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Monkey Island 2 Special Edition - imuse comparison

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Published on Jul 7, 2010

Edit: The xbox 360 received an update which implements the imuse system (I don't know if it's true, but based on reports the 360 version simply lacked one single file which would have activated the imuse system). I haven't done new comparisons, but I assume it's on par with the PS3 version now.

This is comparison of the imuse sound system in each version of the Monkey Island 2 special edition. I used Woodtick (first town in the game) for the comparison as it's the best example in the game for the imuse system (which is supposed to smoothly change the music from tune to tune).

0:00 - 360 version
0:29 - PS3 version
0:56 - PC version
1:44 - 360 version classic mode (I did a mistake with recording here, so this particular segment is in mono)
2:28 - PC version classic mode
3:15 - The original game played in ScummVM (using emulated MT-32 music, which unfortunately isn't perfect)

360 version simply has no imuse at all. Whenever you change rooms it instantly changes tune to its starting point. PS3 and PC both have the same implementation which is actually faithful to how imuse works. As you move between rooms the song will do a unique transition, although they are very short.

360 classic mode honestly sounds awful. Not only is the music not close to its MT-32 roots, the transitions are brutally instant. PC version is better, but not by much, a few of the rooms seems to transition in a similar way as the special edition music, but some transitions are instant!

The original game has much more advanced transitions which sounds more dynamic. Unfortunately this video doesn't really do the music justice as ScummVM's MT-32 emulation is far from perfect. Which means if you want to listen to how the music is meant to be heard, you'll need a real MT-32 compatible sound card. While I still prefer the original MT-32 music, I must say the new music in the special edition is very good.

At 4:12 in the video you can see a few of my favourite dialogue from Scabb Island. I should mention that the game is quite super awesome and anyone who like adventure games should run off and buy it now! Every version of the game is great, although PC is slightly better with its full 1080p view and mouse controls.

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