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Lair of the Leviathan Reviewed 29 Sep, 2009, 06:47 / 36 comments

It is -- unless I'm hallucinating from lack of sleep -- September 29th, which means only one thing: Michaelmas! Mojo's TMI review!

Please read what our resident "professor of good vibes" thought of Telltale's latest effort, then play the game for yourself (if you want to, that is). The review is free of major spoilers.

The feature image is stolen from "Manatee Magic" by Susan Morrison Sims.

Update by the Remster: We've posted TSB review also. No need to create a new news post for it, as really, it's an agree-fest with what eT wrote. But go read anyway!

Update 2: The game is released. (elTee)

Comments

  • Kroms on 30 Sep, 2009, 15:30…
    Excellent review elTee!

    I'm not sure how I feel about the first half - the three pirates didn't fit in well at all, which is a complete contrast to McGillicutty and his crew, but Murray had some funny lines and some absolutely perfect ones during the interrogation. I especially disliked Moose, as that kind of character doesn't strike me as being part of it at all, but the latter half completely made up for that.

    So I guess I really like it, shame about some parts but all in all it was pretty good. Winslow was great throughout, Morgan's freaking awesome, and, oh I dunno. The story's getting really interesting. That whole scene with the tarot cards was my favourite part yet.
  • SurplusGamer on 30 Sep, 2009, 15:54…
    I was just glad to see some actual characters. I'd find it a little hard to describe the personalities of many (not all) of the characters in the first two chapters, but everyone in this third one is distinct. This is a good thing.
  • Kroms on 30 Sep, 2009, 16:44…
    Nah. The characters of episode two were pretty distinct. Anemone, Tetra, McGilligutty, Hardtack, Trenchfoot...
  • SurplusGamer on 01 Oct, 2009, 10:17…
    Yes, but the 3 pirates were just slight variations on 'angry, stupid pirate'. If I had to describe what McG was like, I'd say 'well, he's a very angry pirate, kind of stupid' and then the other two pirates 'well, they're kind of angry pirates, very stupid'

    I'm thinking back, and I simply can't remember if there's any difference in personality between the two pirate crewmen. I'm pretty sure in a month I'll be able to remember what the characters in Ch. 3 were like, though.
  • JohnGreenArt on 30 Sep, 2009, 15:10…
    I found this episode to be best in terms of puzzles, though that ended up making it the shortest episode for me, even with the many attempts at some of them.

    It's also the funniest, but that is in large part due to Murray. There were a few lowbrow jokes I could've done without, though.

    As far as atmosphere, Episode 2 felt a little more Monkey Island, but I enjoyed this new one more. Maybe I just felt more driven to accomplish the tasks set before me.

    I do like that each episode has a different flavor to it, overall. I am liking each one more and more, and I hope that trend continues.

  • hierohero on 29 Sep, 2009, 22:48…
    Yeah this was the best tomi for me so far..the writing was really strong..the characters were great and I was laughing constantly throughout..great job telltale!
  • Mad Lord Snapcase on 29 Sep, 2009, 21:19…
    Absolutely marvellous episode, easily the best in the series so far. And that has to be put into relation with the last episode, which I thought was the weakest offering in a long time by Telltale. Everything missing there - the lack of dramatic tension, the lack of atmosphere, the shit, illogical puzzles, the "upside down" adventure structure - was amended here and amended well. Even the references were much, much sharper - Subtle The Beach rather than obvious Monthy Python, and so on.

    Am I correct in thinking that the previous telltale series didn't rotate directors and writers like this one? This more televisual approach is certainly different, and I'm not certain it's for the better.
  • Kroms on 30 Sep, 2009, 15:23…
    Strong Bad rotated writers and directors.

    I think the first half of this was a little weak, but it suddenly picked up, and really well. I think I finally got into the episode during the interrogation. I really disliked Moose and I don't think that kind of character fits at all, but his banter with Murray was absolutely hilarious.
  • Ascovel on 30 Sep, 2009, 09:31…
    I disagree - episode 2 was the best written, the most atmospheric and eciting so far and this is a bit of a disappointment. Despite really good puzzles ep3 lacks proper atmosphere and the characters are mostly borrowed from some modern high school TV series which doesn't fit into Monkey Island very well. For me at least.
  • jp-30 on 29 Sep, 2009, 18:26…
    Insult Sword Fighting has been outdone. :)

    Also nice to see Theodore Dudebrough make a (sort-of) appearance outside Hold Em.

    One review mentioned a DoTT reference, but I missed it. Anyone?
  • elTee on 29 Sep, 2009, 18:30…
    I got the Leather Jackets bit, and also the Grim Fandango (Dia de los Muertos) in-jokes. The only DOTT thing that I thought of isn't an in-joke: it reminded me of the 'human contest' puzzle at times, when you were dealing with the crew in the belly. Tenuous!
  • Remi O on 29 Sep, 2009, 18:33…
    There were also the "Double fine" references, but I must have missed any direct DOTT mentions.
  • elTee on 29 Sep, 2009, 18:39…
    Haha yes, that was hilarious, when they're all "But how do we set the initial fine?"
  • jp-30 on 29 Sep, 2009, 18:50…
    This is the review where the alleged DOTT reference is mentioned.

    talesofmi.net/?p=606
  • The Tingler on 30 Sep, 2009, 20:11…
    I personally think Santino's (and being able to 'talk' to him) is one big reference to Dead Cousin Ted.
  • The Tingler on 29 Sep, 2009, 16:17…
    I disagree. I think there are at least three bona fide superb puzzles, including the one you named. :)

    The puzzle near the end with the manatee is probably my favourite.
  • neon_git on 29 Sep, 2009, 23:05…
    I thought pretty much the whole game was made of bona fide superb puzzles, with just few regular puzzles inbetween.
  • QueZTone on 29 Sep, 2009, 16:06…
    havent played much yet...

    btw the voice of De Cava... isn't that the voice of Conan O' Brien's insult dog? Famous from the starwars tpm premiere lineup ridicule?
  • Remi O on 29 Sep, 2009, 16:16…
    I kinda doubt TTG got Robert Smigel in any capacity.
  • JohnGreenArt on 30 Sep, 2009, 15:01…
    I doubt it as well. But on a related note, I'm in that Triumph Star Wars video (it was for Attack of the Clones, plus it was for charity which NBC made a contribution to, and the pregnant gal in the video is my sister-in-law. She was pregnant again for the line for Episode III, and yes my nephews are huge Star Wars nerds.)
  • bgbennyboy on 29 Sep, 2009, 15:45…
    An excellent review elTee. I'm looking forward to this one more than ever.
  • Remi O on 29 Sep, 2009, 15:19…
    The fact that eT and my agree-fest range from Murray to the rather bizarre relationships to the Voodoo Lady is kind of a testament to how well written this episode was.

    As for the score, had I had to give one, I'd also go with eT's assessment: somewhere around 4.5-5 out of 5.
  • elTee on 29 Sep, 2009, 15:36…
    Yes, and there are so many supreme moments that neither of us mentioned. It would feel like a robbery to take them away from people finding them themselves, although I will say the comedic juxtaposition of all the characters furiously chasing Guybrush, with Murray just sitting there going "Smite Him!" was sublime.

    I don't give 5/5's lightly, either, for what it's worth.
  • Jeo on 29 Sep, 2009, 14:34…
    It's out! I'm also out!
  • Diduz on 29 Sep, 2009, 14:11…
    I agree with the review.
    Best episode so far. Morgan is a fantastic character, I really like the gal. :-P
    Oh... and best use of Murray ever.

    An important thing to notice is that I didn't encounter the usual little annoying bugs which plagued ep1 and ep2 a little.
  • Ascovel on 29 Sep, 2009, 13:47…
    I agree that the puzzles were very good, but other than that this episode felt mostly like some contemporary sit-com episode on the topic of dating and not Monkey Island.
  • jmartin on 29 Sep, 2009, 12:36…
    What time will it be released today?
  • ThunderPeel2001 on 29 Sep, 2009, 13:03…
    There is no set time, it is just due for release on 29th Sept (Pacific Standard Time). Hopefully soon, but it could be up to 8am GMT.
  • clone2727 on 29 Sep, 2009, 12:07…
    *wants the bone score*
  • elTee on 29 Sep, 2009, 12:14…
    As the series is one game, we decided to give it one score at the end. I suppose, individually, this is 5/5 for me.
  • clone2727 on 29 Sep, 2009, 12:15…
    Yay! :)

    Now to just wait until I can download it... and then I have to wait again for the weekend to play...
  • SurplusGamer on 29 Sep, 2009, 11:13…
    I'm excited, hopefully we'll have lots to talk about when it comes to discussing this episode.
  • Icebox on 29 Sep, 2009, 10:45…
    That was a Damn good review, Impeccably written. Thanks El Tee! Makes my frothing demand for this game increase.
  • jp-30 on 29 Sep, 2009, 07:20…
    Great review. This is my favourite episode yet - and the longest - and no mazes!

    I liked Murray in MI3 & 4. But he is awesome. Awesome in this episode. Awesome in this episode and used to absolute perfection. I hope he appears again before the season is out... or failing that appears in season 2. Or 3. Or...

    My favourite adventure game puzzles are when the developer is one step ahead of the player, and you're about to solve a puzzle with a smug satisfaction... only to fine that the consequence of your action isn't the puzzle-solving solution you had assumed. Well, it happens in Episode 3. More than once.

    Telltale Games, will you marry me (if my wife's ok with a poly marriage, that is)?
  • elTee on 29 Sep, 2009, 10:36…
    Yes, there's one moment in particular in this episode where I thought I had solved a puzzle, and had not. If you remember this phrase, you'll know what I'm talking about:

    "Making my betrayal all the more EVIL!"
  • The Tingler on 30 Sep, 2009, 20:14…
    I unfortunately solved that early by simply wanting to try and use everything on Murray to get a response - and most things do!