"Monkey Island 2: Special Edition" is looking fantastic. If the franchise's first special edition was an update to a beloved classic, LucasArts' second outing is an amazing piece of fan service. It's clear, based on the new features, that the development team has listened closely to player feedback.
The first major update in this iteration centers around the control scheme. Instead of forcing the player into the original point-and-click system, LucasArts now gives the player direct control of Guybrush Threepwood. Move the analog stick left, Guybrush walks left, and so on. Purists may scoff, but the original SCUMM-like control scheme is available as well.
Not every gamer today is accustomed to the difficulty of early adventure games. Those newer to the genre will appreciate an overhauled hint system that's now more concise. Even better, if you're confused on which items in the game world can be interacted with, just hold down the bumper (Xbox) and all items become highlighted.
All of those new things are great, but what's really interesting is the new creator commentary. At the click of a button, players will be able to hear a voice track by "Monkey Island" creators Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman. When the commentary is activated, the screen shrinks, and a "Mystery Science Theater" style silhouette of the three designers appears. From the small amount of dialog that was heard in the demo, it sounds hilarious.
"Monkey Island 2: Special Edition" launches on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam on July 7th for $10.