"My scythe... I like to keep it next to where my heart used to be."
Review on PS Vita & PS4
Grim Fandango is a labour of love for me. When the first game was released back in 1998 I had just turned 11. I was obsessed with point and click style games. Out of nowhere, came this 3D world with a massive amount of dialogue. It felt for the first time ever, that I was playing a story.
For those unaware, you play Manuel Calavera, working his time off as a (kind of) travel agent in the Land of The Dead - a place where souls make their way to the afterlife. How fast and how luxurious depends you get there depends on how good you have been back in the landing of the living. When Mercedes Colomar doesn't get the No.9 ticket she rightly deserves, it leads Manny to believe something very suspicious is going on.
The game is all about the characters and conversation. Whether you're talking to a simple minded 2,000 year old demon, a union of worker bees, skeletal revolutionaries or just scaring the living; it is genius writing from a time when Lucas Interactive had The Midas Touch. The game is essentially about picking "stuff" up and using the same "stuff" somewhere else to progress the plot. This is not an action packed response based game and if you're not interested in story then don't worry about this one.
Huge praise must go to the soundtrack, voiceover and script which give a modern quality for a game close to 20 years old. Rarely do I let the characters run through every line of dialogue but the sarcastic undertone of the voice acting, reinforced by the opportunity you are given to constantly set people up, means you cannot resist playing along.
True the game isn't perfect and some sections are a little dry (when you don't have anyone to talk to) and most people would agree that the forest section leaves much to be desired. It's a blip though, and it is just before Rubacava, which is the best part.
It's a shame that not more was made of the remastered version. The visuals are almost identical. Though you can switch between the original and remastered there is little to differentiate. I'm sure that it was technically difficult but I would have loved to see some fresh visuals in the same vein as The Monkey Island remakes. The "commentary" you can activate is interesting but, I wanted to enjoy what was happening in game and as a simple guy, I can't concentrate on two things at once!
The game is dated, not much has changed, but nothing needed to . It is a joy and please make sure you take your time with it.