Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Grim Fan-Frickin’-Dango!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 10, 2014

Grim_Fandango_boxartConfirmed: The “remastered” edition of Grim Fandango¬†announced for the Sony PS4 and Vita platforms is also coming to PC, Mac, and Linux.

I still have my original copy. And the box. Getting it to actually *run* in a modern Windows environment without crashing is a major feat requiring hunting the internet and possibly running dubious files. But I do have it. It is a well-loved copy.

Just by way of reference – I received it as a Christmas present, alongside the original Half-Life.

Have I mentioned lately that I consider Grim Fandango to be the best adventure game of all time? Well, I do. My apologies to all my adventure-game developer friends and acquaintances out there. I love what you are doing guys. Maybe you’ve got a game out there that I haven’t played that equals or exceeds the majesty of Grim Fandango, and one day I will discover it and revise my proclamation. But of the adventure games I have played, Grim Fandango remains my high-water mark.

And honestly, I cannot tell you why. It wasn’t the puzzles. I only barely remember some of the puzzles. (“Run, you pigeons! It’s Robert Frost!”). Mainly, it was the characters – particularly¬†the protagonist, Manuel “Manny” Calavera. And Glottis. Glottis was great. And the oddball setting. And the film noir style. And the awesome story broken up into chapters each set a year apart. And the excellent soundtrack.

Mainly, I remember how I felt playing it. This was 1998, and getting a more subtle emotional reaction (meaning – something besides fear or anger) from a game was a rare thing. But I did with Grim Fandango. I cared about the characters, and the ending left me feeling satisfied. It was a well-told story and a well-crafted game.

Technologically, I’m not sure how well the “remastered” edition will stack up to modern offerings. But it’s definitely a classic that deserves to be made available on modern platforms. I’m really excited by this news.

Filed Under: Adventure Games, Retro - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Anon said,

    > I still have my original copy. And the box.

    Yup, same here!

    I don’t know if it is /the/ best adventure game of all time but it is certainly belongs in every top 5 list – and I consider it the best game Tim Schafer has ever worked on.
    It’s also more of a cult favorite – like Schafer’s Full Throttle, which is nearly as good but too short and less epic and less creative – which evolved into a veritable classic that long surpassed its two weaknesses:

    First of all, many people were annoyed by the controlling scheme but I’m annoyed by the stupidity and laziness of these people to adapt. Nowadays this game would perhaps have less problems because it fits gamepads nicely (I strongly consider getting it for the PS4 when I buy the PS4 later in its life as I’d like to see it in high-res glory on the big screen with theatre-quality sound!).

    Secondly, the second half of the game is noticeably weaker than the first one. Yes, it’s still great and has a nice conclusion but it can’t compare with the initial wonder and awe you experience in the first two years of Manny’s four year long voyage – especially if you have a love of old American movies of the forties or if you are a Bogart fan. There are many references that will put a smile on your face…

    This game has heaps of quality! Not only is the soundtrack incredibly well done, the voice work is great (even in the German-dubbed version), the graphics were good for its time, the writing is extremely creative and the logic of the setting is wondrously consistent (the special guns they use on each other in this world).
    Glottis is probably the best “funny sidekick” in gaming history but Manny is extremely likeable, too, and you will feel for him. He isn’t really a “cool character” (even though is “cool” by nature…) but he isn’t your inept standard adventure wannabe character, riddled by mishaps.

    And of course all the love that went into this product shows up in all places. One example: The cat racings announcer. I just sat there, listening for minutes, waiting for him to loop eventually but I think they randomized the races somehow.

    If you like creative games that surpass the standard Lucasfilm inept hero setting then this game is for you! Graphical adventures doesn’t get much better than this, if at all!

    Here’s a small tip, though, if you want to replay the original version: There is a problem with modern hardware, especially in the elevator scene – which needs a patch so look that up before you begin playing it again!