I finally got around to playing and beating Psychonauts. I guess I got caught up in the Tim Schafer/Kickstarter/Notch/Psycnonauts 2 hoopla and figured now was as good a time as any to bust out my six year old original Xbox copy. I own the Steam version as well and actually installed it until I told myself I wanted to see what all the bitching about the Meat Circus and experience it as it originally was. I HAVE NO REGRETS!
I can't say much, if anything, about a game so many of you have come to revere over the years... but what an amazing game! In the past, I've dabbled through the start but just ended up getting bored with the Basic Braining level. I don't think it was until Milla Vodello's stage where the game really got it's hooks into me. By the time I got to the Milkman Conspiracy, I was finally able to understand why people adore this game.
Hands down, my absolute favorite piece of the game was the Milkman Conspiracy. The layout of the stage, the dry humor, the puzzle solving, just everything about that stage was amazing and so well done. What's not to love about a government agent that's disguised as a housewife by carrying a rolling pin and saying how rhubarb is a controversial type of pie? The section took me longer then it should have because I got hung up on a silly puzzle, but it didn't bother me at all as it gave me an excuse to just wander and interact with all the different disguised government agents.
Another thing I really appreciated is how varied each of the stages were. I never really saw the same thing twice. Each level was themed really well and had game play mechanics around each respective theme that didn't feel shoehorned in. The art design and layout just made everything feel really vibrant and fun.
As for the Meat Circus, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The only parts that gave me fits were the during the first "escort" portion where you have to jump in front of the spinning wheel and have the knife thrower get a knife stuck that you can swing on, and the cage climbing in the second part that requires you to double jump across multiple gaps... ONLY TO NOT HAVE THE DOUBLE JUMP WORK CONSISTENTLY. It probably makes me an awful person, but I ultimately kind of stumbled on a glitch to let me get past that part, but the boss fights were pretty easy.
I guess in closing, I'm glad I finally played the game. It lived up to the hype which is a rarity. I've got to believe with all the chatter and showing of support Psychonauts 2 has gotten, even if Notch doesn't help fund it, some publisher will throw money Double Fine's way to make it happen at some point in the future. Even playing it this long after it's initial release, Psychonauts easily cracks my favorite games of all time list. Oh... and Mr. Pokeylope is the shit!