In the second of the Monkey Island series, we catch up with Guybrush Threepwood in a new location called Scabb Island. He's come here in search of the infamous Big Whoop treasure and looking to charter a ship to search for it among the surrounding islands. It's rumored to be in a place called Dinky Island, but just where that is nobody knows. There is a map with the coordinates, but it's been torn and divided amongst the four who originally discovered it and no knows where they are either. However, before Guybrush can even begin his investigations, he must rid Scabb Island of Largo La Grande who has imposed an embargo on sailing.
Largo La Grande was the pirate LeChuck's second in command and he rules the island with an iron fist, extracting money from all its occupants and businesses. Everyone wishes a voodoo doll could be made of him and stuffed full of pins. Guybrush sets about doing this very thing. In this first part we are re-introduced to some characters from "The Secret of Monkey Island" - the "men of low moral fiber" and the "voodoo queen" who gives Guybrush a recipe for making the doll.
Once the doll is constructed, Guybrush confronts Largo, bragging of his mighty deed in killing LeChuck and producing LeChuck's beard as proof. Unfortunately, Largo snatches it, informing Guybrush that LeChuck's body can be revived with this piece of living tissue. LeGrande absconds with the goods and shortly thereafter, we see a revived Lechuck who is now a highly ticked-off zombie bent on revenge. The voodoo lady tells Guybrush that the Big Whoop treasure is the key to another dimension where he can escape LeChuck forever.
With LeGrande gone off, Guybrush is free to hire a boat piloted by Captain Dredd who gives him a map of some other Islands. Guybrush can now travel between Scabb, Booty and Phatt Islands trying to locate the pieces of the map to Dinky Island. Along the way we see other characters returning from the Secret of Monkey Island. If you're wondering where Elaine is, she turns up here, but all is not well in that relationship.
I found Monkey Island 2 more enjoyable to play than its predecessor due to some marked improvements in the game mechanics of the special edition. You can move the cursor over the screen to highlight interactive objects, then just right-click for the available options, which makes the game more user-friendly. The basic concept is still the same though, which has you traversing the same ground over and over again. It's just not quite as tedious with the more responsive controls and the trimming of the unnecessary travel details. Once you've visited an island you can instantly travel between them by going to Captain Dredd's boat and choosing it on his map. It lessens the time between interactions, which was a complaint I had with the first. There is no complaint however, with the customary humorous situations and ludicrous dialogue options.
The staged hint system also returns, progressively giving you more information as you press H. As solving the puzzles can be a little obtuse, it can prove very useful. Other than the first part on Scabb Island, if you can't figure out the solution, you can start by considering that almost all the answers require returning to another island first. The original version had an easy mode called "lite" that's been removed in the special edition.
As in The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition is an enhanced rework of the original. It's possible to switch between the 256 color enhanced and the new version of graphics without interrupting the flow of the game. This also switches between the original soundtrack and the remastered score.
There are two new additions to the game. One is the ingame developer's commentary which can be accessed by pressing A. When new content is available a note will pop up. The game continues to run, but you can just stand still if you want to listen to their chitchat. As Monkey Island 2 has a rather controversial ending, you may want to at least listen in here. The other is a concept art gallery where pieces are unlocked as you play the game. With the steam version, there are also a number of achievements that can be obtained.