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Psychic Detective (PlayStation) artwork

Psychic Detective (PlayStation) review


"I had this plan for a review, and it was going to be great. See, what I was going to do was write an intro on how I've played an AWESOME point 'n' click game. One so spectacular that I had to write a review on it because not sharing this masterpiece WITH THE WORLD would have made me selfish and possessive. Then I was going to work in a direct link to my Broken Sword review using my limited knowledge of HTML coding. Hohoho."



I had this plan for a review, and it was going to be great. See, what I was going to do was write an intro on how I've played an AWESOME point 'n' click game. One so spectacular that I had to write a review on it because not sharing this masterpiece WITH THE WORLD would have made me selfish and possessive. Then I was going to work in a direct link to my Broken Sword review using my limited knowledge of HTML coding. Hohoho.

Littered cleverly throughout the review was going to be a smattering of single-sentence paragraphs. They were to drive home that Psychic Detective is not Broken Sword. They would have looked a lot like this:

Psychic Detective is not Broken Sword. Broken Sword is enjoyable.

Because Psychic Detective is one of those crummy 'interactive movies' that single-handedly killed the 3DO, a history lesson would then seem in order. You see, games from this now [thankfully] defunct genre were filmed entirely in live-action FMV. You may remember the original Resident Evil game had an intro movie with live actors or perhaps you caught sadly underrated FPS Disrupter at some point and watched the cut scenes within played out by real humans with a varying degree of talent. Now imagine an entire game played out like this; a game where the characters you control were soap oprea extras or casting couch rejects whose acting skills are so poor the only chance of landing themselves a job was to appear in a video game that will shortly recieve a 1/10 rating. Ouch!

Lucky gamers would have witnessed Legend of Dragoon as it presented a slew of eye-sugar at relevant plot-points with some spectacular computer-animated wizardry that easily stands head and shoulders above all others of its generation. This entire paragraph is only here to spam that partuicular review and to point out what the PSX is capable of. With this in mind, Psychic Detective is a worse joke than the one I just made.

I might have followed up with trying to track down the histroy of the game's actors, but it sounds lame in hindsight. I'm glad I didn't do it. Besides it would have distracted from the point, that being Psychic Detective is made up entirely of live-action FMV, something that takes up a lot of disk space. So what we have is a game that spans three disks and has a life-span of about twenty minutes.

But what a twenty minutes! Side-show freak, Eric Fox, is a psychic of almost zero renown but is picked up by a wealthy Russian family to resolve a string of suspicious events. This would have been a great time to point out that horndog Eric ignores 'sexy' Laina's pleas to help her cursed family and instead chooses to hump her leg before outright asking for sex as payment. Even the poor actress playing Laina looks uneasy as she is covered in sleaze from the greasiest cardboard performance this side of Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbour.

Now that I think about it, Pearl Harbour might very well be the only thing in the world of entertainment worse than Psychic Detective.

I could have then gone on to point out how increasingly dodgy performances of the game's erratic cast as they visibly lose interest whilst things progress. Lines are delivered with blatant disinterest to the point where you can see the main villain glaring hungrily at the buffet table while discussing his obligitory end-of-game maniacal plot confession. I could tell you that Eric's unique style of crime fighting is to invade other people's minds in the hope that they may stroll past something of worth so he can see it though their eyes. Want to check out that shelf not three feet away from where you stand? Then select the right squigily portrait from your menu and jump into the mind of the drunken old fart played by an escapee of Madam Tussard's Waxworks in the hope he saunters past it! Eric don't do walking like those grainy mortals do! I could tell you that the big finale is to play a game of psychic chess, a game so mind-numbingly complex that even the guy explaining the rules to you doesn't understand it. They don't make games like they used to, us old-skoolers are fond of saying -- thank God they don't make them like this anymore. That would have been the conclusion I went with, but after some thought, I decided not to bother writing the review at all.

Some games aren't worth the effort.

[But really, Pearl Harbour sucks. It really, really sucks. Don't watch it.]

Rating: 1/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (March 11, 2006)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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zippdementia posted January 13, 2010:

I'm not sure whether it's because I love EmP to the point that his reviews send me on intense research missions or if it's because I mistrust him to the point where I couldn't believe that a game could be as sleazy as he says (without being Night Trap), but I went ahead and found something that you all need to see as a testament to EmP's greatness in playing this game:

Holy shit who is this guy?!

Of special note is the postee's assertion that this was a great game.
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sashanan posted January 13, 2010:

I've got one of those interactive movie things lying around somewhere called Quantum Gate 2: The Vortex. The title implies there's a Quantum Gate 1 too, though I've never found anything about that. It was always a fuss to explain the disjointed plot of The Vortex but Avatar has made that easy: it's basically Avatar. And you pick up no items, explore only the beaten path (can't normally go back to the previous location either) and live through a few conversations and flashbacks that produce an effect where you no longer know what's real and what's the character's dreams and memories. Which would be awesome except it's apparently not intentional.

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