The Horror Honeys: 'Grim Fandango Remastered' is Fan-Frigging-Tastic!

'Grim Fandango Remastered' is Fan-Frigging-Tastic!

A Revenge Honey Gaming Classic Remaster Review by Linnie


Game: Grim Fandango Remaster
Release: 1998/2015
Developer: LucasArts (original), Double Fine Productions (remaster)
Genre: Puzzle/Adventure
Platforms: PS4, PSVita, Windows, Mac OSX, Linux


In 1998, I was just starting high school, and thus ending my love affair with gaming, because studying and writing and nerd stuff. But I hadn't walked away just yet when George Lucas's LucasArts announced their forthcoming computer game, Grim Fandango. Combing classic noir style (in the vein of Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon) and the Aztec concept of the afterlife, the adventure puzzle game was a massive critical success and a huge commercial failure (don't blame me! I'm only one person!). In fact, Grim Fandango was such a huge financial bomb, LucasArts abandoned their adventure game devision and the entire genre followed suit not long after.

So thank goodness Double Fine Productions recently decided, "Eff you suckas, we LIKE this game!" remastered it, and re-released it so a new generations of gamers with some goddamned taste can discover this beautifully designed and soundtracked adventure comedy!

The Story: Manuel "Manny" Calavera is a travel agent for the recently deceased, a calaca in "Day of the Dead" culture, and his boss is threatening to can him if he doesn't pick up a better class of dearly departed clientele. Afraid for his future, Manny steals a client from his main competitor. The woman? Mercedes "Meche" Colomar, and due to her pureness of heart, Manny is sure she is a shoe-in for the short trip to eternal rest. But through Meche's journey, Manny discovers a great conspiracy is ruling the Land of the Dead, and the rest of Grim Fandango plays out across years, like an amazing novel written by Dashiell Hammett.

Gameplay: At first, Grim Fandango seems like a simple point-and-click puzzle game, but it's so much more complicated than it initially seems. Each action has to be performed in a precise order, and as a less-than-orderly gameplayer who enjoys just running around poking things and talking to people, it took me more time than usual to adjust to the orderly manner you have to complete tasks. Additionally, I played Grim Fandango on my computer, and outside of Limbo, I'm strictly an Xbox girl. But despite the learning curve and the adjustment period, I fell in love with Grim in about five seconds. I think you will too.

The Graphics: The remastered graphics in Grim are absolutely beautiful. The combination of original static images with the 3D graphics were stunning, and given the vastness of scenery and characters in this game, the intricacy is mind-boggling. Obviously, we aren't talking about The Last of Us film-quality gameplay, but the throwback to the original game combined with the gorgeous color and life of the Day of the Dead theme make for a consistently stunning gameplay experience.

The Soundtrack: The music in Grim Fandango was without question, one of my favorite elements. I am a sucker for a great game soundtrack, and this one featured a combination of orchestral score, jazz, swing, and Latin American folk music that elevated every scene without distracting from it. From a Day of the Dead celebration to the music at a nightclub, every note is perfectly thought out. I will be impatiently waiting for a game soundtrack re-release, promised sometime in the near future.

Bonus: The remastered version of Grim Fandango has game developer commentary for you true aficionados out there! 

Final Verdict: Grim Fandango Remastered is a perfect excuse to time travel back to an era when point-and-click was be all, end all, but beautifully upgraded with style and substance. This is a game I can guarantee you will return to time and again.

Revenge Honey Rating: 9 Number Nine Trains to the Ninth Underworld out of 9