The game opens to find Manny in search of the perfect client, one with the means to place both of them on the fast track out of purgatory and into eternal paradise. Enter Mercedes Colomar, the client who has it all--beauty, brains and enough money to buy them each tickets on the exclusive No. 9 train. Following the film noir formula, Mercedes promptly vanishes, leaving Manny to solve the mystery behind her disappearance and her connection with the Department of Death.
With fantastic graphics--stylishly rendered in the film noir style--and art from the Mayan, Aztec and Mexican traditions, Grim Fandango is imaginative and appealing. The challenging puzzles call for attentive play and for serious exploration of the Land of the Dead--not an unappealing job when surrounded by such beautiful animation. Take the original story line and humorous characters into account too, and you won't want to stop playing.--Brett Atwood
Okay then. Grim Fandango is an adventure game, and it's the first adventure game to make the step up to 3D for LucasArts (The finest adventure game company since... ever). Some people complained at this, but these people are just plain boring. The game is superb.
You play Manny, a travel agent, so to speak. Only he's a different kind of travel agent. He's dead. He's kind of a Grim Reaper. You see, when you die, you have to cross through the land of the dead to make it to the 9th Underworld (Heaven). Now, if you've been good, you get a decent form of transport to take you there, but generally, people aren't good. The agency that Manny works at is heavily corrupted, and a story begins to uncoil itself and lay about on your PC screen, just waiting to be tickled.
The atmosphere is spectualur, very Film Nóir (As Movie students would say, although they're probably cursing me now for saying that they would say that). Everyone has cigarettes (Hey, they're dead), and the music is extremely groovy jazz. The voice acting is superb, and the range of characters that you meet is spectacular, including the fantastically obese half-wit demon Glottis, your Chaffeur, so to speak. Plays a mean piano too. This isn't an Indiana Jones affair either. Everyone has a sense of humour, a dry wit, a wet wit, and a knack of humiliating themselves, or at least someone else, be it intentional or not. Mr Tim Schafer, the (main) guy behind it, is hilarious, and it shows.
On to the gameplay. The puzzles in Grim Fandango are just as good as ever - No, better.Read more ›
The graphics are supherb, each pre-rendered painstakingly by hand. The cast of characters is humongous, and each one has a different personality. You end up actually caring for the characters who are portayed by Oscar worthy voice actors. The musical score had me reaching for new superlatives. They are simply the most toe-tappingly wonderful songs ever heard in a game. The all important story unfurls expertly, and is the stuff that Hollywood script writers would be proud of.
Atmosphere-wise, Grim Fandango is a dark, brooding game, but still manages to jam in some of funny dialogue that is good enough to challenge even the Monkey Island series. It does play like a 1950's noir film, and is all the better for that fact.
The whole game is enormous. It could take a casual gamer as long as a month to complete, which is totally unheard of for an adventure game. This is easily the greatest adventure game ever. Don't even think about letting this one pass you by.
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