|System: Wii (WiiWare), PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Telltale Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Telltale Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 8, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Later on you'll make it back to an apocalypse unfolding in the physical realm painted with a dark crimson hue and fiery plumes off in the distance. It's all a welcome change. Like a few other episodes that featured lots of previously un-trodden ground to explore, Chapter 5 feels fresh and exciting as a result. And though you do eventually revisit a few key locations from previous episodes, your goals there are new enough and the duration of time you'll spend there is short enough that the familiarity actually complements the entirely fresh areas.
All the gloominess doesn't dampen the chapter's vibrant humor at all. A few of the new spectral characters you'll encounter have some memorable laugh-worthy moments, and old friends also crop up in ways that are bound to spark fits of sporadic chuckles. For example, the Voodoo Lady only appears in the chapter in various animal forms - among them a talking dead seagull that's as demented as it is silly.
There are also a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle jokes woven into pretty much every aspect of the game. You'll find a "Shred of Life" among the first few items in Guybrush's inventory, and it turns out his actual corpse has been put to good use at the local tavern. Never mind the fact he somehow manages to carry a small dog around in his pocket for most of the chapter - at one point you actually make the poor little guy sniff one of LeChuck's crusty old zombie socks to get a bead on a necessary item.
The chapter's final thrilling moments ratchet up to a ridiculous crescendo in one massive action-packed confrontation between the reanimated hero, his re-reanimated nemesis, and a whole bunch of other bony folks. When the smoke clears, things end off in a satisfying way that brings some measure of closure to the overarching story in the Tales of Monkey Island series, while leaving room for - and all but promising - more adventure to come. We've been steadily impressed with the level of finesse Telltale has applied to the series. It's definitely one that was worth reviving, and they've done a marvelous job all around.
CCC Staff Contributor