For a while, I have been fascinated by a certain PS2 game called PsychoNauts. I recently got my hands on it on the PlayStation Store.
Man, this game is awesome!
Everything about this game is so creative. From the visuals to the story, it all adds up to make a unique and fun experience.
The idea of children with supernatural powers or psychic abilities is nothing new. Neither is the idea of these children training from a young age to be heroes original. Take Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and X-Men for example, and that is just scratching the surface of this troupe. However, there is something about PsychoNauts that makes it stand out. The characters, most notably Raz.
Razputin Aquato, also know as Raz, is our protagonist and a great one at that. He runs away from home in order to attend Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. A camp that trains young psychics to become PsychoNauts. The title makes sense now, doesn’t it? Our boy Raz has to master several psychic skills and climb up the ranks to make it as a PsychoNaut before his parents drag him back home.
Raz isn’t the only interesting character. Now that I think about it, all of the characters are unique and interesting, even the background characters. Of the three camp leaders, Sasha Nein has to be my favourite.
German scientists seem to be a trend in gaming, but I am not complaining. At first, I thought Sasha was going to be a bland stereotypical scientist. Boy, I was wrong. He does seem to care about Raz, despite what other campers say. His dry wit and sad backstory made me warm up to him.
I have to admit, the graphics have not aged well. However, I find the dated effect rather charming, especially with the odd design of the game. It oddly works. The unusual designs for each of the characters help them stand out and make them easily recognisable.
As for the gameplay, it is a lot of fun. This might just be me, but I found the game to be hard enough to be challenging, but not impossible. The boss fights are genuinely difficult. Not to mention that PsychoNauts does allow you to explore and interact with other campers, which does flesh out the world a lot more.
The story seems simple enough, but there are a few twists that I didn’t see coming. Also, it gets rather dark and even sad. I will admit that I cry easily and that I did tear up a bit while playing. That being said, there is a lot of laughs in this game. I didn’t suspect it, but there are a lot of adult jokes.
Overall, I really like PsychoNauts. It is a lot of fun and has aged well. PsychoNauts has a lot of personality and charm. Despite the darker tones, the game is very optimistic and hopeful. It is oddly inspirational, though I might be reading too deep into it. Nonetheless, is surpassed my expectations that were quite high to begin with.
Like I said earlier, I got my copy on the PlayStation Store for my PS4. It cost me £8.99 which is a fair price if you ask me. I could have gotten it cheaper on Steam for £6.99 but with apologies to the PC master race, I am a console peasant. I prefer playing on my PS4 than on my laptop. It doesn’t help that my laptop is terrible.
If you are a fan of the game, chances are you have heard about the new sequel that got kickstarted, PsychoNauts 2. According to Double Fine, the game is planned to come out in 2018. I have mixed feelings.
On the one hand, the new game has potential. It could be just as good and the original or maybe even better. From what I read, the game will reveal more of Raz’s backstory. While I am interested in that, I can’t help but worry that this game will suffer from being overhyped and people will constantly compare it to its predecessor.
Will PsychoNauts 2 live up to expectations, or will it let longtime fans down?
Why are you asking me? I don’t know! We have to wait and see.