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Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 406 Ratings

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  • Summary: Psychonauts is a wildly surreal action adventure game where personal paranormal powers are unlocked in order to plunge into the minds of bizarre characters. Journey deep into these crazy worlds of infinite possibility to thwart the secret plan of an evil madman and realize the ultimate dream of joining an elite force of psychic superheroes, the Psychonauts. Delve into people's minds as Raz, a powerful young cadet at psychic summer camp. While working on his levitation merit badge, Raz discovers that someone is kidnapping psychic children and stealing their brains. In order to foil this evil plot and earn the title of Psychonaut, Raz must project himself into the minds of one bizarre character after another to battle their nightmares and mental demons. He does all this while continuing to earn his psychic merit badges in Telekinesis, Clairvoyance, Pyrokinesis and more. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 100
    It’s one of the most original, creative and inspired titles out there and even better—-it’s one of those rare videogames that can actually make you laugh out loud.
  2. Psychonauts may not be particularly innovative in any of its undertakings, but it breathes new life into a stale genre by virtue of its humor and creativity alone.
  3. The fact that Psychonauts isn’t on the radar as one of this year’s big releases is a major shame, as it is, quite simply, superb.
  4. A breath of fresh air that has restored faith in platforming adventure titles. Within the first three minutes of gameplay, one realizes just how funnily bizarre this title is.
  5. A wildly imaginative platform adventure. Framerate and visibility issues are a bit of a letdown, though. [Mar 2006]
  6. I’d rather spend my nights playing Psychonauts than a "Myst" or "Resident Evil" title, barring perhaps "Resident Evil 4." It’s livelier, funnier, and more original, in an age when sequels are the only safe bets for publishers.
  7. It’s not revolutionary by any means, nor is it particularly long, but thanks to some clever creative control the game delivers a funny, engrossing and downright weird experience unlike most other platform adventures. [July 2005, p.104]

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 114
  1. Feb 10, 2012
    10
    One of the best platformers out there, if not the best. No review is needed, just take my hearty recommendation and buy this game. Anyone that tells you otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about. Expand
  2. Aug 11, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. probably the most original game ever, psychonauts was one of my favorites growing up. i got it on steam and all i can say is, i understand why i liked it so much. you play as a kid named raz, short for razputin, a kid who has phychic abilities. so you naturally run away from your home (the circus) and sneak in the camp. after a funny intro sequence, you can explore the overworld. there's not much in it yet, but it's fun to collect arrowheads, the games currency, in between levels. you soon discover where the levels take place, in peoples minds. after you beat the first level named "basic braining" you can explore the whole camp. you soon get invited to special training by psychonaut sasha nein. so after you go to his training facility you get in his mind and unlock psi blasts. the next levels have you going in your own mind, having to leave the the level twice to unlock powerups to progress. eventually your love interest lilli gets abducted by a lake monster called a lungfish. after a meh boss you go in it's mind where you are a godzilla monster named goggalor with one objective, destroy everything. you soon befriend the lungfish (her name's linda) and she takes you to an insane asylum conveniently placed near the camp where all you have to collect your fellow camper's brains. the minds you go through consist of a level where you try to solve a mystery and find out who the milkman is, a theater, a risk style board game featuring fred and napolean bonaparte, and my favorite, black velvetopia, a place that has you joining wrestling matches to build a tower of cards and fight a bull. once you climb up to the end of the asylum, you meet sheegor, who is voiced by tara strong also, raz is voiced by the person who was invader zim). you soon fight your corrupted camp leader's brain in a "brain tank". but once you win, the tank pours out sneezing powder that causes you to sneeze your brain out. you then launch your brain in the tank and your minds collide, causing the next and final level to be a mix between both your minds. this level is also notoriously hard and honestly, i don't see why. even as a kid i beat it without dieing once. after that you fight the last boss, but not before you unlock your super form. while this boss is easy, it's epic. then the game is over. Expand
  3. Feb 10, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In my 3D gaming life, I only have three 10/10 games. Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, and Psychonauts. Apart from being one of the most humorous games you will ever play, it is the sheer joy of the surroundings, music and dialogue, that will keep you coming back again and again.

    The art style is perfect for the action adventure genre, and it has the settings for higher end graphics cards that will turn the game into a visual masterpiece. I remember playing this with a medium strength Radeon 9800SE, and then trying again with a GeForce 9800GT at Full-HD with all eye-candy enabled... It was incredible to behold.

    Not to give too much away, but the final stage of the story was not thoroughly play-tested, and has some issues with camera positioning, visibility and difficulty level. In fact, the Meat Circus level is so much harder than all levels that came before it, you may well consider it impossible to complete.

    Be patient, and keep trying, as the reward of completing this game, is well worth the effort (and multiple deaths incurred). Once completed, you can play this game many more times, and just walk around listening to interesting and humorous chatter among the other characters.

    This game is a true classic, and was shamefully overlooked on original release. This game is still available for original XBOX, Playstation 2 and PC (via GOG.COM or Steam), so do yourself a favour and reserve a good few weeks to fully appreciate (what I consider to be) a milestone in adventure gaming.

    10 out of 10
    Expand
  4. Mar 21, 2011
    10
    This was Double Fine's first release. When a new game company enters the industry they have to release something new or different in an attempt to get people to buy their games. Sometimes this is a success and a unique game is created or it is a horrible clunky failure. This game simply blew me away. I played it for the first time in 2010 after hearing very little about it. I was born in 89 and have been playing video games my entire life and in MASSIVE quantities. I saw more creativity and unique game play mechanics in single levels of Psychonauts than I had seen in entire other games that I previously praised as being unique or creative. For me games, if good, are generally pretty fun and at least entertaining. Everything about this game was so much fun and fun might actually be the best word to describe this game. Isn't that what games are supposed to be after all?

    If I was going to give this a game a very honest review it would probably get an 8.0 losing points for some camera angle/mechanic issues that are common with mediocre PC ports. I can't speak for how it was on consoles. I can't do that though because I simply loved this game too much and it still remains my favorite game of all time. Te good aspects of the game just obliterate any negative points I would even consider giving it.
    Expand
  5. Aug 8, 2012
    9
    Pleasantly satisfying gameplay is combined with beautiful environments, outstanding humor and an interesting and developed story to make Psychonauts a must have for gamepad owners! The memorable adventure at 30 hours completion with 100% achievements on Steam makes Psychonauts quite the bang for your buck. Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2012
    8
    Certainly doesn't have amazing graphics but it does have a good art style. The gameplay is... a bit bland and clunky. I can't give this more than a 8, it's just not that well. Fun. Expand
  7. Mar 6, 2012
    2
    Positives: It's certainly original, which is nice to see these days (+3)
    It runs fine on my PC with no noticeable defects (+1)
    It's good to
    see more titles from independent developers (+1)
    As far as I can tell, the game is quite expensive, and power-ups are awarded in due course (+2)
    POSITIVE TOTAL: +7

    Neutral:
    The Art style isn't to my liking, but it isn't bad.
    It's kind of cheesy, but that's not a good or bad thing.

    Negatives:
    Bad Camera Control, which is a very bad thing for a 3D platformer (-3)
    Annoying amount of foreseeable backtracking, though I've only managed to play 94 minutes before giving up (-2)
    The powerups are given out too slowly (-1)
    The 'humor' is absolutely awful (-2)
    EXTREMELY REPETITIVE, which is another major flaw for a platformer (-3)
    Character voices are very grating (-1)
    I'd like to go on, but I fear I've generated enough infamy by now.
    NEGATIVE SCORE: -12

    TOTAL SCORE: < -5
    Having a total score of less than -5 puts it quite a bit below average, but it does have its good points, so it doesn't deserve a 0. Since I didn't pay full price (sales) i can deign to give it a lowly 2.

    How anyone can find this game entertaining is beyond me, and if anyone wishes to provide me with a counter-argument, be my guest. It is currently the only game in my steam library (of over 110 games) that I have uninstalled.
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See all 114 User Reviews