“SeMI: The Journey to Mêlée Island” Impressions 20 Jul, 2023 / 9 comments

I wish I liked it, but...

Feel free to read my spoiler-free-ish thoughts on Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island: The Journey to Mêlée Island. And feel free to disagree. Or agree. I feel how I feel; that’s just how it is.



  • Avatar
    Alexrd on 21 Jul, 2023, 16:25…
    In other news, The Cave was just released on a few days ago:
  • Avatar
    KestrelPi on 21 Jul, 2023, 10:41…
    I thought it was wonderful. The realisation of Melee Island was great (nitpick: could have made the buildings a bit wonkier) and the little touches and references ranged from the on-the-nose to some pretty deep cuts.

    The pieces of eight hunting was a little tedious but not a very big chore with a friend and forced me to explore every nook and cranny of Melee town.

    The story, I REALLY liked. I think it was a very Monkey Island premise and fits very well with Return as well. The main idea at play here is absolutely in keeping with what we understand about Guybrush and Monkey Island in general, and I thought it was well executed on.

    The music gave us lovely versions of pieces we've heard before. Particularly loved the incorporation of Melee Island's map theme.

    For those who aren't versed in Sea of Thieves - this does not play an awful lot like it aside from the perpsective. In a typical sea of thieves game you're spending most of your time at sea, and a lot of time navigating by various maps to treasures and such like. There are SOME puzzles, but they're usually limited to specific quest lines and not really of the kind here. I thought the quests here brought a lot of Monkey Islandness. Of course they're not going to be as complicated as full on adventure game but they did feel to me like the kinds of things you'd be getting up to in a genuine Monkey Island game.

    Dom was great as always, and I think our new LeChuck put in a great performance too. I possibly preferred his reads here to the ones in Return, honestly (Love the LeChuck design here too).

    Really looking forward to seeing what else they have for us.
  • Avatar
    WorldMaker on 21 Jul, 2023, 07:10…
    Yeah, this Sea of Thieves Tall Tale is definitely a theme park experience of Secret of Monkey Island, but isn’t that appropriate for Monkey Island? Theme parks have always been a recurring theme for the series.

    I played it twice tonight with some of my regular Sea of Thieves crew. We had a full galleon (4 players) and I was the only one to have played Monkey Island at all (much less was a fan). I had to mute our Discord channel a bit for some of the cutscenes and ambience, but it was a fascinating way to experience it otherwise.

    Several of the puzzles seem obvious with a little bit of Secret of Monkey knowledge, but because I was busy just taking in details they solved most of it on their own, which was neat.

    The ability to parallel solve the various puzzles was I think the best Sea of Thieves has done so far (most Tall Tales are one puzzle at a time, mostly). (It was a step up for Sea of Thieves, but yes still underpowered compared to adventure game classics.) There were a couple minutes I regretted not being in the right place to watch a bit of animation from that, but it is also felt like some of the best multiplayer puzzle solving for me since Uru, which isn’t of course saying much because Uru was always an outlier. I enjoy that feeling of multiplayer adventuring perhaps because it is so rare to find.

    I enjoyed that one of my most PvP-oriented crew mates was the one solving the majority of puzzles and seemed to have a blast doing it. It was fun listening to some of their logic going through everything. They also took the lead on comms in the second run through which was fun, doing that as a multiplayer speed run with parallel tasks and dependency tracking.

    We ran through it twice because most of us are Sea of Thieves completionists and we had to complete all the optional tasks.

    LeChuck’s speech answered a big Sea of Thieves lore question from earlier in the month, which got probably the biggest reaction from my crew (not knowing Monkey Island, but keeping very up to date on Sea of Thieves). (LeChuck answered questions from the last Sea of Thieves Adventure, the strange two week time limited “mini-Tall Tales” that carry a lot of the momentum of current lore in Sea of Thieves. I could summarize a lot of Sea of Thieves lore for the interested.)
  • Avatar
    Remi on 21 Jul, 2023, 02:47…


    Looking forward to the next one!

    With all that said… you DID also love Puzzle Pirates.
  • Avatar
    Huz on 21 Jul, 2023, 02:28…
    My only exposure to Sea of Thieves is playing through a selection of the Tall Tales in preparation for this one, and as far as I can tell they all work just like SeMI. The puzzles are rudimentary - they kind of have to be, given that there's no real inventory system - and any dialogue is a set of on-rails conversations chosen from an initial list. It's a shame they didn't push the envelope with this, but I don't think we could have expected it.

    Having said that, I've completed the chapter and I enjoyed it! The majority of my time was spent finding pieces of eight - think of it as 21st century pixel hunting if it makes you feel better - but the payoffs were worth it. A few very minor spoilers in the next couple of paragraphs:

    Some great music (Monkey Island battle theme!), a certain character accompanying you all too briefly (he actually has too many funny lines to fit naturally into that section of the game - I ended up deliberately triggering them multiple times to hear them all) and running around a beautifully rendered Melee Town is a delight, even if the quest for pieces of eight forces you to see more of it than you really want.

    On that subject, it was notable that by the time I knew I had a target of 45 pieces of eight (they become easier to find once that first target is achieved, honest!), the game had done the classic adventure game thing of laying out a whole sequence of events that I knew I would be able to complete, just as soon as I got past this one little obstacle... and so it proved, with a few minor deviations. I was a little worried after playing a couple of other Tall Tales that it wouldn't be clear enough what I needed to be doing, but this early section showed me that those worries were unfounded.

    All in all, it's no LeChuck's Revenge but it's still an enjoyable couple of hours. And a really nice touch I spotted on the way to start the Tale: the shipwright back in the Sea of Thieves "real world" was humming the Melee map music while she worked.

    Looking forward to the next one!
  • Avatar
    Scott S on 20 Jul, 2023, 21:57…
    That's pretty disappointing. I didn't know what to expect, having never played the game, but imagined something like Tales, perhaps. Unfortunately there's no other Mojo related games on the horizon ATM, with Double Fine also ominously quiet.
  • Avatar
    Rum Rogers on 20 Jul, 2023, 18:50…
    I don't think the idea was to create a new chapter in a beloved franchise. It's (imho) more of a homage and a letter of love to Monkey Island. Trying to see more than that in a Sea Of Thieves game (let's remember that's what it is) is probably just gonna make you very disappointed.
  • Avatar
    macgyver on 20 Jul, 2023, 18:02…
    The optimist in me wants to believe that these “tall tales” will find their legs after the first episode. The cynic in me is whispering that this is what happens when you don’t bring in experienced classic adventure game storytellers to create a new chapter in a beloved franchise. I’m always rooting for that optimist. That cynic is smirking, knowingly.
  • Avatar of the CEO
    Thrik on 20 Jul, 2023, 15:42…
    It does seem like it’s less a true game in its own right and more of a theme park-style experience of animatronics and recognisable scenes for existing fans of both Sea of Thieves and Munky Island.

    I’m hoping I will at least enjoy traipsing through some beloved locations rendered in full 3D in a high-production value game for the first time, but that is about all I expect.

Add a comment

What?! You're not registered? You better go and do so now! Or, simply log in: