The main character Raz returns precisely where the last time. He’s finally caught the notice of the Psychonauts and has earned him a place in the ranks of the personnel of this particular unit. So he believes. In reality, the senior management at the Psychonauts headquarters, in a grudging manner, demotes the intern to an assistant who is tasked with learning about the ropes and pitfalls of PSI manipulation in the context of a school class.
Raz, however, is a veteran in this kind of thing. Raz has been able to enter individuals’ minds for quite a while. This means, in the internal workings of the mind, which result in a different thematical experience, but generally psychedelically chaotic bouncy playground. It includes moving platforms, grinding bars, and last but certainly not least, the most difficult obstacles in which a small amount of brainpower is required. Sometimes it’s as conversations with multiple choices, sometimes when trying to figure out the correct way, and sometimes by making sense of clues. In this context, Raz is well-known for his abilities such as levitation, pyrokinesis, and telekinesis and hasn’t acquired any new skills. The graphic style is more suited technically, but it purposefully does not change the overall style. There is a suspicion that you’ll be served the dreary and potentially problematic fanservice filets still in the air.
Inception, I hear your trap!
But, anyone who decides to quit at this point is missing from one of the exciting leaping game experiences of the last few years. The initial 90 minutes are slow because there’s much to go over. Who exactly is Raz? What is his opponent? Who was the villain before, and how did he get caught? It’s too much information to leave to the well-meaning but arguably overstuffed intro video.
So, unfortunately, it takes some time to get the game moving as smoothly as you’ve recalled it from the first. Double Fine saves the thick quality of the level design for future games, and the first adventure sequence is somewhat subdued. However, there are some positives in the interim. In the part that you look into through the brains of a head moth who was previously and dentist Dr. Loboto, you get some weird humor, for instance. As an example, you encounter The Tooth Fairy. Because of the absurd graphic style, a rib-tickling, cigar-smoking unruly molar with wings is even more curmudgeonly than one could think of in a description such as this.
The action gets exciting at the beginning of PSI lessons. Raz is taught a crucial new skill: connecting thought bubbles. In theory, it’s simply another task in which you move between one thought cloud and another; however, it’s more of a puzzle, where only the proper sequence of thoughts can produce the desired result. This way, Raz can influence the actions of Raz’s “patient.” Inception, I’m hearing your traps!
It’s remarkable how well Psychonauts 2 can balance back and back between serious psychological issues and a lighthearted approach to the same problems. Alcoholism, gambling addiction, dental phobias, depression, and other subjects are never marginalized or dismissed; however, their comical side is revealed in the same way. This may be playing a platform game that focuses on skills; however, it’s not an app for kids. Instead, it is aimed at adults who can build an emotional threshold to the limitations humor and seriousness can be balanced.
It’s so weird and awesome.
The illustrations enhance the fun. Although it’s by far not of the latest quality, it does maintain high artistic quality. Screenshots from this point show the amount of effort put into the creation. The overall look is from Tim Burton’s Nightmare before Christmas and a completely unformed Nickelodeon cartoon that ran in the 90s, like Ren & Stimpy. The degree of weirdness is only apparent when it comes into its own when it is in motion. Right angles are present and exist just by chance. The entire world seems chaotic and warped in its design. It takes time to get used to this kind of design. However, it is soon eating its way through because it is so perfect with the mind-blowing content of this hilarious adventure.
The limbs that are over- or under-proportioned create figures that appear deformed and highlight the core of every persona. First, of course, that of the adversary. It is easy to tell whether someone is mischievous or mischievous, kindhearted, or particularly clever. Again, the visual language used here is higher than the consistently high-quality; however, this time, it is exclusively dialogs in English (including German subtitles).
Easy to learn, yet weaved
Beyond the 90 minutes, which are flooded with a myriad of plot information, but as well with a myriad of character enhancements as well as collectible objects and rules for shopping, Psychonauts unfolds its strengths with well-timed bursts. One example is when the antagonist Raz is required for the task of reading the “riot” act.
When you walk around The Psychonauts Headquarters, which functions as a central point for the action scenes that you can play, you don’t have to worry about them. Even during the action sequences, they only appear sporadically. In contrast to the usual jumps and runs, Psychonauts 2 doesn’t spread Rez’s enemies over the whole field of play but restricts their appearance to occasionally smaller and, more often, less encircling arenas for battle. They’re supposed to display typical psychotic traits that include self-censorship, doubt, or anger – and that’s what they do when they are on the field. Sometimes shy, sometimes brutal, occasionally sneaky. Their weaknesses and flaws are quickly mastered, and as new defects are added and the tactical fabric takes new forms with each passing minute.
Apart from the new dodge, which allows Rez quicker, the game has no differences from the arena battles from the initial part. They’re faster and more coordinated in general, but their fundamental strategy, which is mainly dominated by tactics, isn’t changed. Similar to the other games that are fine-tuning the game’s central aspect, which is clear it is clear that Double Fine does not want to reinvent Psychonauts; however, they prefer to continue to play it smoothly. There is only one thing that frustrates me because the game only has four buttons on its shoulder accessible to attack, Raz’s abilities must be refined on the controller over and over. It’s a luxury issue. However, it is a significant one when you think about the fact that two of his skills are used almost continuously, that is, for example, shifting between thought clouds and swiftly moving with the ball that he can levitate.
The shift to attacking strategies is not as arousing in this respect as being able to continually switch your abilities to various buttons in response to the changing demands, which means you are never comfortable with a particular strategy. Another unintentional leap into the deep happens because of this. However, the game isn’t too harsh here. If the game ends, players start from the last checkpoint or at the beginning of the area you are currently in if you wish to activate cheats, such as invulnerability, without causing any disadvantage.
It’s just a shame that boss fights don’t always match the lofty expectations set by the game. Some are just too similar in terms of tactical aspects, and others are seen through before they actually start. The variety of bosses available isn’t an absolute disaster. However, there isn’t a real standout in the game also. It’s mostly a minor aspect that isn’t given enough attention given all other elements because all of the game’s environments are inviting to explore and play around afterward. Because of the numerous objects that you collect, you need to master specific skills every now and again, such as how to slide through a narrow mailbox slot.