Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
RPS Feature Point, Click, Agree
You know that there are adventure games, and you know that some of those adventure games are better than others. But do you know which one is best, and which one is twenty-fifth best? Well, at last you can find out, with our definitive, unimpeachable breakdown of adventure gaming’s best moments.
The first time I ever wrote anything about games, it was because I was still brokenhearted about a relationship that had dissolved years ago. PC Gamer edited the 4000 word essay into a six pager about Dota in 2012 and it is still one of the best things I have ever written. But wherever I go, whatever I do, games participate in a meaningful way in many of the relationships I see. Welcome to a special edition of S.EXE: the love letters edition. Brace yourself, you are in for chop. Here are seven stories about falling in love next to a loading screen.
Double Fine have announced that their Remastered re-release of fine point ‘n’ clicker Grim Fandango will launch on January 27th, then completely overshadowed that with a casual mention that they’re also working on a ‘Special Edition’ of Day of the Tentacle. Crumbs! Whatever ‘Special Edition’ means, the classic LucasArts adventure game will have one next year. Day of the Tentacle was a fine game, but one I got stuck on in my idiotic youth and never finished; here’s my chance. What’s so special about this version is a mystery for now, as it’s announced and little more, but a mystery we can jab and guess at.
One of our unannounced projects was unexpectedly cancelled by its publisher, forcing us to reduce our staff by 12 people. Our remaining projects–Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Grim Fandango Remastered, were unaffected…
That’s all the information we have and while there’ll be a brief attempt to squint between the lines below, first up are condolences and best wishes for the future to those affected.
RPS Feature Re-evaluating the classics
Isometric-turn-based-point-and-click-platformer is a string of words taken for dead. Sent to the abattoir. They’re all huddled for warmth, waiting for the reaper, when along comes the sausage man and snip-snip-snip he sets them free. “Go on,” he says as he pats their bottoms. “Go back home.”
Recent years have seen remastered versions of Baldur’s Gate, Monkey Island and MDK, Steam and GOG have provided new platforms for old titles, and the most successful Kickstarter projects have been new games in old styles. ‘Classic’ games are seeing a surge in popularity and it’s a trend that’s so far been largely attributed to nostalgia – to people wanting to play the games they remember from their childhood. Is that all this is?
When Double Fine announced during E3 that they were remastering Grim Fandango for release on PlayStations, they carefully hemmed and hawed around saying it’ll be coming to PC too. “Talk about other platforms soon!” Tim Schafer cried, saying something very enthusiastic about working with Sony before leaping out a window and running for the hills. But obviously it will, right? Of course it will. Today Double Fine announced they’ll release their jazzed-up version of the lovely LucasArts adventure game for PC, Mac and Linux alongside the Sonybox versions.
Also in ‘hey, PS4, get orf moi land‘ news, it seems Sony’s latest under-telly monolith has managed to hoover up a surprise remastered version of beautifully bittersweet, death-themed adventure game Grim Fandango. No fair – so many of us PC types have been desperately wailing for these last ten years or so. The last great LucasArts game would enormously benefit from some modern spit’n’polish, especially to see its wonderful, weird scenes looking sharp and clear on our big, high res screens. To think that we may be denied it on our PCs is heartbreaking.
Fortunately, I spotted an update from Tim Schafer on the matter, clarifying that PS4 won’t be the only platform, when I was only halfway through necking that bottle of bleach, so perhaps I’ll be out of hospital in time to play the strongly-implied PC version.
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While incredible, Grim Fandango‘s relationship with the modern era is a complicated one. Foremost, there is no easy way to purchase it digitally, which sadly signals its death knell in the eyes of many more convenience-minded folks. But even if you opt to acquire it and get it up and running, there’s still the issue of, you know, playing your videogame. Rose-tinted glasses might see only Grim Fandango’s sterling personality and solid puzzles, but there is a third suspect in the room: terribly awkward tank controls, you’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney, and no just kidding we’re tossing you in a furnace.
RPS Feature Fawning nostalgia
In the second part of our interview with Double Fine‘s Tim Schafer (the first part is here), we get to talking about the nature of the adventure game, and reflect on some of Schafer’s defining classics from the 90s, Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, to consider what lessons they offer for today, the reasons for avoiding 3D altogether, and I almost trick him into making a sequel to Day Of The Tentacle.
One of the saddest things in all the world (of retro videogames) is the beautiful, bittersweet Grim Fandango’s odd resistance to being spit’n’polished into a shinier, more modern form for shinier, more modern graphics cards. I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you, at least not yet, but what I do have is a video demonstrating what a widescreen, upscaled GF might look like were it to ever happen, plus news on a group who are trying their bestest to make this happen.
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Young people. Good grief. Your ignorance is as plain as those spots on your greasy face. Don’t you know anything? Can’t you be bothered to learn anything? Did you even read the words of esteemed colleagues Rossignol, Walker and Smith detailing the first three parts of this Olympian list of The Most Important PC Games Of All Time? I am quite sure that I, Deacon Meer, am wasting my time attempting to impart my own wisdom on this matter to your feckless minds, as is Intel’s AppUp developer program for having the consideration and grace to so thoughtfully sponsor this series. You’re probably all too busy fiddling with your genitals and snorting heroin at one of those ‘rave parties’ I hear young people go to every night. I shall say my piece regardless.
Sit down, shut up, listen >>
Eurogamer conducted a live interview with Mr Tim Schafer this afternoon. You can read the results over here, but a couple of points more pertinent to our fields are highlighted below. The major headline would be: Brutal Legend definitely isn’t coming to PC, despite all our mewling and whining. There’s also some interesting comments about his thoughts on the potential for a Grim Fandango sequel.
Everyone in the world – yes, everyone – emailed us about this, but in our post-colonies jetlag we got confused about who was going to post it, so no-one did. Hooray! Too many cooks spoil the blog…. Hopefully it’s not so late that you’ve all read it already, anyway. What ‘it’ is is Double Fine headchap Tim Schaefer releasing the extensive design documents for Grim Fandango: an illuminating Making Of / What If in handy PDF form.
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