Point, click, repeat

4 01 2007

Hooray for me! I’ve just finished going through Grim Fandango for the first time. This last huzzah to the classic Lucasarts adventure games was pretty good. Not great, mind you, but good. I picked up a copy for a wallet friendly £2 in the Blockbuster sale.

Tim Shafer the luminary behind the Manic Mansion and Monkey Island games, penned the story to revolve around the post-life beliefs of some Southern American countries. Playing out like a cross between a film noir thriller and a comedy, the characters really work, although plot exposition leaves a little to be desired.

The game takes place over the period of four years (although I only counted 3), taking you back to some locations from earlier in you afterlife later in the game. While this is a nice touch, some of the locations just don’t feel like anything jas changed, even though you’ve been away for the best part of two years. Maybe I’m asking too much from a nine year old game, but can it have been that hard to generate a few new art assets?

My last gripe is the controls. You’ll spend a lot of time navigating through pseudo-3D game screens using your keyboard, most puzzles require you to cross significant distances to solve them. Sadly this can start to feel like a chore after you’ve been spun 180 degrees on invisible walls, or become stuck in the scenery. I’d have prefered an old school point and click interface, but what do I know?

So Grim Fandango: with a little perseverance (and CPU Killer for the conveyor belt segment, if you’re playing on a new PC) you can have a lot of fun with this game. I now have copies of all the Monkey Island games to plow through and Mr. Schafer’s newest game Psychonauts is on order. It’s on the 360 backwards compatability list now, and on the 4 for £20 deal at Gamestation. Expect opinions shortly.




One response

9 01 2007

I loved Grim Fandango so much, but then point-and-click adventures always were my favourite games. Agreed, the controls were incredibly awkward (they’re similar in the fourth Monkey Island game, unfortunately), but I thought the storyline and characterisation was head and shoulders above most of the stuff I’ve played. It’s been years since I played it mind, so maybe it’s due a reassessment.

If you’re wanting more Schafer-influenced point-and-clickery (and who doesn’t?), check out Day of the Tentacle. It’s very good indeed.

Oh, and you’re in for a big treat with the first two Monkey Island games.

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