First of all, I didn't enjoy this game that much, perhaps because of my high expectations, and I think that should be said first instead of what I liked about it.
This game wasn't ALL bad, the humor was just as nice as any other MI game, and the acting was above average as well. Not to mention the classic Monkey Island music. The music was one of the few things in this game that didn't fail to impress. I guess you MIGHT call it an OK game in its own right, because SMI, MI2, and CMI set such high expectations.
Gee, where to begin? First off, the interface was awful. Why couldn't "Those wizards at LucasArts" be smart enough to keep the old point-and-click interface? The new one was too hard to control, and it took away from the enjoyability of the game. I guess it was fine for the PS2 platform, but the Windows version came out first. That was one of the reasons that it didn't really feel like a LucasArts adventure game.
Second was the story, it was a bit too weird for my tastes. Sure, the others had some things which couldn't happen in the 17th century, which added to their pirate-parody atmospheres, but a...
!! SPOILER !! SPOILER !! SPOILER !! SPOILER !! SPOILER !!
Giant, fighting, flying monkey robot?! What the heck was that all about?! And, I liked it better when Herman Toothrot was just a weird castaway, now he's a main character.
Spoilers end here.
...See what I mean? In general, the story didn't seem to fit in with the others. It really made me think less of the entire series.
Not to mention the 3D artwork, it wasn't that good. And the fact that you had to look at it through that crappy interface didn't help either. I'm not saying that I hate 3D, I'm just saying that it didn't work too well in a Monkey Island game. The 3D in the new Sam & Max game that just came out was fantastic, why couldn't they work it a bit more like that?
My last complaint is this, I really don't think there should have been a fourth Monkey Island game. Now, don't all you MI fanatics who are actually begging for a 5th start shooting me. The story really ended after the 3rd game, it was concluded, done, didn't need a sequel. Some games like Sam & Max could have hundreds of sequels because each little game/comic is self-contained enough that they can have alot of games/comics. Monkey Island is a single story, and it's already finished. Take the advice of Pavan Shamdasani, who wrote a different review of this game, and forget about EMI. Play the other 3, forget about this one.
The Bottom Line
An almost-OK game in its own right, NOT a good Monkey Island game. A blemish on the face of the series. They shouldn't even have made this one, and I really hope that a Monkey Island 5 is never made, it would ruin it.
Here's a last thought--Ron Gilbert, who made SMI & MI2, had a trilogy in mind, with a different story than CMI brought about. If anyone makes another game, it should be an alternate MI3 by Ron Gilbert, the one that he intended to make when he started it all...