Sunday, January 18, 2009

Psych-Fi II

I feel as if my previous response to a truly significant game like "Psychonauts" was inadequete. I mean, what exactly is the point of me writing this blog if not to say the things I feel are significant; ideas that people haven't expounded on yet. This becomes particularly important with a game like "Psychonauts".

I think my response was only so short because of the time that has passed between the release of "Psychonauts" and the discussions that have already been held. In this case, it is just me showing up so late to the party.

The thing I can say that I feel is unique is to focus on the actual gameplay mechanics of "Psychonauts" and it's pitch perfect platforming design. There is a never a point where conceptual design takes prominence over actual playability, and there is certainly a dose of experimentation when it comes to the twisted world that "Psychonauts" resides in. Wether you are progressing up a series of barely connected platforms deep within the recesses of the wind of a paranoid psychotic or sliding "up" a ladder in a grotesque circus bit top, there is always a organic nature to the design in which the next jump is clearly designated.

The fusion between concept and gameplay is so tightly connected that there is never really a seperation between the two. The levels are chock full of appropriate props and themes where in each jump, swing, tightrope walk or pole climb, is part of a greater narrative scheme.

Truly brilliant. I will stop at that, and just say that "Psychonauts" is probably one of the most simply enjoyable games I have played in the last 5 years.

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