Travel agents take ‘Grim Fandango’ to a better place

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First Posted: 2/16/2015

Released in 1998 on the PC, I never got to play the original “Grim Fandango,” but thanks to “Grim Fandango Remastered” on the PS4 and PS Vita, that’s changed.

“Grim Fandango” is a dark noir style game considered a classic in the adventure game genre. This classic game was made by LucasArts and was one of the first PC games to feature 3D graphics. Even though it was a technological marvel at the time and the story and gameplay where great, it was a commercial failure. Though it didn’t make a ton of money, critics loved this game because of the art style, gameplay and the noir story similar to film classics like “Casablanca” or “On the Waterfront.”

“Grim Fandango” is quirky, it stars a character, named Manny, who is essentially a grim reaper but they are called travel agents. Their job is to shepard newly departed souls to the afterlife safely and comfortably. Manny finds out one of his rival travel agents has been more successful and decides to steal one of his customers. This sends Manny on a whirlwind adventure through the Land of the Dead.

I’ve always enjoyed adventure games, especially the older ones, because there was no hand holding. They really made you think. You collect objects in the environment and look for clues in order to solve some of the most interesting puzzles I have seen in a while.

You need to pay close attention to each conversation and examine everything you find in order to come up with the solution to some of the harder puzzles. The only thing that makes the game a bit frustrating, is sometimes, the thing you need to solve a puzzle can be used prematurely or broken by accident, meaning you might have to backtrack to other parts of the game to find the item again. This can be a real pain and often not worth it.

The first noticeable thing when starting the game are the graphics. All the characters look more crisp and have new textures. I went back and checked some videos of the original and you can really see the difference. The remastered version isn’t just a graphic overhaul, it also has some new options for gameplay and controls. One of the innovative things about the original were the controls, but now you don’t have to use a mouse and keyboard, you use the controller or the touchpad on the Vita. It can create some frustration because sometimes it isn’t as precise but it is more accessible and fun.

If you love the old version there is an option to set it up the same way.

If you are a fan of “Grim Fandango” you will love this game and it is a must buy. If you are fan of the Telltale games or newer adventure games you will have a lot of fun but it might be a little harder then you are used to.

I have always loved this style of game and I am very glad I downloaded this game and gave it a try, I can see why it is considered a classic.