We had to pay Jennifer double for working the graveyard shift, and I'll be damned -- she got the review up on time.
Is the remastered version of Grim Fandango a classic or a turd? You already know the answer, but go read the review anyway.
¡Viva la yada yada yada!
Hey, ah. I gotta split, so um...Viva la Revolución!
Just when you thought you couldn't get any more excited for tomorrow's release of Grim Fandango Remastered, here comes a fat new interview with Tim Schafer about all things Land of the Dead.
[...] Schafer heard competition to license Grim Fandango was fierce. "We didn't think we'd be able to do it as we'd heard someone else was trying to do it, and we were like 'oh no!'" When asked who this mysterious competitor was, Schafer says "It turned out to be Adam Boyes [VP of publisher & developer relations at SCEA]."
"Adam was like, 'we weren't trying to mess anything up. We just wanted to make that game come out again," Schafer recalls. "And we were like, 'Us too! But we think we should do it because we can remaster it the way it should be done.' And they agreed, so we decided to work together." Schafer notes that there were other companies vying to license Grim, but Sony came the closest.
There's a lot more, like Tim's correct observation that Double Indemnity and Sweet Smell of Success feature some of cinema's best dialog, as well as some mysterious claim that the game features a new camera pan and hints about future adventure remakes, but you'll just have to read it all, my good man.
I was reminded that we didn't really do anything to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of the Sam & Max 2 cancellation last year. Not that we should have. It's an increasingly irrelevant exercise and plus, with each passing year, it actually becomes more cringey for me to think back on that time when, shall we say, some slightly mortifying behavior was exhibited? Not that I'm absolving myself, but I was in high school in 2004.
One thing we are known to do sometimes is bust out our big honkin' compendium article, which is really just the database entry from Old Mojo that's been sloppily expanded over time as new facts and media came to light. I'm kinda proud of the unwieldy thing, because as far as I know it's still the ultimate resource on all known information related to the game, though I confess I'm too lazy to see if the Wikipedia article has gotten more accurate since I last saw it.
So as to why I'm making this post. I was re-reading that thing, when I got to this part, which made me sit up straight in my chair:
Let it be noted here that a second trailer for the game was allegedly produced and therefore may still exist as bytes on a hard drive somewhere. In a 2003 Something Awful forum thread (which we unfortunately can't link to because it doesn't seem to exist anymore, but here's our post and an Adventure Gamers forum reaction thread covering it), someone posted about their enviable experience attending one of the recording sessions where they met Mike Stemmle, Bill Farmer and Nick Jameson. Photos of the script and a voicemail greeting Bill Farmer recorded for the visitor were presented as proof, and the information about the game revealed by the account checks out as accurate, an account which claims that Mike Stemmle privately revealed the trailer to the author via laptop.
Ha, oh yeah! I'd forgotten about that. I wonder if anyone from the old team still has that lying about? I guess even if they did, Disney would be on them like sleaze on a Remi, but still, eff that Something Awful guy who got to see it!
Hold onto your hats, folks. "OzzieMonkey" in the comments reports that our sassy friends at Rock, Paper, Shotgun seem to know the next three LucasArts games that GOG will give a digital release. Behold what will arrive on the 27th:- Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
- Star Wars: Starfighter
- Star Wars: Republic Commando
There was apparently a proper press release announcing GOG's latest LucasArts drops, by the way. This is supposed to continue "throughout 2015," so with any luck they'll accidentally include Outlaws or The Curse of Monkey Island at some point.
The material from the second episode doesn't start until one minute in. As always journey to Youtube if the video doesn't embed properly for you below.
As ever, Kotaku proves to be way behind the Mojo curve by pointing out the (not quite) existence of the cancelled LucasArts game Justice Unlimited. For those who don't know, it was the studio's ill-fated, late-nineties attempt to make a Diablo game, except with superheroes. Jackassery aside, two of the three bits of concept art in Kotaku's article are new to me, although it turns out that's just because they're from that Rogue Leaders book I never bought.
To show that we're grownups, here's our own, better scoop about Justice Limited as part of Mike Stemmle's recollection of the wacky stretch of his career between Afterlife and Escape from Monkey Island.
After Afterlife, most of the (tiny) core team from that game started work on another sim game. The not-so-tentatively-titled TV Wasteland was going to be a charmingly off-beat attempt to simulate the life of a television programming executive, which seemed like fertile ground my for my frothing love of snark and math.
While we were struggling with some of the basics of the title, the team had the misfortune of playing Diablo, and got fatally distracted. Soon, we were convinced that WE should do a Diablo-like game... only with superheroes. LucasArts allowed us to talk them into building this new game we called Justice Unlimited, and off we went... for over a year. And then we killed it.
After the collapse of Justice Unlimited, I took a two-month drive around the country (I'd built up a LOT of vacation time). On the upside, I got an opportunity to see most of the locations we'd ripped off lovingly homaged in Sam and Max Hit the Road. On the downside, I spent a lonely night in Las Vegas with the Worst Food Poisoning Ever. I guess you could call it a low-rent spirit quest capped off by a bout of ritualistic purging. At the time, I only half-jokingly called it the "Mike Stemmle Nervous Breakdown Tour of America."
That comes from an interview Mike granted us for that big honkin' EMI retrospective. Oh dear, did I just flog our own content? How embarrassing.
And they are:- Star Wars: Empire at War (Gold Pack)
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
- Star Wars: Rebellion (aka Star Wars: Supremacy)
Sorry I'm an asshole, but I'm sure enough of you are genuinely excited by these to balance it out.
GOG has announced a second wave of six LucasArts games to be made available beginning this week. Yawn your way through the following selection!
- Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga
- Star Wars: X-Wing Vs. Tie Fighter
- Star Wars: Dark Forces
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
Because if there's one game that Earth's population has struggled to find at a decent price over the last fifteen years, it's KOTOR 2. Thank goodness our prayers have been answered.
Look, I get it. These are well regarded games, and they deserve to be re-released. But generally, you treat the guy who's in cardiac arrest before the guy whose foot fell asleep.
You ain't funny, GOG. Give us a better reason to wait next time, please. These reasons should feel free to be spelled exactly like Day of the Tentacle or Full Throttle.
Once in a while, not often, but once in a while, Jason plays a game. And this time, he even reviewed it. Check out his thoughts on Game of Thrones episode 1: "Iron from Ice".
It will be interesting to see what Mike Stemmle comes up with in that role, as the team is known for creating fun games for mobile platforms, such as last year's League of War, but they're not known for creating narrative experiences like we are used to from Mike Stemmle's projects. We'll keep an eye on them for sure, though. With Mike Stemmle at the helm, they might surprise us just yet.
Perhaps you already knew about this, in which case quit showing off, but about two weeks ago Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick launched a development diary for Thimbleweed Park, and they've been updating it fairly regularly. Might be something to keep an eye on.
Now we know for sure this is an actual game. The screenshots and videos featured on the site seem to be things you'd have already been exposed to, but it's pretty much all worth it for the paper mache version of the Double Fine logo. Unless that's old news too.
Bit of trivia: The site's only been up for hours, which means that it's roughly on par with the sum total of Mixnmojo's uptime since 1997. Thank you! Thank you!¬¬
Dear Lord, this looks wonderful.
And that is what one calls "link bait".
But! It's sorta true. Gamesutra tells us Connors is stepping down, and is being replaced by TTG co-founder, Kevin Bruner. There is also some talk about the company being kind of a… harsh… place to work these days, which doesn't come as a big surprise. The company has lost some high profile names lately. Grossman, Stemmle… The place just hasn't been the same since Jake left.
More interesting, perhaps, is that they will be "expending 'a lot of energy' working on original IP". That could be a good thing, right?
As for Connors, he will remain on board as an "executive advisor", which, if similar situations are anything to go by, pretty much means he'll be sitting at home, waiting for his non-compete clause to run out.
Good luck to all, from the ever positive Mojo!
When you're done testing, don't forget to let the team know whether you could complete the game and post links to any bugs you submitted to their tracker in this post on the ScummVM forums.
The Kickstarter boxed collector's edition will be arriving at some point after that, since it also includes the documentary, and that can't be mastered until the final episode of the documentary is released.In other Double Fine news, they have started a new YouTube series with 2 Player Productions called Devs Play, where Double Fine developers play through and talk about games from time gone by, and sometimes are joined by the developers of those games. They've covered Aladdin and Lion King for Genesis, Mother, Earthbound, and Mother 3, and Gauntlet for the Nintendo DS so far. They'll be playing through The Legend of Zelda, Doom, and speed running through Psychonauts with a YouTube speedrunner who has found some techniques to speed through the game by way of glitches (and the Psychonauts team will be there to talk about the glitches, which should prove interesting).
Some of the most interesting points brought up in the interview include the fact that Brian Moriarty, the creator of Loom and project lead of the unreleased first version of The Dig is on the board at Reactive too, and the team is going to try to do a text adventure style audio drama at some point, with Dave hinting towards a Sherlock Holmes story and one based on Jekyll and Hyde. Another interesting tidbit is that Dave Grossman is going to be helping out with another game project that had a successful Kickstarter, but he can't talk about that yet. So, even though Dave is working from home now, 2015 certainly looks to be a busy year.
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