Guybrush representing Guybrush? This won't end well...
It's true the title of a novel can sometimes give away the ending, but this couldn't be less true in the case of Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood. At the end of Lair of the Leviathan, the series' hero Guybrush was captured by pirate hunter Morgan LeFlay right after their escape from the intestinal clutches of a gigantic manatee. Held in prison, the mighty pirate is brought to pirate court on Flotsam Island, as he faces various charges that go beyond the unleashing of the deadly Pox of LeChuck. Along with this courtroom drama, we get to see what Elaine and LeChuck have been up to, as they play a bigger role in this episode which comes as not much of a surprise considering the build up to the finale.
[image1]I can't really spoil who the returning character is this time around, since the Wiiware version of the game displays his mug right at the menu screen item - it's Stan, the salesman. This time, however, the over-animated, dubiously-fashioned shark of a man is trying his luck as an attorney at law and is dedicated to exacting revenge against Threepwood for his anguish in previous games. With the importance of his role, Telltale did a heck of a job bringing him up to date with the graphical style of the new series. He waves his arms like crazy and his jacket is just as epileptic-inducing as ever.
Even though we're back at Flotsam Island in this episode, there are plenty of new environments to explore and even old ones make a comeback with new assets. While I tend to hate the randomness of some of the maze puzzles. similar to what we got in older Monkey Island games like Secret of Monkey Island's treasure hunt, Chapter Four has very little of it and only for a very short stretch of time. After defending his case in court, Guybrush gets the chance to explore the island in search of six different items that will power up La Esponja Grande so it can finally cure the Pox.
[image2]Of course, things aren't always what they seem at first, nor as simple, thanks to the annoying Marquis and his quest for immortality. The story moves along at a steady pace, and ends with a dramatic bang, something uncommon to the Monkey Island style of storytelling. It leaves a lot to be imagined before the final episode's closure of this season.
There isn't much to complain about Chapter Four. It does its job setting us up for Rise of the Pirate God, the finale, by keeping the same quality of writing, acting, and content we've come to expect from mid-to-end-of-season episodes from TellTale. For them, the season usually start slow at a snail's pace and pick up steadily, like we've seen in the Sam & Max and Wallace & Gromit, with the exception that Tales of Monkey Island's story is closely tied between episodes and plays much more like a TV series and less like a sitcom with independent storylines. This can be both a curse and a blessing depending on the writers' abilities, but I'm happy to say that so far Tales of Monkey Island has been worth sitting and playing through. I simply cannot wait to see the conclusion, and am already hoping Season Two comes along sometime next year. This court is adjourned.