The Bottom Line
- Psychonauts is one of the most original platformers of all time
- Amazing Tim Burton-esque visual style
- Extremely clever story
- Massive variety between levels, both in aesthetics and gameplay
- Psychonauts is a truly funny game
- May prove a bit difficult for some
- Can we move past collecting random items already?
- Graphics: 5 Psychonauts is visually creative and very well executed
- Sound: 5 The music, the sound effects, and especially the voice acting are all spot on
- Concept: 4 Psychic scouts? Brilliant, but do I really have to run around collecting items?
- Control: 4 There are a lot of psychic powers, and they are easily assigned to quick buttons
- Difficulty: 4 Not only is there skill required, but, gasp, some thought as well
- Replay: 3 It is a very story centered game, but it's hilarious, I'd play it through again
- Multiplayer: None
- Rated: Teen - Psychonauts is no worse than, say, The Nightmare Before Christmas
Guide Review - Psychonauts Review - PS2, Xbox, PC
Visually, the game is stunning. Great graphics, of course, but this game shines in its art direction. Each person's mind (level) you visit is drastically different, both in terms of the way it looks and plays. The first mind I jumped into reminded me of the old, fun, Disney rides, like pirates of the Caribbean. Now contrast that with playing through a living Mexican black lit velvet painting and you'll get a taste of the level variety going on here.
In terms of gameplay, you earn psychic merit badges which unlock new powers, ranging from levitation to telekinesis. The powers work both in the real world and in the minds you visit. Each mind will have its own problems to solve, as well as common goals like cleaning out mental cobwebs and getting rid of emotional baggage. The powers and movement are smooth as silk, and the amount of refinement that went into each level is obvious. You can feel the love.
Throw in hilarious characters, a fun story, a talking swap monster named 'Linda' and a psychic friend who has a bacon fetish and how could you not have a winner of a game? Psychonauts wins on all levels; it looks superb, it's highly original, it plays like a dream, and it's clever in its humor. Sign me up for psychic summer camp, I'm sold.