Grim Fandango Remastered (PC/Steam)

(Review archived from January 20, 2016)

This is one of those games that manages to get by purely on the strength of its wit, charm, and guile. And that’s all it needs really. Sure the gameplay is sort of janky in parts. Sure the pacing is a hot mess. Sure there are several off the wall ‘moon-logic’ puzzles interspersed throughout. Sure the cut scenes in this ‘remastered’ version still look like pixelated nightmares. But you know what? None of that matters; not when the world as presented is so unique and compelling. Not when the atmosphere and aesthetics are so masterfully executed. Not when, despite their fantastical nature, the characters feel like real characters, with fantastic voice work to match. Not when this a rare example of a game that shoots for an ‘epic’ storyline and actually succeeds. In many ways this swan song of LucasArts adventure games is the capstone achievement representative of all their adventure games that had come before. Grim Fandango is an amalgamation of what made LucasArts adventures great, and yet it is also a representative example of many of the niggling issues found in the earlier LucasArts adventures. Overall though, the strengths of Grim Fandango outweigh its deficiencies. It’s rightly considered one of LucasArts crowning achievements, but by the same token I think that nostalgia (and the fact that the game was unplayable on modern hardware for so long) had elevated it to god-like status when in actuality the game is not without its issues (minor though they might be). At any rate I think that adventure game fans will find a whole ton of stuff to enjoy here. I don’t think I’d recommend it as “Baby’s First Adventure Game” or anything, but really … what in the hell are you letting your kids play in the first place? To (belatedly) tie off 2015, I leave you with this final food for thought:






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