Ron Gilbert Bemoans Negative Reactions to Return to Monkey Island's New Art Style

Ron Gilbert Bemoans Negative Reactions to Return to Monkey Island's New Art Style

Matt Lorrigan

Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert has expressed his sadness at some fans' negative reaction to the art style in the recently announced Return to Monkey Island, in his latest blog post.

Return to Monkey Island was announced last month, and sees Gilbert returning to the series for the first time since Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. Serving as a direct sequel to that game, Return to Monkey Island is the game that many fans of the original titles have wanted for a long time, but it seems many aren't happy with the new, non-pixel art style.

“I have made one pixel art game in my entire career and that was Thimbleweed Park. Monkey Island 1 and 2 weren't pixel art games,” says Gilbert. “They were games using state-of-the-art tech and art. Monkey Island 1 was 16 colour EGA and we jumped at the chance to upgrade it to 256 colours. Monkey Island 2 featured the magical wizardry of scanned art by Peter Chan and Steve Purcell and we lusted to keep pushing everything forward.”

Gilbert says that, had he stayed at Lucasfilm and created Monkey Island 3 back then, it wouldn't have looked much like Monkey Island 2 at all, and that still remains true even with the game being made over thirty years later.

“When Dave [Grossman] and I first started brainstorming Return to Monkey Island we talked about pixel art, but it didn't feel right. We didn't want to make a retro game. You can't read an article about Thimbleweed Park without it being called a 'throwback game'. I didn't want Return to Monkey Island to be just a throwback game, I wanted to keep moving Monkey Island forward because it's interesting, fun, and exciting. It's what the Monkey Island games have always done.”

“Return to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or were expecting but it's the art style I wanted.”

Gilbert goes on to express that he finds it ironic that some of the most hardcore Monkey Island fans are the ones disappointed in the art style, and who “don't want me to make the game I want to make”.

“And that is what makes me sad about all the comments. Return to Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster. Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it's not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted.”

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