This would be a Halloween game,
but Cinco de Mayo is this week, so here's a game to go along with my hot burgers. Grim Fandango is a key part of the Tim Schafer pantheon. It was the last game he made before leaving LucasArts and establishing Double Fine Productions. Like Tim's earlier games, Grim Fandango is an adventure game that first released in 1998: the closing days of the classic adventure game era.
A remastered version released in 2015, which is the version I've played. The original game had 3D characters on top of pre-rendered backgrounds, and the remaster keeps all of them, even at their original resolution. The remaster adds point and click features, whereas the original had tank controls only.
Moment to moment gameplay is dominated by dialog and clicking everything on everything else. However, the exact way forward isn't always obvious, and there are several points where the game falls into stupid puzzle territory. For example, how on earth would I know that I should put an oily rag on a toaster and turn it on?
You play as Manny Calavaras, first as a travel agent, then nightclub owner, spy, and saboteur. The plot draws him into a conspiracy that his higher ups aren't as altruistic as they should be. You get the idea almost immediately that you're very low on the ladder. There's a street festival going on outside, but you never get to enjoy it, except for talking to the inflatable balloon guy. Your clients you're assigned to are crumby.
The game has a lot of film noir themes and motifs, so there are parts of the vibe that I like. The office building that Manny works out of has lot of Art Deco flourishes. Many characters smoke (no wonder that they're all dead). You turn into a detective trying to solve a big mystery. The world is bleak, dark, and uncaring.
If you like adventure games, or Tim Schafer games, you've probably played this already, so you don't need my opinion on it. People don't drool over Grim Fandango as heavily as Psyconauts, so I can't ding it for being overrated. Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 8:15 PM EDT under Gaming. 0 complaints.
Since you've made it this far, you might be interested in reading:
Broken Age: Act 1
Broken Age is the game that, for the longest time, was known as the Double Fine Adventure. Unfortunately the man behind all of this, Tim Schafer, cannot get publisher funding for a game to save his life. It was Kickstarted a long time ago, and it did well. So well that it made crowdfunding a viable method of fundraising for... pretty much everything.
Broken Age: Act 2
Some things have been happening in my life. Good things. Deal with it. Listen to my podcast: I drop a lot of goings on there. I'll probably make a "State of the" post at some point.
This one has been a long time coming. Remember way back when I played Broken Age? Since that would be the first Tim Schafer game I've played, I wanted to do some research on how this guy does games. I started to play Psychonauts before the first part of Broken Age came out. The first time, I got a little ways into it. I restarted a few years later only to get distracted again, maybe because of some RPG or another. Two months ago, I started making a concerted effort to finish Psychonauts, so I restarted yet again. This time, I made it!
I continue my journey through Tim Schafer's games. I finished this a month or two ago, and I've been too lazy to write a blog post about it until now. So if you'll excuse me, I'll be real quick about this.
Halo Wars 2
When I heard that Halo Wars got a sequel, I wondered who wanted it. The first one didn't set the world on fire, and it wasn't sophisticated enough to get a sizeable cult following. Since Ensemble shut down, Microsoft chose Creative Assembly, the people behind the Total War series, to create this. By and large, Halo Wars 2 received the same mediocre welcome. It wasn't until Halo Infinite that anyone realized that this was meant to be a prequel of sorts.
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
This is a blog post about a game named The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe. This is an expanded version of The Stanley Parable. It's a story about a man named Stanley, and what happens when he is left all alone in an office building, with only a voice in his head to keep him company. There are certainly many offices like that since the world changed forever. The aesthetics hit almost too close to reality for this blogger.