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WiiWare: Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the Leviathan Review Box Art
Telltale Games
Telltale Games

WiiWare: Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the Leviathan Review

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard scoring criteria.

Continuing directly after the second chapter of Tales of Monkey Island: The Seige of Spinner Cay, chapter three, Lair of the Leviathan brings us back to linear adventuring like the first chapter. The second chapter ended with the Screaming Narwhal and crew (including Morgan LeFlay) being swallowed whole by a gigantic manatee. Don't give up on ol' Guybrush just yet, though.

Starting off Lair of the Leviathan, Guybrush finds himself inside the aforementioned manatee with Winslow and LeFlay, the latter due to her trying to attack Guybrush yet again. The manatee's innards are where most of this chapter takes place and is a nice break away from the previous island settings.

Yet first thing's first: Guybrush amazingly finds De Cava inside the manatee as well, a character who the hero has been trying to give a locket to for some time. De Cava gets angry that the locket came from his girlfriend, the voodoo lady, and thinks Guybrush is "with her." To prove he's not, Guybrush has to awaken Morgan LeFlay in order to get her to pretend to be his (Guybrush's) wife. This leads to item searching inside the manatee for something with enough stench to wake her up. Amazingly, once awake, LeFlay has absolutely no problem with playing this role.

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3 Screenshot
Screenshot is from PC version.

After playing husband and wife, and Winslow catching the pox (and Elaine in a side note), Guybrush realizes the manatee is drifting without direction, and therefore he must search for the missing cochlea, run into De Cava's old crew and find a way to get the hell out'a Dodge... well, the manatee, anyway.

As previously mentioned, this chapter is more linear and "closed off," if you will, like the first chapter's Flotsom Island adventure. This would usually be a negative impact for a game, but developer Telltale Games seem to evolve and use neat tricks as each episode is released. The manatee never feels so restricted that you know exactly where to go, and the camera angles used always seem to give a nice view of depth. Fans of the classic Monkey Island game should feel very much at home with this episode's feel and gameplay. The character-centric puzzles and witty dialogue feel more personal. Also, some neat and fun ideas are introduced in this chapter based around one of the franchise's staples, Insult Sword Fighting.

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3 Screenshot
Screenshot is from PC version.

Some problems and frustrations may arise from time to time, though, especially with the "AAAR!" face puzzle. This "game" or "puzzle" can become annoyingly irritating when you have to pick face configurations without picking any of the same choices as the pirate leader you go up against. It may not sound too hard on paper, but once reached, it can be more confusing and frustrating than it needs to be. It's a funny section of the chapter, but the unexpected tediousness takes away from how funny it really could have been.

The graphics, believe it or not, are a small step up. It just seems like the developer took a little more time. More body shapes, hairdos and accessories make new characters stand out more than previously seen characters. This adds to the personal feel and helps liven up the inside of the manatee. However, everything expected to be seen inside a gigantic manatee is there as well: bile, canals, cochleae and even skeletons of the dead.

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3 Screenshot
Screenshot is from PC version.

Controls are the exact same as in chapters one and two: no changes here. There are, however, a few points when the controls get a little irritating. At the very beginning is the section where Guybrush is searching for a way to awaken Morgan LeFlay. While searching nearby De Cava, the gamer has to listen to him yell at Guybrush. This can happen a few times if you don't know that you cannot walk to the right, even when it seems that you are fifty feet away. It's not a huge deal, but can be a small distraction from searching.

The dialogue and jokes in this chapter seem to reach the levels of the first chapter again. Actually, the story in general may reach past what the first chapter gave us with its dialogue and witty relationship setting.

Overall, the gameplay stays the same, albeit with some neat little Insult Sword Fighting puzzles thrown in to spice it up a bit. Guybrush is still crazily funny and a bit on the slow side (other characters are finding this out as well) while the story takes us on a great ride through laughs, puzzles, relationships and adventure. Anyone should be able to jump right into this chapter, but playing the first two would really help understand the story. When it comes to fans of the old game though, this chapter really shines.

Now, let's get back to island-hopping without the manatees.

final score 8.3/10

Staff Avatar Greg Wampler
Staff Profile | Email
"Ok, little buddy, as part of your hero training, you've got to stand guard tonight over my bananas... I'll relieve you at midnight, so try and stay awake until then!"

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