Psychonauts

Holy crap, it’s been almost two years since I bought Psychonauts, and I finally beat it this weekend. I started it a long while ago, got distracted, and just got back around to it. Conveniently, I’m not going to let a little thing like “published 6.5 years ago” stop me from talking about a game, nor “neither online nor multiplayer.” There are lots of good and bad design bits to discuss here, and rather than cram them all into one of my tldr reviews, I am going to break this up into several days of discussion. If you need the whole thing, here, have the Zero Punctuation review. It is one of Yahtzee’s most positively reviewed games.

To make sure it gets said, since discussion often turns negative, this is a very good game, the sort people will pull out 20 years from now as gaming art or literature when people see Sturgeon’s Revelation in a sea of Farmville and Alganon. It is clever and inventive, with gameplay elements you know but a total experience not to be found elsewhere. It is varied, surprisingly deep, and decorated with little touches that are quite wonderful or sufficiently disturbing. It is worth the money (even without a sale, even 6.5 years later, but there will almost inevitably be a great sale on it coming up) and definitely worth the time. It also had a recent update when the rights reverted to the original publishers, including Steam achievements, so there’s your decorative shinies.

I’m not sure how many days of Psychonauts content I have, but there are lots of design bits to discuss here.

: Zubon

2 thoughts on “Psychonauts”

  1. Oddly enough I am working through some old games I never finished myself and Psychonatuts is on that list. The thing is I got about half way through the game about five years ago and then lost interest. At this stage I have to start over from scratch and I am worried that I will only get half way again.

    In the meantime Homeworld 2 is proving surprisingly better than I remembered.

  2. @mbp –

    I had the same problem, although I don’t think it was so much losing interest as getting sick of the mechanics. It’s a great game to explore, and it has some of the best writing and most imaginative design in the last decade, but I don’t care about any of that after I’ve missed the split-second timing on a complicated jumping puzzle for the 500th time in a row.

    Despite my fumble-fingered hatred of the entire genre of platformers, I bought it again on Steam last year. It’s a classic.

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