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Day of the Tentacle Remastered

22 Mar, 2016

Writing a review of Day of the Tentacle Remastered is like writing a review of the original game, and we already have one as part of our excellent Secret History feature so I'll skip that. Instead, I'll focus on the differences between new and old.

Poster concept art Poster concepts

As the title says, this release is a remastered version of the original game. Unlike the Monkey Island special editions, there is no new art style or any other drastic design changes. The backgrounds are perfectly redone in a higher resolution with more detail added here and there, such as finer lines on the characters and the more intricate objects strewn around the world. You finally get to read the letter Green Tentacle sent to Bernard in the intro! Peter Chan mentions in the commentary that he deliberately went for a less detailed style because he didn't like how his backgrounds ended up in Monkey Island due to the technical limitations of the time when it came to resolution and bit depth. This style works well for the 320x200 14" monitors of the time, but it makes the high-definition versions feel like blow-ups of much smaller images rather than being natively drawn at a high resolution.

You finally get to read the letter Green Tentacle sent to Bernard in the intro!

The game can be played in both remastered and classic mode. Remastered has the inventory added as an overlay that can be brought up which means the backgrounds fill the entire screen. The verbs have been replaced by a verb dial, similar to Curse of Monkey Island, which I found more cumbersome to use, probably because I've always played these games using the keyboard shortcuts for the verbs instead of clicking them.

Remastered mode combined with classic interface Classic verb interface, new graphics. The only way to play it.

Unlike the Monkey Island special editions, there is no live music in remastered mode. It sounds like they've taken the original MIDI files and played them through a synth that's similar in sound to the Roland Sound Canvas, which the original release's General MIDI soundtrack was done on. I imagine the lack of live music is due to budget, though it's a tad disappointing as a full orchestral recording of the opening credits theme would sound pretty cool. Meanwhile, the classic mode contains a recording of the Adlib soundtrack. There are also options for mixing and matching the various parts of remastered and classic, such as adding the new verb dial to classic or the old Adlib soundtrack to remastered mode if you're really fond of those oldskool bleeps.

Talking of bleeps, the original Maniac Mansion is included, playable on Weird Ed's computer, just like the original game. Double Fine has also updated it to the enhanced EGA version compared to the...non-enhanced one that came with the original release of DoTT. The only problem with it is that there is no way to save your game and DoTT savegames do not save your state in Maniac Mansion, forcing you to complete it in one sitting. Since we all can't complete it in seven seconds like Jason, this quickly becomes a pain in the arse.

The new verb dial Verb dial up in Ed's face

When it comes to extras, there is a developer's commentary with co-designers Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman; composers Peter McConnell and Clint Bajakian; and graphical artists Peter Chan and Larry Ahern. Throughout the game they pop up with amusing and/or informational anecdotes on the making of the game, which makes a replay a bit more interesting for us who've already completed it many times before. As progress through the game, concept art pieces are also unlocked, and they include all the backgrounds, many character animations as well as posters and misc., totaling 156 images.

If you like the original game, you'll like this new, shiny version. If you don't like the original, well, you're just dead to me.

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