'Grim Fandango Remastered' Resurrects A LucasArts Classic

February 2, 2015

Manny Calavera holds a very special place in the annals of video game history. As the main character in Grim Fandango, Calavera has been looked at as the driving force in the quintessential adventure game, at the peak of the genre. After Grim Fandango it took decades for the genre to be resurrected, only to offer a smattering of games to a niche audience. With adventure games existing as a shadow of its former self, a glimmer of hope was shown at E3 2014 when Sony announced an updated version of Grim Fandango was going to grace its PlayStation 4 and PS Vita platforms. So now, 17 years after his debut, Manny Calavera is back from the dead in his LucasArts' classic, Grim Fandango Remastered, and along with him comes a second chance for his fans, and a whole new generation of gamers, to enjoy one of the best adventure games ever released.

Developer: LucasArts/Double Fine Productions
Publisher: LucasArts/Double Fine Productions

The origins of Grim Fandango Remastered lie within the now abandoned walls of one of the greatest game developers of all time: LucasArts. Once one of the most respected and created teams in all of the industry, LucasArts was unceremoniously shuttered just a few years ago as Disney absorbed its parent company. While the studio is no longer in existence, one of LucasArts' most prolific former employees, Tim Shafer, and his new studio, Double Fine Productions, helped piece together Grim Fandango Remastered in order to get it re-released. As the original writer on the game, Shafer has some invested interest in seeing one of his most beloved games get a well-deserved update.

Grim Fandango Remastered represents a look back at a bygone era of gaming; one that is often viewed with rose-colored glasses, and oodles of nostalgia. Remastered brings back to life one of the most creative, funny, and engaging virtual worlds of the late 1990s by resurrecting the Land of the Dead. Our hero, Manny Calavera, is a travel agent (a.k.a. Grim Reaper) that has been assigned to helping the recently departed on their journey in the afterlife. While serving his time as a Reaper, Manny uncovers some unsavory practices at the Department of Death, and sets out on an adventure to uncover the truth. In order to progress through one of the most amusing stories of all time, Manny must talk to everyone he can, obtain items, and solve puzzles. With every problem that he solves, he's one step closer to taking down the D.o.D., and uncovering the truth about his own past. The Remastered version of Grim Fandango comes with some new bells and whistles, including a graphical make over, optional directors' commentary, and, of course, an updated control scheme for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.

If you want to visit the Remastered version of the Land of the Dead you'll have a couple options to choose from. Even thought the game was announced at a Sony press conference, the updated version of Grim Fandango is landing on its original platform by way of Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs, in addition to Sony's PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. If those options are too new and flashy for you, you can always dust off your old Windows 95 machine, and fire up the original CD-ROM version, if you still have it handy. As an alternative, if you don’t want to revisit decades old tech, you can just choose to play Grim Fandango Remastered with the original graphics turned on - it's close enough.

It's not everyday that a classic game like Grim Fandango reenters the public consciousness with an updated experience on all new platforms. The fact that Remastered landed on the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita is huge for anyone that doesn't typically play games on their PC. While the game may show some signs of aging, and outside of the graphical update there are only a couple of extra features thrown in, firing up Grim Fandango Remastered is one of the best gaming decisions you can make. Helping Manny Calavera navigate through the Land of the Dead on his outlandish adventure is still as entertaining today as it was back in 1998, and that's because the team behind the original was at the top of their class. Whether you've already enjoyed Grim Fandango or not, Remastered should be on the short list of required playing for anyone that considers themselves a "gamer."