Weiss gives Psychonauts a 9 out of 10 rating.
By MSNBC-TV Entertainment
updated 7/1/2005 2:13:56 PM ET 2005-07-01T18:13:56

Psychonauts, available for the Xbox, PC, and now the Playstation 2, is a wonderful game which is very entertaining to play.  The game focuses on a young goggled boy named Razputin, or Raz as he is called in the game.  He sneaks into a camp where psychic children are trained to become "psychonauts," an elite group of secret agents who use their mental abilities to keep the world safe. 

The main stage for the game takes place in the summer camp where Raz begins his training until things start to get weird.  It is such a well put together game that anyone who enjoyed such puzzle and platformer games like Crash Bandicoot or The Simpsons Road Rage will have a great time getting through the various challenges this game presents.  The game can take anywhere from 10-25 hours depending on whether you just play the game or if you try to get everything in the game. 

The characters make the experience enjoyable.
The characters are put together quite well and make the game extremely enjoyable.  From the quiet and subversive Agent Nein to the old cook Ford Cruller, who seems to be everywhere around camp at once, each person in the game has their own unique charms and adds to the ambience of the gameplay.  Even the children -- most of whom are merely background characters -- each have their own personality that perfectly matches their appearance and voice.  On top of everything, so much dialogue has been put into the game that just walking up to people randomly during the game will generally trigger an exchange of some kind, usually something very funny.

The various areas and levels in the game each possess their own unique charms.  From the psychic bear that wanders through the woods in camp to the individualized settings within each mental realm that Raz explores.  Coach Oleander's mind, for example, is full of war-torn imagery and, for some reason, lots of meat whereas the Lungfish, one of the characters Raz encounters during the game, is a miniature city where Raz appears as a giant monster in a city of tiny lungfish. 

The detail put into crafting each mental realm is just another example of how interesting and enjoyable it is to play.   The psychic powers are also a great deal of fun to play with in this extremely interactive environment.  Powers like clairvoyance and pyrokinesis are not only useful during gameplay, but are also quite amusing to use at your leisure while exploring the numerous bonus and hidden areas around the campsite.  The game is also set up so you have to keep changing which powers are active (you can only have three powers assigned at any given time) as each area have different demands.

Weiss calls the gameplay 'interesting and enjoyable.'
While this game appears to be geared more towards the younger audiences with its more cartoon-like appearance and the main character being nothing more than a young boy himself, Psychonauts is nonetheless amusing for the more experienced gamer who wants to take a break from the more violent shooters or sports games out there.  So much went into putting the game together, it just fits perfectly and seems as if nothing has been left out or ignored. 

Overall rating:  9 out of 10

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