turning the jokes into somewhat of a gallows humor

‑ Puzzle-solving reverts back to confusing, what-do-I-do-next frustration at times

 

 

Review: Tales of Monkey Island: Lair of the Leviathan (PC)

Review: Wallace & Gromit: The Bogey Man (PC)

Review: Sam & Max: Season 2 (PC)

 

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Tales of Monkey Island: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

trial and execution of guybrush threepwood            trial and execution of guybrush threepwood

 

It’s a razor-thin fine line between love and hate, as the pirate hero of the Tales of Monkey Island PC series, Guybrush Threepwood, has learned quite the hard way throughout the first three episodes. Morgan LeFlay, the mercenary pirate hunter who happens to have a seemingly serious romantic crush on Guybrush (who’s married to fellow pirate Elaine) while hating him enough for a perceived wrong that

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she’s willing to turn him over to the evil Marquis De Singe – who needs the pox-infested Guybrush to fulfill his quest for immortality.

 

Yes, love’s a duel-edged swashbuckling sword. The love-hate goes from smoldering to full-blown inferno in The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, with a all-out saber-rattling swordfight between Morgan and

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Elaine over the affections of Guybrush, who also happens to find himself on trial for, among other silly (yet true) reasons, spreading the evil pox to the island dwellers.

 

Once more, there is a strong story guiding this episode, and that’s fortunate, because the series reverts back to some bad habits and even diminishes the strong suit of the plot –namely, its “hardy har har” humor – to bring some questionable drama into the proceedings. It’s rather easy to refer to this episode as a complete dramedy, with main characters seemingly killed– with heavy emphasis on “seemingly” – including the series’ two most interesting, Guybrush and Morgan. There’s not much chuckling and guffawing to be had with characters meeting their demise (again, seemingly) by being run through by a pirate sword. What the story does convincingly, though, is move toward a sure-to-be-grand finale with a really good cliffhanger at the end of The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood.

 

trial and execution of guybrush threepwood          trial and execution of guybrush threepwood

 

But the episode doesn’t start out so heavily dripped in drama. The courtroom goings-on showcase much of the classic Tales of Monkey Island humor, and the dual role that’s played by Threepwood during the court proceedings – as both himself and as his lawyer – is oftentimes completely hilarious. The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood overall still has plenty of laughs – lawyer Stan’s particularly funny – but too much infused drama takes some of the jocularity out of the gameplay.

 

Unfortunately, the game’s puzzles frustratingly revert back to the confusing, what-do-I-do-next complexities that were present in the earliest episode. There’s another easy-to-get-lost jungle puzzle excursion, and the puzzle that gamers must solve in order to grow the crucial-to-the-entire-story La Esponja Grande is really difficult at times. In fact, even using the official walkthrough (that Telltale Games thankfully provides right on its website) it still was perplexing for this reviewer to solve the pirate puzzles.

 

However, despite the once-again difficult and confusing complexity of some of the puzzles and the dramedy-filled story, The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood successfully brings gamers to the threshold of the Tales of Monkey Island’s final chapter.

 

‑ Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(November 27, 2009)

 

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