View Full Version : Review of the game [SPOILERS!]

05-08-2005, 12:59 PM
Hey guys, thought I'd start a player review of the game. I tried to come up with all the categories to rate a platform adventure game on. If you think of more, just post it! I intend this to be for players who completed it from start to finish so beware of possible spoilers for those who didn't.

Scale 1-10. 1 being the worst piece of crap you've ever played; 5-being ok; and 10 being so phenomenal it changes game-playing as it is known.

Graphics - 10
Musical Score - 9.8
Originality/Creativity - 10
Immensity (how large the world is versus how long it takes to beat) - 10
Voice Acting - 8.5^ (some I would give a 10, others lower)
Voice Scripting - 8.5#
Story - 8*
Ending - 6!
Bonus Material - 7~ (pictures were awesome, but bonus clip was so-so)
Difficulty - 8 (probably just right for me; this will probably vary a lot between people. Basically, I think this should measure how comfortable you were with the difficulty; not a measure of the difficulty itself. For example, if it's so frustratingly hard, don't give this a 10)
Controller gameplay - 6 (Xbox version)
Overall fun/addictiveness - 9.9

Unweighted (each category being equal) that averages to an 8.5.
My personal overall rating is a 9. (Gamespot rated this as an 8.8).

*- In regards to the Story I thought it was great in the beginning, but trailed off later, giving a rather mediocre ending sequence. Towards the later part of the game, they never explain how the Milkman conspiracy or Fred Bonaparte's dimentia had anything to do with the evil plans of Dr. Loboto or Coach Oleander... I would have liked to see more closure about the other kids at camp; they all had such interesting stories and character development in the beginning.

!- I meant this score to rate the ending sequence not the finale per se. One thing I can say about the finale of the game, was that it was extremely long, fun, and challenging. Although, I did get quite frustrated at some points, like chasing Little Oly and the rabbit, I didn't know which I wanted to punch more! I also had a hard time controlling on the roller coaster...

^ - Some of the voice acting was superb like Raz's or Ford's. Some of it was darn annoying like the little girl in Gloria's theatre.

# - There were also technical issues with some long pauses in the dialog (like after re-braining the other kids), that took away from the comedy. During the finale, I was getting real annoyed with how often the dialog looped like Little Oly saying "Come here Little Bunny! Ow! My face!" or Raz's evil father saying "Here, son, Catch! Just kidding! You used to like to play catch when you were little". As far as the Scripting goes, some of it was friggin hillarious- one of my favorite "Hey! Looks like they'll be DRAGON-yer ass out of here! Haha! Hey! Are you awake? Did you hear that?"

~ - I can proudly say I achieved Rank 100 unlocking all secrets my first time completing the game. The bonus clip, however, was well.. kind of disappointing. I would have rather had a "Making of" or "Behind the scenes" promo. Of course, the game was so big it probably couldn't have fit on the DVD. But I would have even preferred a text interview with Tim Schaffer than the bonus clip included...

Anyways, those are my thoughts. What do you all think?

05-08-2005, 09:38 PM
The Milkman Conspiracy was very well explained. Boyd was hired to guard the asylum, and burn it down when the army was assembled. Fred's dementia was caused by constantly losing to Crispin (which doesn't really have much to do with the overall story, it's just backstory to show you that the crazy people really do interact with each other).

I thought the ending was fabulous, actually. Tim Schafer does know how to end a game, and Psychonauts was done very well. It's hard to consider the ending a cliffhanger; it was merely a plot device to set up for the fact that Raz was leaving the circus and staying with Lili.

I honestly saw nothing to complain about the voice acting; the girl in the theater was supposed to be annoying, anyway. That was the point. GLORIA'S A BAD ACTRESS!

And I do agree that some of the randomly triggered voices did get repetetive, but it's hard to fit 100 different one-liners for each character on a DVD, and for the PC version I'd say 5 CDs is quite enough, thank you.

But what kind of got me a little disappointed was the fact that there were so many missed opportunities for humor. In the so-called make out scenes between Raz and Lili, I think it would have been hilarious if they had gotten really crazy with it (such as with tongue action, rolling around on the ground, etc.). Preteen romance is very awkward, and I think if it had been pushed to the extreme it would have been pretty hysterical. Also, it might have been nice if Schafer parodied other games a bit more. Considering Raz had those goggles on a lot, I'm surprised there was no Sam Fisher reference anywhere. And I can't get over the fact that there weren't any G-men selling fine leather jackets.

05-09-2005, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by Plankhead
In the so-called make out scenes between Raz and Lili, I think it would have been hilarious if they had gotten really crazy with it (such as with tongue action, rolling around on the ground, etc.). Preteen romance is very awkward, and I think if it had been pushed to the extreme it would have been pretty hysterical.

Gee that's kind of weird, Plankhead [raising my left eyebrow]. Perhaps you wanted a different kind of game... :)

Anyways, I think it would have been hilarious if they did a reference to the Matrix. Like maybe when Ford is training Raz how to fight in the psychic realm, it could parody Morpheus training Neo. Ford would tell Raz to try to hit him with a Psychic blow. Raz would then do this flying jumpkick at Ford and the camera would show it in slow-mo bullet time, and then he would just bounce off Ford's Psychic Shield. Raz could get up shaking his head saying, "You look so old, I just figured you had slow reflexes". And Ford could respond with something like "Do you think that me being older has any bearing in this world? Do you think that's air your breathing? Those are mental fumes, boy!"

I'd also like to add the following categories in rating the game:

Humor - 9
Mechanics - 9.7 (the physics of the world; were there any glitches in the game; was it choppy moving around the camera) I think the game ran quite smoothly
Sound Effects - 9.7 - the often forgotten area of both animated shows and games alike. Good sound effects is all too important to be forgotten because the creators have to make every single sound to match the screen. When it's at its best, you won't even notice because the actions will seem so real to you. I think in Psychonauts the sound FX were pretty darn amazing since so many of the actions were abstract and relied on creativity to make up (like the bouncing thought bubble, or the arrowhead detector)

05-09-2005, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by AceFox
Gee that's kind of weird, Plankhead [raising my left eyebrow]. Perhaps you wanted a different kind of game... :)

No, actually, they used that sort of thing in a movie to great effect. I forget which movie, but it was just so out of character fir the two people engaging in it that you just had to laugh.

But seriously, how can you call that a make-out scene? Not even close! I think the term "make out" was used incorrectly.

05-13-2005, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by AceFox
Gee that's kind of weird, Plankhead [raising my left eyebrow]. Perhaps you wanted a different kind of game... :)


I agree; hardly a makeout scene. More of a super-sweet first kiss. ^_^ I thought it very romantic.
Perhaps Tim didn't want every single second of the game to be "ROFL" funny.

I'll post my review later; I have to shower. ^^

05-14-2005, 12:53 AM
Perhaps Tim didn't want every single second of the game to be "ROFL" funny.

Really? 'Cause I thought walking around the Upper Asylum was hilarious. ;)

05-14-2005, 01:37 PM
I was reading a review about Psychonauts where it mentioned that it should take between 10-15 hours of actual gametime to complete Psychonauts. However, it also noted that if the avid fan wanted to unlock all the hidden memories, collect all the figments and such, that it should stretch play time much longer. Being an avid fan, that's what I set out to do the first time I completed the game: collected all the mental figments, cobwebs, vaults, and brought my rank up to 100. To me it was such an inherent part of the game, I didn't include the hidden memory reels and what not as part of the bonus material. Taking those into account I would say that Bonus Material = 8.5 in my book. My original rating of 7 for Bonus Material was meant only for the unlockable once you reach rank 100 (which I'd rate a 6), and the end credits pictures (which I'd rate a 9).

As a side note, even after fully completing the game I didn't see all the dialog between the other camp kids the first time through. As a super avid fan, I'm playing it a second time trying to listen to all the conversations- some of these are pretty darn funny. For example, showing the GPC button to all the characters invokes some interesting reponses; try it on Elka talking to Dogen 3-4x, Kitty and Frankie 3-4x, or on the cook in the main lodge.

05-15-2005, 12:30 AM
Obviously, it differs. I myself spent 18 hours on it. ^^; Okay, I'm bad at games, but moving on...

05-16-2005, 12:02 AM
Don't think of it that way. I personally feel adventure games are meant to be drawn out. You paid the money for it- might as well make it last. Plus, you want to collect all the figments, hear all the dialog, and unlock all the secrets, don't cha? You should feel happy if you're getting 20+ hours of gameplay. :)

05-16-2005, 12:06 AM
Play games at your own pace. If a friend gets annoying about how quickly they finished a game, show them your fists! :D

05-16-2005, 08:49 PM
Yeah, I just now completed the game (yeah, I know, it's about time, right?). I enjoyed it, the gameplay and all, but I thought story-wise it was Schafer's weakest link. It was simple and felt like it was there just as a point to go into people's minds. I did love the stories within the minds, but the main conflict I could care less about. It's definitely his funnest to play, and the visuals are INCREDIBLE, but I just wasn't emotionally invested in it and never really felt a drive to find out what happened next.

One other gripe, this game, though was hilarious at points, was just way too funny. I know that sounds like a compliment, but maybe the reason I couldn't get emotionally invested in it was the fact there gags constantly and especially where there shouldn't have been. It ruined some great darker vibes and made it impossible to take the game seriously.

Overall though, I thought the game was pretty cool and creative.

05-17-2005, 11:49 PM
Well, I thought the silliness matched the artwork; but I too, wish there could have been more cohesiveness overall. In fact, I think the original intention was to have Raz spend several days at the camp instead of just one. If you listen to a lot of the dialog, he keeps mentioning, "I only have a few days to become a Psychonaut". I think both for budget and deadline reasons they chose to squish it into one day. Which explains why some of the camp kid's stories seem to be accelerated or truncated (like Clem and Crystal, Malouf and Mikhail...) And in regards to that, I was surprised at a few of the "more serious" anecdotes in the game like Milla's and Sasha's unfortunate pasts. I liked them because they gave much more depth to the adults. It just surprised me a little because the overall feel of the game looks like it's for younger kids. The truth is I guess this game is mainly played by older teens and above. (Did you guys get the one joke mentioning Frankie and Kitty as "hoes"?)

05-18-2005, 04:15 AM
I think a good thing about the humour is that it works a lot like more popular cartoons out there, in that it has stuff which appeals for all audiences. You've got the cheap, slapstick humour at times which can't really be done wrong and which the kids appreciate, but also more witty stuff which the older audiences enjoy. It's a good move, since it both adds a nice charm to the game as well as opens it up to more people.

05-18-2005, 06:04 PM
I personally think fans of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle will appreciate Psychonauts more than fans of Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.

05-18-2005, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by JofaGuht
I personally think fans of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle will appreciate Psychonauts more than fans of Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.

They're different groups of people?

I agree that Psychonauts is a lot more similar to MI1 than Grim though.

05-18-2005, 08:10 PM
Yeah, I'm such a big fan of all adventure games, I forgot that some people may actually prefer silly fun games over serious ones or vice versa. I personally like the diversity. Since it was brought up though, this is how I rank them:

1. Day of the Tentacle
2. MI1
3. MI2 tied w/ Psychonauts
4. MI3 tied w/ Grim Fandango
5. Full Throttle tied w/ Sam 'n' Max
6. The Dig

Btw- did you guys hear they revealed the next Zelda? Looks pretty sweet. This news coupled with the announcements of the new X360, PS3, and NREV; people may never see me again for 2006!

05-19-2005, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by RemiO
They're different groups of people?

You'd be surprised. Of course there's the fans that love them all, but from the looks of some folks on the GFN forum, and including myself, there's folks that are obsessed with MI and DOTT, and sorta kinda dig FT and GF, and then there's those who think FT and GF are the greatest games ever made and MI and DOTT are "little fun & funny games". Of course I think Psychonauts is far more than just a "little fun & funny game", but I don't think it quite has the qualities to have the latter type of fan melting on the floor in tears of amazement.

Someone, can't remember who, once said Full Throttle had such a cinematic quality that it was more a "playable movie" than a game. That's probably why I was able to become more invested in it. Then I think Grim had the same playable movie quality as Full Throttle, but it had a much larger world to explore. That world stays with you and its characters infect you. On one of these summer's nights, I guarantee after some French pressed dark roast coffee at 11:00 pm, I play Grim Fandango from beginning to end, I'll have trouble remembering who I am and what world I live in by morning.

And great of a game as it is, I'll need a lot more drugs in my system than just caffeine to have the same thing happen to me with Psychonauts.

05-19-2005, 11:42 AM
Well, I don't know. I'm not so sure Psychonauts should be compared to either Grim or FT. Both of those games had a gritty feel to them, and were really not comedy games as such. (FT, in addition, suffered from major gameplay issues.)

Psychonauts has more of the whole trying to prove yourself to become what you've always dreamt to be, in a comedy setting (with darker subtexts), something which felt a lot more similar to MI1. The dialogue in particular had the same "gee whiz" quality to it.

I can see why some might have been slightly disappointed in Psychonauts if they were expecting another Grim. However, the games are so vastly different that it would almost be like comparing Citizen Kane to His Girl Friday. Both superb movies, but not comparable.

05-19-2005, 06:04 PM
Yeah, I think I got a little too critical in my last post. I knew long ago that Psychonauts wasn't going to be another GF, and I really wasn't disappointed with it either. I'm just saying it's probably overall (but not completely) more for people that dig Schafer's comedy than his storytelling.