So much of what makes Psychonauts fun is just how bizarre the whole thing is, you play as Razputin also known as Raz for short a plucky young physic that runs away from the circus and hopefully join this summer camp that acts like a training ground for the Psychonauts, a clandestine sort of group of physic secret agents. It doesn’t take long for crazy stuff to start to happing of course, peoples brains start getting stolen for one thing and the counsellors of the camp suddenly go missing, the whole tone of the game is just delightfully weird all the characters have this sort of like Tim Burton meets Pixar look that just looks completely awesome and the characters dialogue is just divine, and the game just so happens to play really well.
It’s pretty much impossible to just quickly sum up the whole of the game experience, because well no two sections of the game quite feel the same. Since you are a physic you will spend most of your time sort of running around in people’s minds, each characters mind is aesthetically totally unique, and it also delivers a completely different play experience each and every time. Sure you’re going to be running around, jumping, double jumping and swinging from poles and such, but that’s just the basics of how it all plays, in one level for instance you have to kind of go into this crazy board game with a mental projection of Napoleon playing in the mind of a local mental patient, in another you will find yourself stomping through this mini city in the head of a genetically mutated lung fish, so sort of getting your Godzilla on and causing all sorts of mayhem, plus on top of all of the platforming there are these wacky mental powers that you can use like telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and levitation that sort of keeps the action fresh pretty much the whole way through.
The game isn’t super hard nor is it really that long, probably about 12 if you don’t stop to smell the roses or do anything and see all the extras, but even though there is really no dull moment in the game ever. The most distinctive thing about Psychonauts though is just how much care went into the games every action and execution, for example you get the bulk of the story just by running around and being in all of the different levels just kind of going straight through, if you just wander around the main summer camp areas you will find all sorts of kooky easter eggs, like big bits of dialogue from all of the characters, hidden items in little areas, little bits of plot you might not otherwise got, this is a game where it really pays to sort of explore every nook and cranny as you will find all sorts of goodies that way.
The original Xbox version of Psychonauts is clearly the superior version simply because it is more technically efficient. This game feels like a console game from the get go, and the PC version is perfectly functional especially if you have a good USB controller, it feels pretty off if you try and play with a keyboard and mouse set-up. As far as both platforms go neither PC or the original Xbox has a wide variety of great platformers at its disposal, perhaps that’s a reason for the PC cause you know it’s not always super easy to play those games on PC but on the original Xbox this was defiantly the best available platformer. Psychonauts is exactly the kind of charming, funny and loveable platformer that fans have been waiting for ever since the original Xbox came out since the system launch, and perhaps PC fans too to a certain degree.
It’s just great fun all around, you won’t care if the game is knocking you around with its difficulty cause you will be busy chatting up all of the other great characters, and using your psychic abilities to set things on fire, and exploring the ins and outs of all people’s minds, and it is totally insane and fun to explore and you are just going to enjoy every minute of it.