Sun 1 Nov 2009
The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood – a title that instills fear, tension and deep expectation in any loyal Monkey Island fan. When we click that big green DOWNLOAD button, we know we’re in for a real treat. And boy, we sure are! Chapter 4 is simply the most intriguing and exciting episode yet, and it can only get better with Chapter 5!
Remember that spoilers of Chapters 1 – 3 are very likely!
Nightfall, still water and guilty consciences greet us in the quiet and depressing scene following Morgan’s shocking (but not unexpected) betrayal. After struggling to land and handing Guybrush over to that annoying Frenchman the Marquis De Singe, Guybrush is greeted by an angry mob. They call for The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood.
Immediately after the opening scene the schizophrenic, pox-infected judge Grindstump screams from his regal seat in a short, comical sequence which leads into the introduction of the snappy loud-mouthed salesman Stan. Stan is as annoying as ever, but the new voice actor just isn’t Stanlike enough; he is very monotone and unenthusiastic, it was very hard to grow accustomed to him as I had always thought Stan sounded like he did in Curse of Monkey Island. His looks are also a bit off, but that’s just nitpicking. Other than those small problems, it’s nice to see this iconic character return and he plays quite an important part too; maybe a little too important for this silktounge salesman.
The initial puzzle is a conventional adventure game elimination puzzle likened to the interrogation of your prisoners in Chapter 3, or other such adventure games where you have to take as many people out of the equation as possible. This puzzle fits the scenario perfectly however it dragged on quite a lot. The elimination of just a few witnesses takes you over a large chunk of the game; plot-engaging, let a little monotonous for such a long space of time. Comically, the pirates don’t seem to care when you manipulate the stupid and hilarious Hardtack into escaping prison. Multiple times. It’s a good thing too, because without escaping you would never be able to pervert the course of justi– err: consult with your client.
Elaine arrives and you’re sent on another long puzzle, taking place in the ambiguous Club 41. This puzzle had a silly solution, I felt like it was just a little ridiculous that a pair of swordfighters would stop in the middle of a heated battle for a grog.
The duellers tamed, the truth revealed (the shocking, shocking truth) and the trial over – it’s time for a scavenger hunt lead by cryptic clues. We’ll pair this with a deeply tragic scene and a little intrigue, making for a very deep puzzle. While impossibly engaging, this puzzle is very difficult. Just take a look on the Telltale forums (but be prepared for spoilers!).
And then. The finale. The tragic, tragic finale. I won’t spoil anything, but it actually brought tears to my eyes. You’ll know why when you see it.
So. Overall, what do we think? This is, plot-wise, the best chapter ever. While winning a home run on the plot side, it’s let down by it’s monotonous and conventional puzzles. While they all have their little twists, they’re just not the best way to present this penultimate chapter. I’m eagerly awaiting Chapter 5 like a puppy for his master, I can already see from this addition to the series that Chapter 5 is going to be a blast! Riddled with intrigue, tragedy and scandal – The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood is simply the best chapter yet.
Joe’s Score: 4/5 starks
Review of Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood by Joe Davison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.