Flashback Review: Psychonauts

Flashback Review: Psychonauts

My god. This game is just. Wow. Normally I’m one to say that all video games and music suck because they’re too mainstream or something but this game made me change my way of thinking. You see, this game has everything I didn’t know what I wanted and it gave me even more. It has humor, it has a good story, it has atmosphere, it has likable characters, it has bad platforming, it has a freaking annoying boss, it has a freaking stupid final boss battle, the music was meh… God damn it. I wanted this game to be perfect but what I got was near perfection. Don’t get me wrong, Psychonauts is an extraordinary game but even an amazing game like this it’s flaws. One flaw is that there is no sequel. No, just kidding but this game seriously needs a sequel since the ending practically sets up a sequel.

Graphics

The game does look dates by today’s standards but they’re really not that bad. The scenery can be good and very creative. Minus one level, every single place you go to is full of color and you can tell that a lot of love and care was put into making the scenery. Characters have charm, enemies are varied, set pieces look great, animation is fluid, and the creativeness put into each level makes the game so much better. Even psychic powers have their own unique look and charm.

Story

I won’t try to spoil too much here because the game has a big emphasis on story. You play as Razputin, a young psychic acrobat that escaped the circus so he can become a Psychonaut. Psychonauts are basically powerful leaders in the world of Psychics. To become a Psychonaut, Raz snuck into a summer camp but things start to go wrong when the brains of children start to go missing. To find out what happens in this mystery, Raz must journey into people’s minds. You really wouldn’t expect a good story from a quirky game like this but trust me, you’ll want to know what happens next after each level. The characters just make the story so much better since each character is unique and they each have their own back story. To find out more about a character, Raz would literally enter their mind. It’s kind of hard to explain entering one’s mind. You see, Raz enter’s a literal door into one’s mind and then he sees what that person is thinking or how stable their mind is. A few people are literally insane but once you enter their mind, you see that they just wanted to live a dream. Other people are normal human beings but you can see that their mind isn’t quite what you expect. See, the story can get crazy at times but it just becomes so much better the more you play.

Psychonauts mind
This is a normal person’s mind.

Game Play

This is game is an action platformer but it kind of falls flat in the platforming part. While the battle system can get kind of redundant at times, the platforming parts might annoy you more. The controls feel great but the camera is your enemy while you’re platforming. Despite the camera being a bit wonky, everything else is just fine. The battle system isn’t amazing but it’s alright, I guess. Your psychic powers are fun to use and the levels compliment your powers. I gotta say, the game play can get monotonous at few times but other than those few times, you’ll have a PSI Blast playing the game (That’s a joke). The music also compliments the game, some music pieces are creepy, others are cheerful, a lot of it is catchy. One more thing, god damn the last level’s platforming.

Psychonauts: 4/5

The game has it’s moments, a good story, memorably characters, and it’ll make you laughing so hard that milk will come out your nose. The game could be perfect if it weren’t for it’s bad camera and redundant battle system and minor plot holes. Although, I still call this game art despite it’s flaws. Pick this game up for any price, you won’t be disappointed.

 

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