Grim Fandango Remastered Review (PS4)

I picked up this game a couple of weeks ago in a Playstation sale, for some reason it seems like a lot of my reviews start this way but moving on, and after letting it sit on my system for a couple of more weeks I finally decided to go ahead and play it. After spending a week on the game, here’s what I thought about it.

Grim Fandangio Remastered is a remake of the 1998 PC game Grim Fandangio. From what I can tell it stays true to its roots but just updates to be playable on the PS4. You’ll be playing as Manny Calavera, a travel agent at the DoD, Department of Death, who’s job it is to find the best package to reach the Ninth Underworld for newly departed souls. People who’ve been good all their lives get a ticket on the number nine train which is a direct path to the Ninth Underworld while people who aren’t so good have a little bit of a harder time getting to their final destination. After a woman who has been deemed a saint, Meche, is denied access on the number nine, Manny uncovers a sinister plot at the DoD and spends the game trying to find Meche who had to journey on foot to the Ninth Underworld. You’ll spend four years as Manny each time in a different location as he searches for Meche. All he wants to do is set things right and make sure that she makes it to the Ninth Underworld unlike the other lost souls who get lost along the way.

Kudos: The voice acting in this game is pretty amazing and enhances the game as a whole making me give it a couple of bonus points along the way since I’m a sucker for really good voice acting.

I really enjoyed the whole storyline for this game. Manny is a lost soul who is trying to make his way to the Ninth Underworld himself and he’s a pretty relatable and likeable character. Remember when main characters were actually likeable? I’m looking at you Mr. Cole Phelps (L.A. Noire). Along the way Manny meets a bunch of other characters who are just as well developed as he is. These characters add to the story as a whole making it not only Manny’s story but these other characters story as well. Each of them got where they are for a reason, because if not they would have been in the Ninth Underworld already, and it makes the story even more twisty with a surprise ending.

Going into this game I expected it to be a simple point and click adventure game where the puzzles to solve were easy, but I was wrong. So very wrong. The puzzles for this game are extremely difficult at times since you never really know what it is that you have to do. Most of the time this leads to some pretty frustrating moments that made me want to fling the controller across the room as I tried to see where each puzzle piece fit. I spent a lot of time wondering how the items I collected were to be used and where they were supposed to be used. It kind of reminded me this Scooby-Doo game that I used to play on my Sega Genesis a long long time ago.

This game was completely glitch and bug free and ran beautifully on the PS4. Loading times were short and transitions were smooth. I only had one problem with the game, but really it was my own fault. Being the trophy hunter that I am, one of the trophies were to play with tank controls. I found this difficult to get used to, awkward to play with, and just an all around pain in the ass. If you don’t know what tank controls are, they’re basically similar to that of a tank meaning that you have to turn before you can move forward or backwards. This meant that it took a very long time to get from one place to the other and sometimes I would get stuck in areas because I couldn’t tell if I had turned and moved forwards or turned and moved backwards. It seriously came to the point where I just wanted to shut them off and play the game skipping the trophy all together, but I would just save and then return at a later time when I cooled off from being so pissed off with the controls.

The graphics remained the same for the game, but were just updated for the PS4. From what I can tell, like any remastered game, there were tiny subtle differences here and there but they retained the integrity of the original. While I enjoyed this since I never had the experience of playing the original game, I do wish that they got rid of the side bars and made the game full screen or at least wide screen. Having the side bars at time made everything else on the screen tiny and made me get up and move closer to the TV just to see where I was going. Sitting far away from the TV is not always good with this game and at times I missed things of went the wrong way because I just couldn’t see when the game transitioned from an up close perspective to a far away one.

Being remasterd for the PS4 means the addition of trophies! Complete this game and you’ll get 48 trophies to add to your gamer card along with a shiny new Platinum. Overall the trophies aren’t hard. They basically require you to talk to each and every character in the game and basically exhaust all dialogue options. Even though these are basically easy, at times these get a little tricky as you have to talk to a character before solving some of the puzzles or vice-versa. If you want to make sure you get all the trophies on your first run you can always consult a guide to make sure you didn’t miss anything. There is only one trophy that I didn’t find hard, but just thought it was a complete pain in the ass and that was The Right Way. The Right Way makes you play with tank controls which as I said before is just annoying after a while and makes playing the game awkward and slightly less enjoyable. While I can understand why it was put in the game, it was just one of those things that I wish wasn’t there.

Guess what this game doesn’t have? Multiplayer! Bonus points!

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Amazing story with a surprise twist at the end.
+ Likable characters that are relatable and well developed.
+ Spot on voice acting that enhances the game as a whole.
+ No bugs, glitches, or loading time problems.

What’s Not So Great:
The graphics at times become too small making it hard to see where Manny is or where he’s going.
The side bars act as a distraction during the game and take away from the graphics as a whole.
Tank controls! Ugh!

Overall I really enjoyed this game, with the exception of the tank controls. Even though the puzzles were difficult at times I enjoyed the challenge and enjoyed the story as a whole as the game progressed. I spent around 20 hours playing this game so I would say that it’s definitely worth the $14.99 price tag even though I picked this up at half price. If you don’t want to drop that much money on the game though, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the last time it would go on sale. Even though I played on the PS4, this is a cross-buy and cross-save for the PS Vita so you’ll be able to play on the system of your choice or play back and forth on both. I’m going to say that if you’re a fan of the original or you just like the whole point and click action adventure type games, then go ahead and pick this one up.

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