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Psychonauts for XBox. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-10-25 07:00
  Subject:   Psychonauts for XBox.
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So, besides playing myself silly with Samurai Shodown II and original arcade Shinobi on my modded, MAME-enabled XBox, I've also acquired a copy (many thanks to you know who you are) of a somewhat obscure platformer called Psychonauts.

The basic plot of the game is that you're this little psychic kid nicknamed "Raz" (short for Rasputin), pictured above with his "psychic stowaway" and mentor popping out of his ear to offer some quick advice. Raz goes into people's minds and basically runs platforming obstacle courses through their psyches, finding "mental baggage" (anthropomorphic plaid steamer trunks) and cleaning up the occasional "psychic cobweb" (which can then be transformed into a powerup when you leave the person's mind).

It's surprisingly fun and well executed. The art style is totally surreal and bizzare, and it perfectly embodies jumping through the dark recesses of people's minds. It's pretty easy (at least so far), so if you're looking for something really hard this may not be the best one. But if you enjoy fun visual style and some good humor, this is a pretty good game. The world is not quite as wide open as the GTA games, but you're still free to go almost anywhere you could possibly want within the confines of the camp grounds, subject the limitations of your current powers. The levels inside people's heads are often sprawling and as mentioned before, sometimes hilariously surreal. There's a surprising amount of depth here for a game that at first glance looks so "kiddy."

I'm not too far in, only rank 25 out of 100, and I haven't seen but a fraction of the levels, so I can't render a full verdict yet. Oh, I think the first level was a bit too long - I would have tossed the pillbox obstacle course or maybe the rope work. But that's a very, very minor complaint.

This is the kind of game that I think people will either love or be totally indifferent to, so give it a whirl and see what you think. I was up until 4:30am last night playing it, so they must have done something right!
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