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Grim Fandango Remastered review: A legendary adventure brought back to life

Hayden Dingman | Jan. 30, 2015
Okay, you've heard of this "Grim Fandango" game for years and everyone seems pretty excited it's been re-released, but what the hell is it? Any relation to the WWE wrestler? How about the excellent-but-also-underrated/canceled cartoon Frisky Dingo?

I ended up playing with some sort of hybrid mouse/gamepad controls, which ultimately suited my needs fine. Then again, that's why we're PC gamers right? Plenty of possibilities and personal customization.

Of course, you could always play the whole game with tank controls and score the sweet "The Right Way" achievement. (The accompanying text says "Tim [Schafer] demanded this achievement.")

Bottom line

Grim Fandango Remastered isn't perfect. We've had prettier — or at least more extensive — overhauls of some classic adventure games recently, including Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers and Shadowgate (and, I guess, Resident Evil HD since that's kind of an adventure game).

On the other hand, it's [expletive] Grim Fandango. It's a game that's been all-but-unobtainable for over a decade now, cleaned up to run on modern systems with no hassle, and it looks astonishingly good for its age.

Is it a 90s adventure game full of adventure game logic? Absolutely. Are the graphics and controls perfect? No. Could it use a bit more polish? Probably.

But this is still one of the best video games I've ever played. The writing is hilarious, the characters and setting are creative as hell, and along with The Longest Journey I'd say Grim Fandango exemplifies classic adventure games. It's ambitious and mature in a way that not a lot of games before or since have accomplished.

Longtime fans? Snag a copy. People who missed the game the first time around but have heard for years how great it is? We weren't lying — snag a copy and play it with a walkthrough, if that's what it takes. There's no excuse now.


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