Psychonauts with the right attitude is the key to
extracting all the juicy enjoyment out of it. Knowing
what to expect will save hardcore gamers from disappointment
and cause causal gamers to seek it out. Psychonauts
is for everybody but it's not all things to all people.
What it does, it does well - and that's entertain.
probably best to think of Psychonauts as some kind
of a bizzare, interactive cartoon. There's only the
one story mode. No online or multi-player modes. It's
loaded with unlockables if you're into replaying the
game to search for them all. It's not essential that
you collect a lot of items your first time through
but there are some that you will simply have to get.
These one's you'll practically trip over.
the gameplay isn't difficult, but it's not really
about the challenge. It's about having fun and experiencing
all the strange and wacky worlds and characters you'll
encounter, not to mention putting your psychic powers
is a big headed, bug-eyed boy that resembles some
kind of alien. As you might suspect he's not your
usual kid. He's gifted with paranormal powers. One
day he runs away from the circus and joins the Psychonaut
summer camp only to discover that kids' brains are
being abducted from their heads by an evil scientist,
rendering these gifted kids as brain-dead TV viewers.
Putting his powers to the test, Raz sets out to solve
the mystery and put an end to the brain-napping.
powers include the ability to move objects with his
mind, turn invisible, start fires with his mind, predict
the future, levitate and most interesting of all,
the ability to enter into people's mind. It's this
ability that really sets the game apart.
enters into the minds of the enemy and does battle
with their inner demons. These mindscapes are all
different and spawn different styles of gameplay including
combat, platforming, puzzle solving, fetch quests
and an assortment of mini-games. Each mindscape is
rich in surrealistic detail from surreal nightmares
to strange cartoon worlds where few things seem to
make sense. You never know what to expect next which
manages to keep things fresh throughout the game.
with some basic moves like jumping, double jumping
and climbing, you will begin earning more powers and
abilities along the way. You're encouraged to explore
but you won't be left wandering around in empty voids
for hours on end. The worlds are full of characters
both enemies and non-threatening NPCs which are always
up for some kind of interaction. You can just stand
around and eavesdrop on their conversations, many
of which can last a few minutes without repeating.
Sometimes you might be able to catch a clue or two
but more often than not you'll get a good laugh out
of some of the things these characters have to say.
is a likeable character as he's somewhat of a bumbling
novice; not entirely sure of how to use his powers.
It makes for a lot of comical situations. The puzzles
aren't very difficult but they give you an excuse
to use your psychic abilities. For instance you can
levitate to a high platform that you wouldn't be able
to reach by just jumping. Obstacles blocking your
path, especially combustibles such as large trees
can be set on fire with your powers of pyrokinesis.
Objects that may be too heavy to lift or ones that
are out of reach can be moved with telekinesis. All
the controls are easy to access with the face buttons
and analog stick and are responsive and tight.
displays high production values. It's solid mechanically
and runs at a steady framerate. The animation is smooth
and the characters are brought to life with top-shelf
voiceacting. The environments are highly imaginative
and varied but the overall quirky look of the game
is never compromised. All the worlds in Psychonauts
have a realistic cartoon look and feel which makes
you a part of the action and not just an observer.
Even though the game has a cartoon look, and defies
all the natural laws of physics, so well crafted,
cohesive and consistent is the presentation that we
have no trouble believing in it.
music is perfectly suited to the action with recognizable
ethnic strains and twisted melodies with discordant
harmonies that would make Thelonious Monk raise an
eyebrow. As good as the voiceovers, music and sound
effects are, there is some audio overlapping.
has spent more than four years in development and
it shows. It's almost perfect. Technically it's solid
and virtually bug-free but still manages to ooze with
personality and imagination. This is definitely going
to be a contender for Game of the Year.