Reviews: Psychonauts

The Game Jesus Would Design If He Was Alive And Not A Pussy

If my time as the budget Yahtzee has taught me anything it's that nothing bad can possibly come from saying what I want to say about a game when he's already said much better. Or worse. Or something. It's also shied me away from ever buying hats. Seriously, the guy has the same birthday as me. It's creepy.

I'd love to have some insight into what, exactly, led to a gaming universe that produced Halo and Barbie's Horse Adventures (which to me sounds like an illegal porno title) to produce Psychonauts, but really, I don't. It's a funny, creative game with a lot of small ideas that are held together with a consistant, overarcing plot and a style that I wouldn't have believed if someone had pitched it to me in an elevator. Ten year old boy delves into the psychosese of madhouse patients implicated in world-conquering Government conspiracy? Where the hell does that come from?

Because of the unique design of the game - a sequence of basically, psychotic visions that represent the psyches of other people you meet - you get to go through a lot of different types of gaming environment, varying in how it chooses to express itself. No idea gets to be developed too hard, but then, that's good because it means no idea outstays its welcome (and some of them can't really sustain themselves for as long as one might like to think).

With a few counterintuitive puzzles, a frustrating collect-em-up aspect and late-game rewards that serve no useful purpose, I love this game to pieces. You can buy it on Steam or Good Old Games, and you should. For the puppies.

When purchasing Psychonauts, be sure not to be caught by shady government types.