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The Patient Gamer: Psychonauts

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
3,364
1,916
136
God damn, Psychonauts is a few rough edges away from being a spotless masterpiece. Its a platformer originally released for the Xbox way back when, but the PC port gets a much better treatment than many of the games from that time period with native support for high res, full Xbox controller support, plenty of options.

You play as Raz, a kid who grew up in a circus (what a great reason for main character to be able to function in a platformer) who stows away to a summer camp for young kids with psychic powers (and who is himself gifted).

The game has a small overworld that consists of the camp and another location, with most of the action happening *inside* the minds of the camp counselors and others. This allows the level designers and graphic artists to go completely nuts (literally and figuratively, with how much the game confronts mental illness) with some truly bizarre levels and landscapes. Some of my favorites happen inside the mind of a local lake monster and the mind of an insane painter. The levels are like a work of art, each has its own style and rules, for better or worse.

The game does encounter some pitfalls, namely from those changing rules in the more advanced levels. Like most Tim Schaefer games, there is a lot left to the player to figure out, and it can really get frustrating when the game makes you guess at the solution instead of logically figure out what you can and cannot do. Its really a 10 hour game that pads out the play time with frustrating puzzles and bosses instead of the now in vogue massive empty MMO world with a billion meaningless tasks to complete. Also the collectibles. God damn there are a lot of collectibles, and at some point you just have to accept that you're not going to get everything (unless you're into that kind of thing) and move on with life.

That being said, its a great game and with the sequel around the corner (and Double Fine Studios picked up by MS so that means $$$), you're doing yourself a favor by trying out this excellent adventure.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
52,100
4,526
126
I loved it back in the day. The mailman level really stuck out in my mind.

But yes, there were definitely some frustrations.
 

JujuFish

Lifer
Feb 3, 2005
10,460
439
136
One of my all-time favorite platformers. I've probably bought it more than any other game. Had the DVD, lost it, bought it again, bought it digitally when it came to Steam, bought it again on GOG, and I think I might have an extra key from a bundle somewhere as well.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
I enjoyed Psychonauts (it's one of my son's favorites). I think they did an excellent job on giving the characters a unique identity. Some of the dialogue is absolutely hilarious.

Milla's Dance Party is one of my favorite levels.....but damn there is some darkness in the game too. And parts are very challenging/difficult/frustrating/maddening.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,372
3,059
136
Psychonauts is my girlfriends favorite game in the world. It has a permanent place on our HTPC, and well just about every other PC she spends any time at. She plays it regularly still, probably a few hours a week. Every time she finishes it she just starts it over right away. She has finished the game with 100% completion at least 20-30 times since we have been living together. Just this morning I was talking to a friend of our about videogames and why I always wait a few months to buy new games (for the patches, initial price drop, and the mandatory DLC which finishes the storyline) when she said 'Except Psychonauts 2. I will buy that first day I can.'
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
Psychonauts is my girlfriends favorite game in the world. It has a permanent place on our HTPC, and well just about every other PC she spends any time at. She plays it regularly still, probably a few hours a week. Every time she finishes it she just starts it over right away. She has finished the game with 100% completion at least 20-30 times since we have been living together. Just this morning I was talking to a friend of our about videogames and why I always wait a few months to buy new games (for the patches, initial price drop, and the mandatory DLC which finishes the storyline) when she said 'Except Psychonauts 2. I will buy that first day I can.'
Wow. Your girlfriend has an addition. Has she tried any other games from Double Fine? Costume Quest? Stacking?
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,372
3,059
136
Wow. Your girlfriend has an addition. Has she tried any other games from Double Fine? Costume Quest? Stacking?
She does at that. She has been literally playing Psychonauts since it first came out on the PlayStation 2. She plays maybe a few hours of it a week now. She does play other games, She has put literally thousands of hours into The Binding of Isaac (we recently completed the 3,000,000% achievement, between the two of us we have about 3k hours into that game), and she had an addiction to Diablo 3 for a few years, and still occasionally plays Skyrim.

We tend to play videogames like other couples watch TV. A few hours most evenings before bed. Often together on the couch.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
She does at that. She has been literally playing Psychonauts since it first came out on the PlayStation 2. She plays maybe a few hours of it a week now. She does play other games, She has put literally thousands of hours into The Binding of Isaac (we recently completed the 3,000,000% achievement, between the two of us we have about 3k hours into that game), and she had an addiction to Diablo 3 for a few years, and still occasionally plays Skyrim.

We tend to play videogames like other couples watch TV. A few hours most evenings before bed. Often together on the couch.
Cool. Same in my household only I'm in the office on a PC and my wife is in another room playing Candy Crush on a tablet. :)
 

Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
10,738
1,194
126
Played that game 3 times. Loved it. Thought it was a masterpiece.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
3,051
267
126
Well isn't this like finding a $20 in an old jacket pocket.

I've never played this game but after reading the posts here, I decided I'd just grab it and play it this week only to find out it's already in my library... Looks like those impulse purchases during the seasonal sales are finally paying off.
 

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