You would think that Death would free people from working a crappy 9 to 5 to survive. Unless your name is Manny Calavera, who’s stuck selling trips to heaven to new arrivals in the underworld. If you’re good you get a first class trip to heaven, and if you’re bad… get ready for a long dangerous walk. Manny has a bit of debt that’s stopping him from heading to the Promised Land. He finally finds a pure soul who should send him to the big leagues, but instead she leads him on a chase through the land of the dead.

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What we liked

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Full of Character – Grim Fandango is a classic adventure game for a reason. Very few titles come with as much personality as this one. Manny is one hell of a guy, but even the villains are hard to dislike. Glottis is my personal favorite, he’s stupid, adorable, and absolutely hilarious. Its top notch comedy mixed with an intriguing take on life after death. There aren’t many stories that will keep you entertained like this one.

Here’s looking at you kid – Despite coming out in 1998, Grim Fandango is a beautiful game. I’m not just talking about the HD upgrade mind you, which removes all the jagged edges from all of the 3D character models. I’m talking about a team that cares about creating impressive animations for each character. Little things like Manny sliding down a railing, or Glottis squeezing his big body out of a small room. It’s the attention to detail in every encounter that adds that special touch to Grim Fandango.

Sounds of Rubacava – I’ve already talked up the characters, but did I mention why they are so great? I’ll give you one guess… it’s the voice acting. Usually games with a lot of dialogue are either too long-winded, or have a voice actor that ruins the experience. Not in Grim Fandango, every conversation is soothed by spirited voice work pushed along by a laugh out loud script.

Puzzles that don’t suck – In many adventure games you tend to click randomly on the screen searching for the answer to a perplexing puzzle. That’s not something that tends to happen often in Grim Fandango. The puzzles are designed in a manner that you can easily understand them. At first you won’t realize why you have an item, and then the game reveals a situation that immediately turns the wheels in your brain. You’ll still backtrack a ton, but mostly because you realize what that item you have is for.

Vita Version – The Vita Version isn’t as crisp as the console and PC version but it does the game justice. Touch controls are used for opening the inventory, examining items, pausing the game, etc. Other than that, the game plays exactly the same on the handheld.

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Could be better

HD Upgrade – The higher resolution, better 3D models, developer commentary, and the addition of 16:9 are the only noticeable updates here. It’s kind of like an upgrade as the game relatively looks like it did before but a bit crisper. It’s not mind blowing like The Secret of Monkey Island or Resident Evil remakes. It’s more like game update than a totally overhauled system. At least it works well when playing with a controller.

[section label=”Disliked” anchor=”Disliked”]

What we hated

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Crashes and glitches – The title has a few animations bugs when speaking to characters, and it crashed on me at least three times on the Playstation 4.

Cross- Saves – The cloud saving from my PS4 to my Vita causes save corruption on the handheld. In four different instances, I had re-download Grim Fandango on Vita because a cloud save would crash my game every time I started it.

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Conclusion

Grim Fandango earned its place as a classic because of the excellent story and detailed animations. The puzzle design thinks out of the box, and functions better than the exhausting amount of modern adventure titles available. If you’re any kind of a fan of the adventure genre, Grim Fandango Remastered is a must purchase. Rubacava looks better than ever and reiterates why it’s one of the best adventure games ever created.

*This title was provided to us by the Publisher*

Grim Fandango Review