Episode 3, ahoy! It’s time for another trip into the world of Guybrush Threepwood, and after the slightly disappointing, albeit entertaining second episode, Lair Of The Leviathan more than makes up for any shortcomings of its previous chapter. If you’ve not played any of the previous chapters however, as always, be warned – there be spoilers ‘ere.
Players of the previous episodes will know the story by now. Guybrush is on the hunt for a famed voodoo sponge that can absorb evil curses, which is handy, as Guybrush just happens to be suffering from such a curse after sucking the evil energy right out of his nemesis, Dread Pirate LeChuck. Elaine, Guybrush’s beloved is also cursed, and if the blight isn’t stopped, the whole world may very well become green, foul-mouthed pirates. Oh, and Guybrush also lost his hand, which now has a mind of its own and is in the custody of devilish French scientist, the Marquis De Singe. Got that? Good.
At the end of the last episode, Guybrush and his ship, the Screaming Narwhal were swallowed up by a giant sea creature, which just so happened to be a giant Manatee. This huge sea cow (or at least its insides) sets the stage for much of this tale, and its innards aren’t as empty as you may think, save to say that Guybrush isn’t alone, and the ensuing adventure will involve some creative thinking and puzzle solving if Threepwood is to escape the Manatee and continue his search for Le Sponge Grande.
This third episode is an excellent outing in the series, and in this reviewer’s opinion is easily the best of the series so far. It’s packed with some sneaky puzzles, some excellent dialog and characters, and although initially taking place in only two locations, it soon encompasses more environments and situations. Another bonus is the lack of the random mazes that have been present in the previous two titles, a challenge that worked well in the past (and in the original Monkey Island titles), but has become a little stale.
The humour is as heavy as ever, including the welcome return of a familiar, bony star, and a couple of the conundrums are well thought out, with a couple of great conversational challenges, including an impromptu and perilous take on Mr and Mrs.
Oh, and you’ll even get chance to flex those gurning muscles in a typically Monkey Island-style Pirate challenge. It’s all great stuff, and makes for a packed instalment that should easily last three or more hours for most players.
This is a well-crafted and well-written instalment, and one that I’d strongly recommend. Top notch, and as usual, I eagerly await the continuation.