Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Psychonauts (2005)

Genre: Action Adventure | Players: 1 | Developer: Double Fine Productions

Aspiring psychic, Raz, runs away from home to sneak into a summer camp for psychic kids. While there he attempts to learn as much as he can until his parents can come retrieve him, but in the process uncovers a plot that will possibly endanger the campers, teachers and even the world.

The game was a critical darling, but, for whatever reason, wasn't a success. Which is a shame because what awaits those who give the game a chance is an adventure that is well written with likeable characters, funny dialogue and wildly imaginative levels. Players control Raz as he explores the camp and the surreal subconscious minds of those around him while gaining various psychic powers along the way. This provides a wide variety of level design as the minds of the afflicted manifest in many ways that usually reflect whatever mental trauma caused their affliction. The hidden secrets are often actually very tragic, but the game as a whole is very comedic. Raz and pretty much all the characters will have ample opportunity to crack jokes and engage in banter with a stylized, semi-abstract artstyle. The myriad psychic powers are also fun and add more to the game by letting Raz fight and explore in new ways.

The cons are crappy pacing and the myriad fetch quests that gain Raz experience. The whole first half of the game is super easy and then ups the difficulty with no general ramping. The main way for Raz to gain ranks are all just different collections. In the minds, he collects figments, emotional baggage and cobwebs and outside he collects cards, scavenger hunt items, and some other things that I won't spoil. What looks like a variety is just the same fetch quests over and over which can be extremely tedious especially in the case of the figments. But overall it is a fun, colorful, hilarious romp that deserves it's cult following.

Buyers Guide:
Available on the original Xbox, PS2, PSN, 360 as an Xbox Original, Mac and PC. Also through both Steam and

Psychic bacon out of 5

1 comment:

Dr Faustus said...

Agree 100% with everything you wrote, plus you did it better than I could've.
Same score. It only loses the half point because of the last level.

All of Tim's DF games have a similar endearing quality, which helps draw your attention away from the simplistic structure. Even when you notice it, it doesn't detract from the fun. Good times.