The Let's Play Archive


by Sethur

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Original Thread: I will beat this game with the power of my mind alone: Psychonauts [VLP]


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So what the hell is this?
Psychonauts is one of the games that is unimaginatively labeled an "Action-Adventure", but is is so much more. It was created by Double Fine Productions which was founded by Tim Schafer, whom you may (but probably will not) remember from games such as Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island 1 + 2, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango, which all share the virtues of being excellent games and full of mind-bendingly funny humor. Psychonauts continues this tradition by taking place at a summer camp for psychic children, where you enter the minds of people to find out (and hopefully fix) what's wrong with them, encountering all kind of weird and hilarious things and situations along the way.

Okay, we can all tell you really love this game, does anyone with actual credentials think so too?
Sure. Here's some quotes:
GameSpot: "The whole look of the game feels like the unholy love child of Tim Burton and a Pixar animation team, and it's just wonderful stuff...anyone looking for a fun and whimsical adventure with a brilliant presentation and a fantastic story will find just that in Psychonauts."
GameShark: "The best platform game ever to grace the Xbox."
GameSpy: "It's one of the best platformers the system has seen, mostly thanks to its amazing visuals and downright hilarious dialogue."
Electronic Gaming Monthly: "Anyone who doesn't fall for the unique characters, hilarious dialogue, and brilliantly conceived environments of Psychonauts has no soul."

For a short and funny semi-review you can check out Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation on the game over at The Escapist. WARNING: Contains spoilers and/or physical harm.

What's so funny about this game?
Well, I think something that just speaks for itself is the myspace pages Tim Schafer created during development of the game in order to flesh out the characters' personalities and backstories. Click pictures for link. Have a gander: (CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS)

Raz, our intrepid hero.

Lili, who seems to have a thing for Raz (not that she'll admit it).

Dogen, who always has to wear his special hat.

Maloof, who gets picked on a lot. Well, at first.

Mikhail, likes wrestling bears. Establishes 'business relationship' with Maloof.

Bobby, the camp bully.

Benny, Bobby's Yes-man.

Chloe, hears voices in her head. It's cool, they're from outer space.

Clem, male cheerleader.

Crystal, female counterpart to Clem.

Chops, best friend of J.T.

J.T., best friend in absentia of Chops.

Elka, homewrecker. Not at all hung up about Nils.

Nils, playboy extraordinaire.

Vernon, 'gifted' storyteller.

Franke, just isn't complete without Kitty.

Kitty, second half of the troll duo.

Elton, sailor. Also hears voices in his head. These are from fish.

Milka, is invisible a lot.

Phoebe, has a... slight... problem with fire. Also plays drums in the band 'The Levitators'.

Quentin, uh... plays? operates? turntables in the band 'Firestarters'. May be the same band as Phoebe's.

So what's there to do in this game?
A lot of stuff. Seriously. You'll see. There's tons of people to talk to with excellent conversations and voice acting, lots of secrets to find, lots of places to to explore. As for the actual gameplay, there's 11 absolutely unique and completely out of whack brains to explore and fix, 7 real world areas to run around and collect stuff in (plus some indoor and plot-only areas), 100 ranks to achieve, several new psi powers and upgrades to existing ones to unlock, and a plot to follow that, while maybe not the most intricate or surprising of all computer games, is at least as hilarious as the rest of the game.

So are you going to play this on highest difficulty/do a 100% run/show us all the bugs/secrets/easter eggs?
There's only one difficulty, so I guess I get off easy on that. I will do my best to show off every conversation and secret the game has to offer, and this has a lot of them. If I miss one you know of (I really hope I won't, but just in case), just tell me and I'll make an extra video JUST FOR YOU to show it off. As to the 100% run... yes, and no. Let me elaborate.
Some of the things you need to collect for 100% are really annoying to get to. While I understand people love 100% runs, I don't think it would make for very interesting videos if I kept spending five minutes just trying to reach that one collectible. So, what I'll do is in my regular videos I'll collect everything that's easy to get to, and then either off camera or in bonus videos go back and collect what I missed. For those of you who know the game - I'll be collecting all safes, cobwebs and baggage in my first run (if at all possible), but leave the more unreachable or hard to see figments for later.

Sounds good! So how does this game actually look in motion?
Glad you asked!



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