Adventure Games
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Companies starting with T

Tales of Monkey Island

Tales of Monkey Island

After forcing my way through Telltale Games' Sam & Max episodes, I didn't expect they'd do a good job with Monkey Island. But it just goes to show a different subject matter, and they can create something great. Having just played the first two Monkey Islands, the fifth official game has many superior features over the first two - but most notably the story and writing. It's a long game, taking between 10-15 hours over five episodes, but the story is very well done and far, far more detailed than the games that came before it. The comedy was also at a much higher level as well. The LucasArts games weren't really laugh-out-loud funny, but Telltale has more humorous writers. It was actually worth listening to most dialogue, whereas in Sam & Max there was just far too much dribble.

The game uses Telltale's 3D approach, but this time you can use the movement keys, although they are extremely clumsy and one weakness of Tales. But the 3D look isn't necessarily better; the enhanced 2.5D visuals of the early games look just as good.

The other weaknesses are a lacklustre couple of episodes in the middle of the game. While episode 1  and 2 are great, episode 3 takes place almost entirely within a Manatee stomach, while episode 4 returns you to the same island as episode 2, only at night (like that's supposed to make it new) to do a couple hours of boring quests to prove your innocence. Episode 5 gets better but still has way too much back-and-forth. The entire game would have been better if episode 4 was ditched completely, with only the important storyline parts kept and merged into episode 3, which in-turn would have spent far less time in the Manatee stomach.

The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure

The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure

Gave it a shot but after almost 5 hours of playing, and not even 1/3rds through the game, I came to a point where I was stuck. Obviously some tiny, trivial little thing I hadn't completed at the church so I couldn't leave, despite reading over two fucking walkthroughs. The Lost Crown is a very slow game, no skipping over conversation so it's for the patient adventurer. Considering it's the work of a single man, Jonathan Boakes, it's really quite impressive. The sound effects and music are all great. The graphics are much improved since his last game Dark Fall in 2004. This time he's advanced to 2.5D instead of flat images. The Lost Crown made up of mostly real life images with photo manipulation and the odd bit of CGI such as crates and details. In mostly black and white, it still looked a bit old, but had a unique aesthetic and artistic quality. This helped create a very good atmosphere for the game, taking place in a cold, isolated UK town with ghosts everywhere. Shame about the actual characters, especially the main one who moonwalks across most surfaces and looks very unrealistic. However, the scares and good atmosphere weren't enough to make me stay beyond five hours when I've got four more 2008 adventure games lined up. Lost Crown just moves along too slowly, especially sitting through ten minutes of pointless conversation. Especially knowing the story is unresolved in the end and the terrible voice-acting of the main character, with an irritating pompous accent, five hours was enough.