Today’s post is something of a review for Telltale’s new game Tales of Monkey Island, but also something of a rant. First, let’s get to the review. On the Geekrising ratings scale of 1 to 10, I would definitely give it an Awesome. I really enjoyed playing it, and it absolutely lived up to my expectations. It’s a rare thing when a new iteration of a franchise that you loved as a child is released, and it’s actually good. The Secret of Monkey Island was one of my absolute favorite games as a child, so I was really expecting a lot from this game in terms of story, humor, and good ol’ fashion wackiness. Tales of Monkey Island delivered all that and more, in all but one area: the ending.
Don’t worry, you’ll get no spoilers here. Suffice it say, that the ending was less than satisfactory. The ridiculous yet compelling storyline in Tales is what kept me coming back for more. I was drawn in by the hilarious, well-developed characters. I wanted to see Guybrush finally reunited with Elaine …again. I was always waiting for the next bizarre twist of events. The ending, however, was only unpredictable in its predictability. The story was more or less resolved, everything that needed to happen happened, and… that was it.
There were no resolutions to silly side stories, or absurd explanations for other events in the game. There weren’t really even any clever jokes. The quality of the story and gameplay right up to that point had all led me to believe that something great was in store for me at the end. Instead, all I got was a cutscene shorter than the smart people line at a Nickleback concert and only slightly more entertaining. The only other part to the ending sequence was a short teaser for the sequel.
Fortunately for Telltale, I enjoyed the game enough that I’ll most likely buy the second season as well. The same cannot be said, however, for Ubisoft’s last Prince of Persia game, another title with an utterly despicable ending. When a game chooses to rely so heavily on story for it’s value, it damn well better provide a satisfactory conclusion to the story. Honestly, I really don’t care how well the first game ties in to the sequel. No more reason for a sequel is necessary other than that people really liked the first one. If you finish the first story well, I don’t really care what kind of plot acrobatics you need to perform to bring the characters back for another go.
Prince of Persia even had the gall to make me believe that purchasing the extra content for the game would provide me with some kind of catharsis, but even after completing it I was left in exactly the same place. Prince of Persia had a lot of good things going for it, but unfortunately for Ubisoft, not enough to warrant me going through that again in the sequel.
Long story short, worry about the ending to the first game before planning the second. Only if the first game is good enough will people want to buy the next one. Due to the years between realease, “cliffhangers” just don’t make sense in videogames.