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    dkirschner's Psychonauts 2 (PC)

    [December 13, 2021 12:21:22 AM]
    Such a creative game. This is a gem. The artwork is gorgeous. Some of my favorite minds were the psychedelic one where you have to get the band back together, the cooking show one, and the early one where you learn the Mental Connection ability (the word associations were underutilized so much!). In the word association "puzzles" there are connected ideas (like maybe fire---hot or ice---cold) and isolated ideas like (money) or whatever. You can rearrange the connections to change what a character thinks. Maybe you are trying to get the character to take a job in a cold climate (this is a random, non-Psychonauts example), so you would go in and connect cold and money, and then the character would be like, "Oh, there is a lot of financial opportunity in cold places!"

    The game is really funny. If you connect thoughts that aren't the solution using Mental Connection, the character will always have a comment. For example, I connected "socks with sandals" and "disgusting" and the character whose mind I was in said, "What if my husband starts wearing socks with sandals? I don't think I could love him anymore." Nearly every character cracks jokes (or is a joke). They range from silly to deadpan. Fantastic writing.

    There are only two real criticisms I have. First is that combat is simple and easy. I even equipped the "do extra damage but take extra damage" pin, and even though I was taking extra damage, I still only died in combat like twice. You can basically just circle strafe most enemies. Some are a little tricky, but unless you're not paying attention, they're not going to kill you. Bosses are more fun though. The cooking show level was one of my favorites, where you have to do some puzzle platforming to cook dishes for three chefs in a game show. At the end, you fight the chefs (one of whom turns into a blender and another of whom turns into a spatula during the fight).

    The second criticism is that there's an absurd amount of shit to pick up and collect. I scoffed aloud at the beginning of the game when it told me "You'll get a rank (level) for every 80 figments you find!" 80! Well, turns out that levels have at least that many on average, plus the emotional baggage (find the tags and the bags for about four per level), the "half-a-brains" (two per level), the "nuggets of wisdom," and all the PSI cards (usually 20 or so per level) and a couple other things. That's great I guess for people who want to 100% the game, but you absolutely do not need to collect all the things. I finished the game at like rank 70 without trying too hard to collect things (and I especially quit trying toward the end). For perspective, the highest level item you can purchase (besides something at level 102) is at about level 58. And I had unlocked nearly every level of every ability (and had long ago unlocked all the useful stuff).

    The game is already a bit long. The story did seem to drag on (though it is well written and interesting, with lots of fleshing out of the Psychonauts and other characters). I "thought I was almost done" for like 4 hours before I was actually done. The game would be much quicker without bothering with collectibles.

    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed being in the world of Psychonauts again. I played the PS2 game years and years ago. It's just such a fun, joy-filled game! Actually, there are plenty of mature themes in it too, which surprised and impressed me, but the overarching feeling while playing is just...playful. It's so creative, seriously. I can't get over how they came up with that stuff and made some of the crazier levels work!
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    dkirschner's Psychonauts 2 (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 3 December, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Monday 13 December, 2021

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Feels great so far. Looking forward to delving into more minds. -------- So fun, playful.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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