let's review: "Psychonauts 2"

The year was 2005. Soon, I’d be starting my journey through high school and here I was still trying to figure out where I’d missed the boat on dating. The realization that video games would always be some part of my life had become apparent and that year, a game that would stay with me for over a decade was released.


Enter, Psychonauts.


Comedic gold for a teen gamer who had no clue what to expect in the next phase of his life. Fantastic platforming. A story that felt original and new. Stylized characters that were a ghostly memory of the blocky, pixelated characters of systems past.


Ah. Those were the good ol’ days of gaming.


But, that’s not why we’re here today. No, I’m here to share my thoughts on the successor that took over 15 years to create, crowdfund, and release. That’s right, we’re taking a look at…


PSYCHONAUTS 2!

Coming back into the world mere days after the end of the original game, we’re met with a cast of memorable characters including Sasha Nein, Milla Vodello, Coach Oleander, Lili Zanotto, and our young hero coming to officially join the elite, psychic-spy organization, Razputin Aquato.


The game immediately drops you back into the high-flying, mind-bending platforming, battling, and cinematics of the original game, with call-backs to previous foes, friends, and feelings (looking at you, RazLili shippers). As you navigate your way through the (mostly) broken mind of Dr. Lobato, you'll earn powers gained during your time at camp, re-learning your "basic braining" skills.

Upon arrival to the Motherlobe, the Psychonaut headquarters, you’re not only met with a well-developed history of the super spy organization but given detailed accounts by characters' thoughts on what’s happening within and what must be done to stop the games main villain, Maligula.


Playing the game, it felt like no time had passed from the previous iteration. Familiar controls, powers, and platforming fun-filled a space in my little gamer heart I didn’t know needed filling. As the game continues, and without giving spoilers, you do add a few new tricks to the Psychonauts arsenal while enjoying the wacky, and sometimes weird, visuals of the game.


There’s also a cast of new characters added to the mix, including the other members of Raz’s family, agents within the Psychonauts, and a crew of interns dedicated to making the “new kid’s” life a living hell. And as an added bonus, my personal, favorite character, Ford Cruller, plays a much larger role this time around, as you work to find his previous companions and rebuild his shattered mind.

Get prepared to jump around from mind to mind as you explore the Motherlobe and surrounding woodlands. Collectables fill every nook and cranny you could imagine as you float, bounce, and pyrokentically burn your way through the world. And, compared to the previous game, leveling up and character customization is much better this time around as you gain access to patches that give the player their own unique style of mind-bending fun.


Overall, I’d rate Psychonauts 2 a solid 4.5/5. If you’re looking for a fun sequel to a childhood favorite, pick it up, put on your goggles, and report to “Basic Braining”, cadet!


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