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Psychonauts 2 - Now coming 2021 (Xbox One, Series X, PS4 and PC) Game Pass also...


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I finished the story for this last night. 
 

I liked it quite a bit…. but I’m also disappointed. There is plenty to like here. The levels are well designed and have plenty of clever ideas and elements. I love how they manage to find different ways to show what these characters are thinking and what is wrong with them. Things like Bob keeping everything bottled up, and you enter the areas of the levels through bottles, or Cassie having the different versions of herself fighting for control. 
 

My disappointment is in the gameplay of the levels themselves though. For the most part, these are inventive platforming levels with a few twists, but the goal is, more or less, get to the end of the level. 
 

This game just doesn’t have the variety of the first. There is no Milkman Conspiracy, no Goggleor in Lingfishopolis, no Gigantic game board where you have to move the pieces around. I kept waiting for something like this to come, but it never really did. There are small puzzles and variety in the levels, the Food Gameshow was certainly different, and the theme park ride had a bit of this, but nothing was quite on the level on the levels from the first. 
 

Maybe the feedback from the first was that each level was too different, or they just wanted to take this game in a different direction and make it a bit more of a straight ahead platformer. That’s fine, but not what I wanted to see 

 

Regardless, I am overjoyed they got to make this game, and there really is a lot to like, and even love. I just can’t help but feel a bit let down. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished this off today, and I think I want to go back and replay the original to see how it holds up.  I was thinking about whether or not the gameplay was more varied back then, and I'm not so sure.  The lungfishopolis level changed the scale, but even levels like the milkman conspiracy and black velvet (I think) just changed the look and feel, but you were still collecting figments, baggage etc and getting to the end.  Could be misremembering though-it's been years since I played it. 

 

Psychonauts 2 is a really incredible achievement though, and I hope more people play it.  The scale is incredibly ambitious, there is no way that I expected that many levels and hub areas to explore.  Ended up getting 100% on it (although I probably spent as long on the last of the collectibles as I did getting to that point), but it was a world that I absolutely wanted to see more of.  Only real complaint on the collectibles is that it might have been nice to have a "figment detector" or something to find the last few, or at least having the later, huge, levels broken down a little more (those fucking bananas in the bob level...).  The level with the band is probably my favourite looking back on it, but I also thought that last level was a neat concept.  Either way, the way they set up the depictions of the different minds and mental problems is just incredible.  The game show level is probably the most unique (and gross...), but I did like the way the food was excited to be cooked. 

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1 hour ago, ChrisBardon said:

I was thinking about whether or not the gameplay was more varied back then, and I'm not so sure.  The lungfishopolis level changed the scale, but even levels like the milkman conspiracy and black velvet (I think) just changed the look and feel, but you were still collecting figments, baggage etc and getting to the end.  Could be misremembering though-it's been years since I played it. 


Every level did have collecting figments, baggage etc, but the levels were certainly not just changing the look. The variety of the levels and how you complete them is a hallmark of the first game. Lungfishopolis is not just a platformer with a different scale. It is a Godzilla themed level where your primary action is smashing buildings and causing destruction, with a first person section thrown in. 
 

Milkman is the closest thing to an adventure game Psychonauts has where you pick up items, figure out how to use them, listen to dialog and solve the puzzles to move on. You jump to get around and collect items, but it isn’t in service of simply reaching an end goal. 
 

Napoleon put you on a game board to move around gigantic pieces and play a board game, while cleverly incorporating platforming to move around and do this. 
 

Black velvetopia has you warping through paintings and while I don’t remember exactly how this one worked, it is certainly not just a “jump your way to the end” platformer, and has a puzzle element to it with “what do I need to do next?” aspects. 
 

And there the the theatre level where Ii think your trying to figure out what props or whatever on the stage for each play/act. That one wasn’t so good so my memory of it isn’t the best. 
 

Psychonauts 2 absolutely has variety in its levels, but they are, more or less, straight forward platforming with a different style and some different mechanics. Some of the ideas and themes in the levels were very creative and inventive, but I don’t think the variety in design, gameplay and puzzle elements come anywhere near close to the first one. 
 

I do agree that I wasn’t expecting the number of levels and hub areas in it. That was a very nice surprise. I wish they hadn’t restricted your ability to explore these areas before finishing the game though. There are secrets in the first hub that you can’t get to until your almost done the game, and at that time you’re not able to go back to do those. This means you have to go back after finishing the story to collect these, which seems odd. 

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14 hours ago, Graeme said:

I do agree that I wasn’t expecting the number of levels and hub areas in it. That was a very nice surprise. I wish they hadn’t restricted your ability to explore these areas before finishing the game though. There are secrets in the first hub that you can’t get to until your almost done the game, and at that time you’re not able to go back to do those. This means you have to go back after finishing the story to collect these, which seems odd. 

 

Yeah, that snuck up on me too.  I got to the last hub, and all of a sudden couldn't go back?  I guess that's what the "prepare" warning was after the Ford levels. I did appreciate that there was new post-game dialogue with all the characters, so you had a reason to go back beyond finding the last shiny things.

 

I'd forgotten all about the Napoleon level in the original.  What the hell, it's back compatible, so let's see how the X enhancements work :)

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On 9/25/2021 at 10:51 PM, Graeme said:

Black velvetopia has you warping through paintings and while I don’t remember exactly how this one worked, it is certainly not just a “jump your way to the end” platformer, and has a puzzle element to it with “what do I need to do next?” aspects. 


The paintings are one aspect, yes. In some cases, they warp you to another part of the level. In others they become the object painting on them, letting you get somewhere you couldn’t before. For instance, one of the  paintings is of a vine, which becomes an actual vine you can climb.

 

The main gimmick of that level though is the bull. Most of the level takes place down a narrow alleyway with an angry bull running though it. If it catches you, it takes you back to the start (or your last checkpoint). The idea is to not only make it to the end of the alleyway without getting hit. I would say this area had some of the trickiest platforming sections of the original, as one mistake could set you back quite a ways,

 

Additionally, you have to collect four Queen cards, which you earned by defeating four Mexican wrestlers in a match. Each one had a unique move set and required different techniques in order to beat.

 

It’s a crazy level, to be sure, made even more unique by the fact that it all looks like it’s being lit by a giant blacklight. 

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