A reader laments the demise of LucasArts and calls upon Disney to allow a remaster, remake, or preferably a sequel to Monkey Island.
Although we live in an era in which long forgotten games are constantly being rebooted and brought back I’m pretty sure my dream comeback has no chance of happening. Why do I say that? Because of Disney.
When Disney bought Lucasfilm they got everything, including a lot of stuff they probably weren’t even that interested in, such as Indiana Jones, ILM, and… LucasArts. By that time LucasArts were a shadow of their former self but they were working on the extremely promising-looking Star Wars 1313 (which seems to have a lot in common with the upcoming The Mandalorian TV show) and all that hard work got immediately thrown in the bin when Disney took over.
I don’t think LucasArts were ever officially shut down, they were just absorbed into the corporate machine and never heard from again. They certainly no longer exist as a video games publisher and there seems next to no chance any of their games will ever see the light of day again. That includes all their classic graphic adventures games, including my personal favourite: The Secret Of Monkey Island.
To me this is very disappointing because some of those games are really important classics that at the very least deserve to be widely available and many of them deserve a remaster or remake. Many games today still have poor dialogue and stories but some of these Lucasfilm games are over 30 years old and they’re amazingly well-written and funny.
As people sometimes point out, video games are very rarely funny, even when they’re trying to be, and comedies are almost unheard of. But that’s basically what these were. (Many have noted the similarities between the early Pirates of the Caribbean movies, also a Disney product, and Monkey Island.) That’s yet another reason that games like these should not be locked in some vault somewhere but should be revived as a major series.
Perhaps the easiest place to start would be a 3D remake of the first game. You could keep the original script and puzzles but make a 3D environment you can walk around, a bit like Life Is Strange and that type of game. Although there is the problem that modern games don’t have puzzles anywhere near as complex as those in old graphic adventures so I guess you’d have to have some kind of story-only option or something, although even Monkey Island 2 had a ‘lite’ version so there are ways you can try and please two audiences.
I’d love to see the original voice actors come back but I don’t know how feasible that is, but they were really good so they’d have to be pretty careful about picking people that were just as good. But I really don’t see any of this as a problem. The series is quite well known, in terms of name recognition, it wouldn’t require a giant budget or anything, and it’d be something new that people could hopefully see as an escape away from identikit games.
They could even add some multiplayer features like from that Until Dawn sequel GC did a preview of. That would actually be a great way to get around the problem of difficult puzzles, if you were both helping out and trying to solve them together.
There’s so much that could be done with the series it’s such a shame that it, and everything else to do with LucasArts, has basically been swept under the carpet like it never existed. Oh well, maybe there’ll be a movie when Disney gets bored of all these pointless live action remakes.
By reader Gifford
The reader’s feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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