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Old 08-07-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
Threepwood4life
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EMI Retrospective on Eurogamer

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...island-article

Just look at the amount of "love" for Monkey Kombat in the comments


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Old 08-08-2011, 07:32 AM   #2
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"X is good because it was written by the creators of Y" is a terrible argument. While Sam & Max: Hit the Road was hilarious, it had a pretty weak story. Escape's story is slightly better, but still feels... off. And the thing they did with the Monkey Head and Herman Toothrot is inexcusable.

And Monkey Kombat was, of course, a terrible design choice.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurogamer
It's one of the funniest, most involved, and downright strange in all of LucasArts' collection, and you - yes YOU - are a fool for the way you've been pretending you don't like it for all these years.
Haha! Coincidentally I decided I wasn't going to read on after that.


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Old 08-08-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
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I have to admit that the article makes EMI sound mint, and in all honesty I've never truly hated EMI and actually had quite some fun with it — it just simply fails to match its predecessors in my vault of happy memories, and I suspect that's in large part due to its intentional diluting of the pirate theme.

It probably didn't deserve the derision, but it did deserve to be acknowledged as inferior to its kin. We probably went too far though and single-handedly killed LucasArts because of it.




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Old 08-08-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
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I just wanted to add to the other voices here that I hate EMI with all my heart!

Except for awesome music and good puzzles.


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Old 08-08-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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I still think EMI was underrated. It's definitely not perfect, and certain parts are downright annoying, but overall I feel the good parts largely made up for the poor ones.


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Old 08-09-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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I have to admit that the article makes EMI sound mint, and in all honesty I've never truly hated EMI and actually had quite some fun with it — it just simply fails to match its predecessors in my vault of happy memories, and I suspect that's in large part due to its intentional diluting of the pirate theme.
I agree fully with you Thrik, even though I like the idea behind the pirate buy out. It maybe didn't belong or it could have been better executed, but I was definitely more interested in the story than CMI. Elaine was also just botched and turned into sitcom nagging wife, which wasn't very funny or clever at all, but I can get past that. Unfortunately the author of the article seems to think Elaine was nagging every game before EMI but I have no idea why.

I think what ruins most of EMI for me is just the bad art direction. It's a shame because the music is so great and it doesn't mesh with much of the visuals in the way that Curse does. There's so much ugly 3D in Escape that is worse off than Grim Fandango and was inexcusable at the time. So sure, in game and whatever, but the cutscenes were using the same models. If at the very least the wanted to keep the game flowing by using the low poly models in the cutscenes, they could have at least upped the res of the textures in those scenes. The pixels all over Pegnose Pete's face are just shameful and distracting.

There's just too many instances of bad or hastily put together graphics. Grim Fandango's cutscenes always came off as elegant and used somewhat higher poly models in some places (not to mention great backgrounds all around) for a game that came out two years
before EMI on the same engine.

Personally, when I play an adventure game, impeccable art direction is one of the most important aspects. The writer says the backgrounds are still gorgeous, and while some are, it often looks very chunky or plastic like, especially in all of the shops.

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Old 08-10-2011, 04:20 AM   #8
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Yeah the 3D is always something that's bothered me about EMI. Considering that it's all pre-rendered there really aren't any technological reasons for EMI or GF looking better or worse — it's simply down to the skill and execution of the artists.

The author of the article said otherwise, but IMO Grim Fandango's 3D is way above that of EMI's and looks infinitely more grounded, believable, and generally immersive. It seems with EMI they tried to cartoonify the style too much, resulting in everything just looking chunky and lacking atmosphere. The lightning is also exceedingly bland throughout, not to mention the choice of camera angles.

Then you've got that fact that some of EMI's 3D is just downright poor and clearly done with extreme haste. I mean, look at the pictures below: blurry, lacking detail, and just generally crappy-looking.





Still, like I say I did enjoy the game and my younger self was able to look past these things due to the euphoria of having a new Monkey Island game. I just wish the pirate theme wasn't so lacking; the takeover thing didn't work that well for me, even though the story was executed quite well. Maybe they just went too far with it, I'm not sure. Just not enough piratey pirates for me.


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Old 08-10-2011, 05:04 AM   #9
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I think TMI has helped as well, in a similar way to Revenge of the Sith softening the hate for Phantom Menace. Partly because it justifies some of the plot developments of EMI by treating them as cannon without revisiting them (a bit like getting rid of Jar Jar Binks but having a cameo at the end of the third film). That sentence doesn't make much sense but hopefully you see what I mean.

Also, TMI took some of the pressure off EMI being the last in the series, and therefore some kind of statement or farewell of the saga.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:34 AM   #10
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I could live with EMI if it looked like **** but was fun to play. I could live with it if it disregarded the previous games in order to tell a truly great story. But in my opinion the writing is so awful that it is impossible to engage with the game, even if you disregard the narrative choices.

It's schizophrenic. Who the hell was eager to see Otis again? He was a throwaway character from the first game; his purpose was served. Yet here he was, back on Melee Island, a little piece of fanservice at the expense of the PS2 newcomers. "A nice treat for the people who played the first game," thought Stemmle. Here is a man who apparently never actually figured out how to get inside the monkey head in SOMI, or perhaps he just plain forgot what was in there - and if Stemmle forgets, then I guess everyone else does, right?

I mean, people are entitled to like EMI, but don't sit there and tell me it's a good game. No-one wants to screw around with series canon unless they have a valid reason to do it - and the EMI guys didn't have a good reason, they were just too stupid and/or lazy to think of a way to tell their dumb story without pissing all over the first game. And sure, fine, okay, it's just a comedy point-and-click, not the sequel to Citizen Kane or something, but why does that mean they should get a free ride?

As far as I'm concerned, if you're a writer and you get given a sequel, one of your fundamental responsibilities is to marry your work to what has gone before. Take it in new directions, focus on specific aspects that interest you, whatever - but if you say to yourself "**** it, no-one will remember or care about that established stuff, I can do whatever I want" then you're not only a bad writer, but you're a lazy ******* too.

EMI can suck my balls.


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Old 08-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #11
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EMI is a great adventure game with a lot of problems. It was schizophrenically too mindful and not mindful enough of its heritage, some of the puzzles are aggressively obtuse, and the artwork is definitely a mixed bag.

I won't disagree that the game could have benefited from better artists, the technology used notwithstanding, but it's also ignorant not to consider that the team was weighed down by budgetary restraints that were foreign to the CMI team, who had ambitions of making something of the visual caliber of a hand animated feature film, ambitions that were largely nourished.

Granted, Grim is an artistically more pleasing game than EMI with a slightly older version of the same engine, but while the Grim team was able to build the technology they thought would best realize their game's world from the ground up over three years, it's not hard to believe that re-using the Grim engine along with a much more controlled schedule and budget were pre-requisites for Monkey4 being greenlit, despite the vastly different visual requirements of the Monkey Island universe. Throw in the two CD canvas it had to fit on and the whole 640 x 480 maximum resolution thing, and I think the final result acquits itself alright, though it's easily the Monkey Island that dates most rapidly and there are surely some backgrounds that are objectively "...Really?" Would things have turned out better if Bill Tiller had been allowed to be involved in the art direction, as he attempted? I don't know, but we're not looking at a hack job here even if we're looking at a far cry from a gorgeous painting by Tiller or Chan.

I also agree with Gabez's suggestion that EMI is in a better position to gain some retrospective appreciation now that it's no longer The Last Monkey Island Game.

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Old 08-14-2011, 08:47 PM   #12
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All of this EMI talk is tempting me to replay the game.

I will plan on taking pictures of me laughing at it. Particularly the Stemmle-esque parts.

All this just to majorly, majorly annoy elTee.


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Old 08-15-2011, 05:50 PM   #13
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EMI can suck my balls.
Agreed.

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Old 08-23-2011, 12:59 PM   #14
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Yours or his?

John Walker, the author of the piece, knows his onions on adventure games. I can't remember whether he's been on here, but I remember his contribution to this epic thread on Adventure Gamers:
http://www.adventuregamers.com/forum...ead.php?t=7922

Sadly he wasn't the reviewer who gave Moment of Silence 14%, but the whole thing turned into an interesting debate on the state of adventure games and how the mainstream gaming press should treat them. I'm sure much of it is still relevant today. :~


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Old 08-23-2011, 07:03 PM   #15
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John Walker, the author of the piece, knows his onions on adventure games.

[...]

I'm sure much of it is still relevant today. :~
How can onions be relevant to anything in this thread?

EMI brought bitter tears of extreme disappointment to my eyes and no excuses can save it, nor the Eurogamer write-up.


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Old 08-24-2011, 04:48 AM   #16
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Yours or his?
Haha, your signature.


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Old 08-25-2011, 04:53 PM   #17
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I'm one of those Philistines who thought CMI was a disappointment and a misfire when it came out, so by the time EMI was released, the series was already off the rails as far as I was concerned, and I consequently didn't come into it with very high hopes.

Perhaps as a result of that, I was pleasantly surprised. Visually, it's a mess. But CMI's well-executed but inappropriate cartoony artwork had been jarring for me, too. The humor felt much stronger, though, owing to Clark and Stemmle's experience with some of the classic LucasArts adventures. They weren't Gilbert, Grossman, and Schafer, but they were certainly funnier and got the tone down better than the CMI folks and their nonsense about porcelain and whatnot.

It's not a great game, but in some respects I actually prefer it to CMI. Overall, though, it's definitely the weakest entry in the series.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:23 PM   #18
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Im going to have to disagree. Efmi wasn't all that bad but Tomi was terrible. All character felt the same, The humor felt less funny, the whole plot was way to lighthearted, almost no memorable characters, and the puzzles were way to easy.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:54 PM   #19
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Im going to have to disagree. Efmi wasn't all that bad but Tomi was terrible. All character felt the same, The humor felt less funny, the whole plot was way to lighthearted, almost no memorable characters, and the puzzles were way to easy.
You, sir, clearly don't know your onions.


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