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Psychonauts (PlayStation 2)

87
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3.5
MobyScore
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Written by  :  kent c. koopa (36)
Written on  :  Jun 06, 2010
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars

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Summary

A unique and funny adventure

The Good

The core gameplay (platforming, puzzling, and...uh...adventuring) is very good. Most of the gameplay challenges in the game are fun and satisfying. The puzzles aren't so hard that I got stuck but, at the same time gave me enough of a hard time that solving was satisfying. The gameplay is woven very well into the level design, one level may be more about platforming, while another might be more about puzzle solving, etc., but each one has enough balance and flair that it still feels like a coherent experience.

The story is not bad. There is a particular plot point towards the beginning that's introduced a little clumsily, and the ending is a little predictable, but, other than that, the story is good and the dialogue is quite funny if you dig odd quirky humor. Unlike a lot of other comedic games, Psychonauts knows how to pull off the serious moments well. The characters come across as well-rounded and real despite the game being anything but real.

The level design is outstanding. Without giving anything away, you'll truly be surprised level to level, the brilliant art direction and architecture the folks at Double Fine have come up with. Saying the levels have some variety would be selling them too short.

The Bad

The controls can be a little slippy sometimes. Sometimes you might try to make a jump and maybe miss a little, and it's not entirely human error, but it's not a huge problem and it's kind of a sticky area because it really depends on what you individually think of the controls.

The load times between each area can get bad. We're talking time-to-take-a-nap bad. This really only happens in the overworld, not the actual levels themselves, so it's more of a small problem then a major one.

The voice acting is spotty. Some characters like Raz the protagonist are really well done. Some characters, though...the actors sound like they just drank a gallon of cold medicine and decided to stand on their heads. In other words, they're in it for an easy paycheck.

The Bottom Line

Psychonauts is a great adventure game with a funny and endearing story and characters, and level design that may challenge you to rethink your opinion of games. A couple of technical issues keep it back from being perfect in my eyes, but to all others, I say jump right in.