Ask me about Grim Fandango
January 31, 2015

Iím just going to say it. Grim Fandango is one of the best point and click adventure games ever made. This was true in 1998 when it first released and was mostly ignored because the genre was dying. This is even more true in 2015 when adventure games are back with a vengeance thanks to the many episodic adventure series by TellTale, and the many indie titles that try to capture that 90ís adventure feel.

Grim Fandango is challenging and expansive in a way that many of todayís adventure games are not. Grim Fandango even has that episodic feel Ė the narrative is split up into 4 years. The first year isn't doesn't really showcase just how good this game is, though. The puzzles don't have a real lot of logic, and usually just require you to go everywhere you can and try everything. There aren't many characters to talk to, either.

But year 2 lets you explore the port town of Rubecava, which is full of many different locations and interesting characters to talk to, and a lot of excellent puzzles.

The dialogue and characterisation in this game is amazing. Each person you encounter feels familiar - they're enough of an archetype so you can get a handle on them, but they've got enough depth that you believe they had a life before the ended up in the Land of the Dead. Carla the bored and flirty policewoman, for example, is just one of many minor characters that becomes memorable simply due to her interactions with Manny.

As a Remastered port, the visuals donít appear to have changed much. They might have cleaned it up a bit, but the borders on the sides of the screen really do remind you this is a 4:3 game. You can adjust the picture to widescreen, but all this does is make Manny fat.

One of the most difficult parts of Grim Fandango in 1998 was mastering the clunky tank mode control. Press up to move Manny forward with the left and right keys to change his direction. It could make the game inaccessible. Control is definitely not something you usually hear about with these sorts of games. But the ability to use a controller is something I've been wanting for a while.

I probably won't write a full review for this because it's not Wii Shovelware, and thus not what this site is about. But then again, I'm not sure how I would expand all this into a full review anyway.

Get it.

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dementedhut dementedhut - February 01, 2015 (02:57 PM)
No joke, but before I read your post, I was actually thinking about seeking a WiiWare game for a review.

Strangely, Grim Fandango is a game I kept forgetting was getting another release, even as I read your post... I never had a chance to play it, but I did watch a little bit of someone else doing a playthrough a few years back, and it genuinely did look like a fun game. Cool that it's a bit more controllable now, not sure if I would have patience with the tank controls.

Now if only I won't forget its existence after I hit "Comment". Here goes!
honestgamer honestgamer - February 01, 2015 (05:08 PM)
I looked, and it has been 10 months since my last WiiWare review. I can't promise that I won't review more such games in the future. I'd like to, if I find the time and the mood and energy all at once.

The thing about my reviews: they're not really me reviewing one thing in lieu of something else. Sometimes I play games and then I typically review them. That's it. Sometimes those will be new games, sometimes old, sometimes shovelware, sometimes blockbusters. I'm a Nintendo fan from way back, which means a lot of what I play for fun or on a whim will relate to Nintendo hardware. I will sometimes also look for obscure downloads that other people aren't talking about much. I like to cover a little bit of everything!

As for Grim Fandango, I was happy when they announced that it would be getting an update and more convenient availability on new platforms. I may yet wind up buying it myself.
EmP EmP - February 07, 2015 (10:11 AM)
I never got around to Grim Fandango the first time around. I owned it, but it had that weird control set up and my long obsolete computer simply could not handle it at the time. I fished the CDROM out a year or so back now that I actually own a PC of worth, but it was around the time the the remaster was being rumored, so I thought I'd have a wait and see. It's certainly on the list now I've moved out of my shooter stage and have played a bunch of adventure games instead.

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