Guybrush Threepwood, the slayer of ghost pirate Le Chuck is back! He's currently visiting Scabb Island, but unfortunately, his fame is starting to fade quite a bit - his companions are sick of hearing the same story all over again, his books about his adventure have ceased to sell, most people don't even recognize him anymore when he says his name. That is when even Guybrush notices it can't go on like that forever. To renew his fame and to have a new tale to tell, he wants to fulfill another heroic adventure, something many brave and strong men failed to do before him: find the legendary treasure Big Whoop!
A mere treasure hunt as the successor of an epic such as The Secret of Monkey Island? Ha, you wish it was that easy! That plot would hardly qualify for the title Le Chuck's Revenge, would it? What Guybrush has to learn in a very painful (and monetarily lossy) way is that the former right-hand of Le Chuck, Largo La Grande, is oppressing the inhabitants. Everybody has to pay his 'fees', nobody is allowed to leave. So you're stuck on this island. And thanks to the wonders of Voodoo, that's not everything - see the game's title...
Sounds familiar so far? Understandable - the story structure is in many ways strikingly similar to the first part. Solve several 'trials' to be able to leave the initial island, discover your true goal when you've reached that, solve an 'intermediate' part and then finally reach the last island to the grand final. Just that the intermediate part (aequivalent to the journey in MI1) is significantly longer and less linear: you can freely travel between three islands in order to find four map pieces which lead to Big Whoop.
The last paragraph might have sounded quite negative but is it really that bad to imitate a masterpiece a bit? It's not as if there are really identical parts. Just the basic structure is similar - and who cares about that if it's filled with completely original contents?
Seems like I have to explain this a bit more, because thinking about it, the number of new and great characters is in balance with the revived ones (and these had to be revived , all locations are new, the jokes are new, the dialogue is new, the puzzles are new. There are just as many 'new' classic lines as in the predecessor (“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”, “Hey, I'm alive!”). So much for my previous 'criticism'. Don't take it seriously - you'll feel at home immediately in Monkey Island 2.
There are a few technical advancements. Most noticably the graphics. Monkey Island 2 is the first Adventure by Lucas Arts which uses hand-drawn backgrounds which have been scanned and put into the game (all the games before used pure computer-generated graphics). Everything blends together perfectly, the different colour schemes of the islands immediately establish the general mood of the settings. This is certainly one of the games with the best graphics ever - extremely stylish, extremely great-looking. The music is another matter, though. Compared to the original IBM version which basically always played a great tune no matter whether something special was happening on the screen or not, this Amiga version remains mostly silent. The verb list has been reduced to 9 which is the logical conclusion of the first part not needing all. The objects in the inventory are shown as pretty pictures instead of text - very nice.
Monkey Island was originally planned as a trilogy by the 'father' of the series, Ron Gilbert. He left Lucas Arts shortly after finishing this game though, that is why the series ends with this game. No, these crappy games carrying the same title published many years later don't count! I mean, come on - they didn't even try to explain the ending of this game in the 'next part'! Let face it: nobody makes such quality anymore. (Mis-)using the characters of such classics is a mortal sin though! What a stroke of luck the myth of the real Monkey Island games is indestructable >:)
Many words without saying much but it's really hard to write a consistent review about this game. It's just too impressive! Even the 11 floppy disks don't hurt that much since the data is intelligently spread amongst them: each 'island' is almost completely on two different ones, so with two drives, it's already playable very well. But let's face it: it's of course perfect installed to a hard drive, so head over to WHDLoad