RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Genre: Platform/Puzzle
Release Date: October 11th 2006
Platforms: PC, Mac, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360
Score: 8/10
Similar: Crash Bandicoot, Mario, Sonic
Worth Playing: While a basic platformer at heart, Psychonauts is the type of wacky & innane that you cannot help but enjoy.

The opening screen has you walking on a giant brain.

As a top contender for my favourite game, Psychonauts is really a great experience. Most critics hold Psychonauts in high esteem, despite its lack of sales. Even though it came out back in 2005, the game has aged wonderfully. Even now I'm rather eager to continue, just writing about it is making me want to play. Psychonauts 2 will possibly be coming to town in the future- and despite the douchebag Notch funding the efforts, let's hope he has nothing further to do with the development.

Psychonauts Review

Good old platformer gameplay.

It's easy to categorise Psychonauts into the puzzle/platform adventure, with its light hearted story complimented by some amusing dark undertones. The banter struck up early on between Raz Lili and Dogan is artfully created. In a distinctly similar fashion to Conker's Bad Fur Day, Psychonauts presents a childish exterior for all the family; backed up by a wealth of jokes that only the older people will understand.

The characters and their problems are often a little wacky.

I'm not sure how many times I've decided against buying a game purely because the word puzzle was tacked on. Puzzle games aren't my thing. Which is why Psychonauts was so refreshing, showing the world that puzzle games do not have to be utter crap. They aren't overly complex, but you will respect the imagination of the creators.

Raz will encounter all the traditional puzzle types.

What makes this game so epic is the combination of parodic story and action. The plot is funny and gets more interesting the further you progress. And when the cutscenes end, you aren't rushing your way to the next one- because each area is brilliantly designed, with plenty to do and lots of secrets to find. This game is a MUST for those of you who like to think 'ooh, what ever could be down here?'.

The story revolves around Rasputin (Raz), a young psychic and his journey to become a Psychonaut. As you complete your training at the summer camp and become a psycadet, you'll learn about the wacky kids and their teachers by entering their minds. This precedent sets the game; but you will probably spend just as much time if not more wandering around the camp, visiting various locations and saving your incredibly insightful friends.

Most of the cutscenes are filled with banter.

Upon first adjusting to the controls and running around, you will be pleased to find the platform style to be akin to the old greats; such as Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot. Raz comes armed with his trusty double jump, combined with a bread and butter combo of psychic fist attacks. Some pretty cool abilities and items become purchasable throughout the game to add depth. I am personally addicted to setting things on fire with pyrokinesis.

Kinda creepy, huh?

Even though I cannot deny Psychonauts is a great game, I don't believe the gameplay is as well developed and captivating as the more popular franchises, such as Jak and Daxter and Rachet and Clank. Both of which were released years earlier. On the other hand, none of these games even come close in terms of humour- purely because Psychonauts isn't afraid to push to the boundaries of their age rating to make you laugh.

Raz levitating around in style.

If the comedy doesn't appeal to you, Psychonauts doesn't have much to offer. The enemies aren't really a challenge, and the puzzles won't leave you stumped. However, the plot is somewhat unique, and the levels are well designed. Instead of hunting for things to smash, I found myself swatting away the minor foes with annoyance whilst scouring every area for secrets.

From here you can access everyone and their minds. Practical.

Psychonauts is made based on a hallucinogenic trip, so taking it too seriously or evaluating it too critically is just not fair to the game. With an overly intellectual attitude I could poke holes in it all day, making it sound like the new Satan. Since you can obtain a copy for next to nothing these days I highly recommend you try it out, because despite being outdated Psychonauts delivers a rare experience.

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