Gaming Roundup: Grim Fandango Returns From the Land of the Dead

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Last week, the internet’s finest purveyor of classic gaming, GOG.com, announced an agreement with LucasArts that brought a veritable treasure trove of 90s PC classics back to computers, including the much-acclaimed X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. However, even amidst this bounty, a sour note sounded. Where was Grim Fandango? LucasArts’ heralded comedy noir offering, headed by the legendary Tim Schafer, blended Aztec mythology and film noir into a colorful, stylish, and beautifully written game that left a lasting impression upon all who played it. It’s been one of GOG.com’s most-requested games of the past decade. What reason could there be to hold back one of the most beloved games of the 90s?

Well, for one, it’s coming back next year.

Grim Fandango tells the story of Manny Calavera—a travel agent of death who helps the newly departed plan for their ultimate voyage to the Ninth Underworld. How the dead have lived their lives accounts for their method of transportation, and once a year on the Day of the Dead, lost souls are allowed to visit the living. Manny becomes aware of corruption in his agency, robbing the pure of heart of their deserved express trips, and so his adventure begins.

Those who have been keeping tabs on current-gen game lineups are probably aware that the remake was first announced in passing as a PC/Mac/PlayStation 2015 release earlier this year. But the quest to save Grim Fandango has been anything but easy. Schafer has lost track of the number of calls and visits he and his team have made in attempts to recover as many of the game’s original assets as possible, and (to his chagrin) has even forgotten many of the puzzles he himself developed. None of these issues have prevented him, however, from dreaming a little bigger—envisioning a future in which an open-world Grim Fandango sequel exists, complete with point-and-click gameplay in a GTA-style world.

Excuse us while we irrationally and unreasonably get our hopes up.

In other gaming news this week, Majora’s Mask goes 3D(S), GTA V goes current-gen, and Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Game of Thrones near release. Read on!

  • Super Smash Bros. introduced another new/old character this week. Welcome back the Duck Hunt Dog!

  • A big week for Nintendo, as they also (finally!) confirmed a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D for the 3DS.

  • Not only will GTA V look a whole lot prettier in its next-gen release, but you’ll also be able to play it in first-person perspective. Rockstar’s re-issue of their smash hit launches on the PS4 and Xbox One on November 18, and hits PC in January.

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has officially gone gold! The game will launch for PS3/4, Xbox 360/One, and PC on November 18.
  • This week’s indie highlight features space-age sand box shooter GRAV. Procedural world generation seems to be all the rage these days, but this game (currently on Steam Greenlight awaiting selection) shows a lot in its preview trailer, including a colorful art style, unique team-based gameplay, base building, massive worlds, and a formidable array of… dance moves?

  • Staying on the indie circuit, This War of Mine looks like an extremely interesting and unique take on war games. 11-bit Studios has focused on developing a game that tells a story from the side all-too-often ignored in today’s CoD-dominated gaming-verse—the civilians just trying to get by as hell erupts around them.

  • Info on Telltale Games’ take on the Game of Thrones universe has been hard to come by, though the developer continues to insist the game will launch before year’s end. This week we learned that the story will be told via five protagonists (in true GRRM fashion) from the same family.
  • Blizzard’s war on Hearthstone bots continues, as this week saw the closure of the Crawlerbots website—a site that provided several automated gameplay options to WoW and Hearthstone players.
  • In other Blizzard news, the developer has filed a couple of new trademarks that are raising some eyebrows. The trademarks are for Eye of Azshara and Overwatch, but not much else is known. We’ll likely learn more at Blizzcon this week.
  • Finally, Far Cry 4’s new story trailer is doing absolutely nothing to quell our excitement for this game. Brunch ’n murder with everybody’s favorite neighborhood dictator, Pagan Min!


If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

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