The Escapist Game Circle: Psychonauts

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

I've really enjoyed the game, can highly recommend it to people in the future, but it had a tendency to lose my interest when I wasn't playing it. I'm not really sure why that is.

Strengths:

- Atmosphere. NO question. Best part of the game.
- Character's have personality, and the voice acting and writing is the primary reason.
- The cohesiveness of each individual level is great, and they all have a unique feel.
- The humor present throughout the game kept me wanting to play, I think I would enjoy this game every bit as much as a spectator as I do playing it.

Weakness:

- I feel that the story was weak, not bad, just weak. It was the type of story that feels cookie cutter to me, and in the middle of a game so unique, feels a little out of place. The game does soften this blow by making fun of itself as well.
- I loved the levels in the game, but not playing them. What I mean by this is while I loved the milkman conspiracy and listening to what each person said and laughed tremendously, I hated trying to figure out where to go next, which places I had been, why did that door open now? it wasn't before, I didn't do anything etc etc. I felt... undirected, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, just isn't MY thing.
- Collecting stuff. I hate it because I feel compelled to do it. You tell me that if you get every single figment that I get a secret, and I will feel compelled to play levels to the point of frustration to achieve that end, thus ruining my fun. (It's quite stupid actually, were I able to ignore the collecting impulse, I could enjoy the game more)

I think I enjoyed the game more because of the collecting impulse. The wall at the Milkman Gate is kind of lame, but I got a genuine thrill from finding new arrowheads and cards, and seeing if I could reach that ledge or that tree or that roof, etc.

I agree with Tom about the levels, though. They were more fun as spectacle than experience. The Bullfighter level was frustrating as hell until the third playthrough or so, after I figured out the timing of thew acrobatics, but it was glorious to behold.

Oh, to squeeze in a last comment before the end of the month: there's something psychological about the end of the game, which I'll describe hopefully without spoilers - the power you have in the final battle is suspiciously representative of a transition to adulthood.

And: they cover dialogue for everything in the game - for instance, use the Brain Tumbler to enter Sascha or Milla's mind after they disappear, and the conversations you have change.

Well, I finally got my 800 arrowheads. I hope I don't need any more arrowheads for anything other than Psi Cores.

fupjack:
Oh, to squeeze in a last comment before the end of the month: there's something psychological about the end of the game, which I'll describe hopefully without spoilers - the power you have in the final battle is suspiciously representative of a transition to adulthood.

Maybe more like puberty? You can think of the bounce between giant, energy-based, Raz, and back down to pipsqueak raz, as voice squeaks and the inevitable moments when your parents are old, wizened people, (parents), and then suddenly flawed, human, adults just like you (friends, contemporaries).

Personally, I lack the patience to go back and talk to everyone after every mission. Once I get into the groove of the story, I have the urge to go save Lili, and not wait. I know it's a game, and (like Oblivion, ha) the world pauses in between milestones and I can mess around as much as I want. To ME, there is still an urgency to climbing that tower and saving Lili.

Strengths:
-Excellent writing
-Varied, yet consistent with the universe, levels. Not just as set pieces worth viewing, but as environments I enjoyed exploring
-Undeniably fun

Weaknesses:
-Level design in some places left me confused as to where I needed to go next, and I dislike that. Less so on my second playthrough, but that's something that you need to get right the first time.
-I did not have as much trouble with most of the platforming as most did, but I will admit that the Meat Circus was annoying. Stupid escort missions. But, the one place that I never knew what I was supposed to do was those metal grates. Because Evil Dad was menacingly floating in the middle with his juggling, I kept trying to stay on the outside, or get on the top of them and run up them quickly so I could dodge. Big mistake... Once I started just jumping to the inside, no more problems. Question to the group: Did anyone ever get caught in the rising water while they were on that last ladder? When it takes the dip back towards the water, my heart just started racing, and I wanted to know if they planned it, or if it was possible to lose even once you were on the ladder.
-(Minor annoyance) Unskippable stock animations, such as when sorting emotional baggage. They don't do new dances, just the same dance, every single time. Woooo, I sorted the handbag with the tag, everybody dance!

At least in the PC version, the stock animations were skippable by pressing the "X" key.

I have to say, this game circle thing has done wonderful things among my social group. We have all been playing Psychonauts this month, and loving it. The discussion here has been great, and the discussion among my friends has been even better.

Here's to looking forward to the next game. As far as discussion goes, I definitely intend to try and seed questions and feed even deeper discussions.

Suggestions for the next game:

Deus Ex
System Shock
Call of Duty
Anachronox

@Trillinon: I wish I knew about the "X" key a long time ago. That's what I get for not reading through the key-bindings more closely...

Of your three suggestions, any but Call of Duty. Having played it, I'm not sure I see much potential for discussion, but I could be wrong.

Edit: Explanation probably not required, but I meant "I'd take any of the three that aren't Call of Duty" or "Of your four...". You seemed to comprehend my halfway mumbo-jumbo just fine anyway.

@Geoffrey42

Actually, I discuss Call of Duty all the time. It's a prime example of solid, well polished gameplay, pacing, and immersion. Moreover, nothing I've ever watched or read more powerfully conveyed WWII to me. That said, it's not the highest on my list of games that belong here.

@Everyone

If you didn't catch it, check out the Zero Punctuation video on Psychonauts.

Leaning toward Deus Ex. It's available for PC and PS2, and is easy to find used on both platforms. Plus, it's a great game with a lot of Game Circle potential. We might even be able to convince Warren to stop in and talk to us about that one.

Still thinking about it though. Expect an official announcement Monday or Tuesday, whatever we decide.

TomBeraha:

- Collecting stuff. I hate it because I feel compelled to do it. You tell me that if you get every single figment that I get a secret, and I will feel compelled to play levels to the point of frustration to achieve that end, thus ruining my fun. (It's quite stupid actually, were I able to ignore the collecting impulse, I could enjoy the game more)

You just described why I had to stop playing WindWaker. Once I found out there was treasure in the ocean, I just *had* to find it all...which, naturally, became an exercise in futility and frustration. I stopped playing shortly afterwards.

Yes, I have issues. I know.

If it is Deus Ex, I ruined myself by playing Deus Ex 2 first (I did actually finish it too), although I have Deus Ex I never played past the tutorial (sacrilege! heretic! traitor!). At least it'd mean I should reinstall it and play it through properly.

I'd love to have an excuse to play Deus Ex again. It can be my homework assignment :)

TomBeraha:
I'd love to have an excuse to play Deus Ex again. It can be my homework assignment :)

I can see it now......

Tom's Mum: Tom, stop playing those damn video games and do your homework!

Tom: But I am doing my homework mummy, I am!

I remember trying to argue along those lines, my mother was cannier than I gave her credit for though - she knew the score.

That's why I took "Videogames as Contemporary Literature" at my local college. We were required to play games.

You know, this game has just been built up so much... I think I was expecting it to be something more than it is.

Ajar:
You know, this game has just been built up so much... I think I was expecting it to be something more than it is.

Im assuming your talking about psychonauts still. I completely understand where your coming from.

The first time I put the game in and sunk a couple hours into it, I was quite surprised that this was the game everyone had been raving about so much. It wasn't until I forgot about what other people where saying and lost myself in the story and the characters that I began to really enjoy it.

I feel the same way about ICO. Everyone goes on about it so much, that when I finally got around to playing it all I could think was that it was a pretty standard platform puzzler with a story that didn't make any sense.

Guilty as charged re: ICO. :P

Yeah, I was talking about Psychonauts. I'm definitely enjoying the game, especially the twisted humour... but it really hasn't blown me away like, say, Shadow of the Colossus did. For reference, I just finished the Milkman level that everyone raves about. I liked it, but wasn't floored the way a lot of people seem to have been. Of course, the fact that I hate collecting stuff in games doesn't really endear the game to me.

Alright I'm trying to be patient but after finishing the amazing Psychonaughts I've been waiting to hear what the next Game Circle game is so I can get started on it. So seriously, WHAT IS IT??

Russ Pitts:
Still thinking about it though. Expect an official announcement Monday or Tuesday, whatever we decide.

A little past Tuesday, any consensus on this? Not exactly the hardest thing to deicide I'd have thought, unless there truly is only one good game to discuss :)

That must be it. Psychonauts was the only example of the artistic quality of videogames. Everything else is just a remake of pong. Too bad. I'll have to start reading books again.

I never played this game so i watched the milkmanlevel video on youtube and i have to say that i really liked it

Question:
The youtube video was with german synchronization(iam german)
Is the game multi or just localized?

Because if its multi iam gonna buy it through steam immediatley else iam gonna trying buy it this monday from the nearest software store :>

Answer would be appreciated much
THanks in advance

I have a theory about why this game partly failed...

image

image

... and it's about ugly main character design.

Finished it today. The last level was horrific.

Andrew Armstrong:

Russ Pitts:
Still thinking about it though. Expect an official announcement Monday or Tuesday, whatever we decide.

A little past Tuesday, any consensus on this? Not exactly the hardest thing to deicide I'd have thought, unless there truly is only one good game to discuss :)

Sorry. I've been out of the office.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/op-ed/1469-AGDC-2007-Inside-Garriott-s-Playground

Expect an official announcement this coming week. And if you want to get a head start, Deus Ex would be a safe bet.

If I wanted to get a head start, and were willing to bet on Deus Ex, does anyone have recommendations as to the best way to obtain it? I see that Steam has it for 9.95 (or bundled with Invisible War for 19.95, 5 cheaper than buying separately). OTOH, Amazon merchants have the boxed version (which includes soundtrack CD, and "newspaper" according to Wikipedia) for ~8.50 with shipping (but with an inherent shipping delay).

Then again, there's a PS2 port called Deus Ex: The Conspiracy, which seems to be about the same, and can be had in a similar price range from online merchants. Gamefly has it as well, so that's an option for others, but I'm not in that crowd.

Thoughts, anyone?

Geoffrey, I would love to find out whats in said newspaper, and the soundtrack is pretty good, so I may have to rebuy this just for that. If all you want is the game for now, steam seems convenient, I've seen GOTY Edition Jewel Cases at various vendors for not too much at all.

@Geoffrey42 Stick with the PC versions of the game. From what I heard Invisible War was not great, however I've not personally played it.

If your big on having the box then order the game from Amazon. However I didn't find the game's music to be exceptional good, and the "newspaper" is probably cool, but unless you collect that kind of thing...

So in the end I'd say just get it off of Steam, grab both games, 'cause hell Invisible War could be good. Or could be shit, but at twenty bucks for two games with Deus Ex being worth twenty by its self your not going to feel ripped off.

Play the PC version if at all possible. This game was MADE for the PC in ways that few games have ever been. Computers in the game recognize keyboard commands for copy and paste. Numberpads in the game recognize your keyboard numberpad.

Also, if you have trouble with the training mission, just skip it. It's only partially important, and harder than most of the game.

I'll get onto Deus Ex then, thanks Russ.

And don't play it on a console. Its a PC game, through and through, especially control wise (which is partially why Deus Ex 2 sucked, being made for a console at the same time made the controls really poor on the PC version).

Wow. Still no official announcement on Deus Ex. But, hey, this is the hundredth post, so that's something special, right?

Psychonauts is still being played around here. I live in a house with four other people, and they all started playing it, as well as the rest of my social circle. I swear, my friends alone probably doubled the total sales figures for that game. :)

Escapist Game Circle - Deus Ex

It was posted! Though it went in news instead of featured articles, I'm not really sure where it fits in their schematic, and it would appear neither are they :)

EDIT: Wrong forum. Got my tabs mixed up ~.~ Never mind.

Wait..You're putting a Forum in my Forum, so I can Discuss while I'm Discussing?

I still have the case and the manual that comes with it.
Damn manual is falling apart.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here