Psychonauts Review (Playstation 2, XBox, PC)

Psychonauts (2005) is a 3-D platforming game created by Double Fine Productions and the marvellous mind of Tim Schafer, famous for other games such as Brutal Legend, the Monkey Island series and Grim Fandango. It's exactly what it says on the cover, a psychotic adventure. Literally, it involves you entering minds of various people you meet,

Storyline

Imagine yourself a ten-year-old boy, raised in the circus, with parents who hate any form of 'magic' or psychic powers. Now imagine yourself finding out about your own psychic powers. You follow the life of Razputin, a psychic who runs away from home to a nearby summer camp in order to train his mind before his father can oppress his powers forever. And when the brains of children at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp start disappearing, and Razputin's mind has the answers, embark on an adventure around the world summer camp to save the brains of all you hold dear.

Gameplay

The gameplay at the start is fairly basic; you jump, shoot and punch around various areas, sort of like a 3-D MegaMan game. Although, with the exception of the summer camp hubworld, the areas are the minds of those you meet. An over-stressed army coach, a mutated sea-monster, a milkman, an obsessive actress and even a strategy game enthusiast.  Over the course of the game, new psychotic techniques are learnt, such as pyrokinesis, levitation and telekinesis, which change how you handle each level. Numerous collectables allow for replay value, and a lot of achievements in the PC (Steam) version.

Graphics

The graphics depend on what console you play on: the Playstation 2's and XBox's graphics will look out-dated for obvious reasons, but PC version's graphics look outstanding, even going up to 4k resolutions, and still looking beautiful. The quirky colourful art style reminds me somewhat of Telltale's recent games, such as the Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones.

Overall

Psychonauts, in my opinion, is a fantastic game. I remember playing it fondly at a young age on the XBox, and I frequently re-visit it now on Steam, bring back all the classic nostalgia. It's unique characters and storyline push me to play the game, to re-live memorable cutscenes. I mean, what other games allow you to go into a sea-monster's mind as a giant? Tim Schafer, we tip our hats to you.




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