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Psychonauts (Xbox) artwork

Psychonauts (Xbox) review


"The big boys are afraid to play ball with a Psychonauts sequel, but indie developer Notch is ready to step up to the plate."


Tim Schafer, while regarded by many as a brilliant game designer, hasn't always had the best of luck. His 2005 critical hit, Psychonauts, was a commercial failure, and his more recent core outing, Brutal Legend didn't sell very well either.

So it's understandable that publishers have been a bit reluctant to take Schafer up on his pitches for a sequel to Psychonauts.

"I've actually pitched that to publishers several times," he said to Digital Spy. "But no-one has taken the bait so far."

But someone else has: Notch, the developer behind the insanely successful PC hit Minecraft.

"Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen," the dev said to Schafer via Twitter.

How's that for an example of the power of social media? The big boys are afraid to play ball with a Psychonauts sequel, but indie developer Notch can easily reach out to Mr. Schafer via Twitter to let him know he's ready to step up to the plate.

Or, you know, he can just have some of those millions of Minecraft make the whole darn sequel in Minecraft themselves... which actually sounds kind of intriguing. Get on it, Internet!

Rating: N/A0/10


JonDavila's avatar
Staff review by Jonathan Davila (February 07, 2012)

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Suskie posted February 07, 2012:

I can't wait for Psychonauts 2 to be a completely generic and unremarkable platformer that everyone will give a pass just because the writing is pretty funny.
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wolfqueen001 posted February 07, 2012:

Sometimes it doesn't matter if the platofrming is generic. If the premise is interesting enough, that alone can carry the game through. And me being fascinated with psychology, I totally loved the idea of Psychonauts.

I'm glad they're releasing a sequel in a sense. The first game sort of had a hook at the end to make us think there'll be another one. Though, I do admit that the history of sequels tends to mean this one won't be as good anyway.

Still, I'd look forward to playing it given the chance. Though, I'm not sure what it says about the series that it took so long for the idea to even get pitched. Perhaps the guy was just busy with other stuff.
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honestgamer posted February 07, 2012:

The idea has been being pitched for years, Leslie. It's just that no publisher was interested in taking the substantial risk and funding the project. Notch has the money to spare and apparently thought enough of the original game that he decided to put his financial means to positive use. Good on him, I say!

I really do need to get around to giving Psychonauts a shot. I now own it on two platforms. In my defense, a Steam bundle I picked up to score a cheap copy of Costume Quest is to blame for that...
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S-Cynic posted February 07, 2012:

I can't wait for Psychonauts 2 to be a completely generic and unremarkable platformer that everyone will give a pass just because the writing is pretty funny.

I quite agree, except for the part about the writing being funny.
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SleazyBastard posted February 08, 2012:

Tim Schafer is a joke. The amount of respect that has supposedly catapulted him into the much-vaunted legendary status just because he made garbage that requires no knowledge in gaming design like Le Chuck's Revenge and Days of Tentacle is beyond baffling.

Do you think this hack has ever read War and Peace, Anna Karenina, One Hundred Years of Solitude, or watched Akira Kurosawa's movies ? Yeah, watch witty garbage without artistic merit on TV like Cheers and Seinfeld, and you are set to become a writer.
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zippdementia posted February 08, 2012:

Schaffer's writing has always been good, but he never left behind his early adventure game days. If I approached people the way Psychonauts' approached gameplay, everyone would think I had some sort of shaking disorder. I've never seen a game which was so afraid of itself being a game. Which is silly, because Psychonauts actually had some great ideas on how to make its levels varied and fun. It just... failed.
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SleazyBastard posted February 08, 2012:

His writing is a laughing stock. Nothing in Grim Fandango made any modicum of lasting impression with me. Probably because i have a standard and have watched profound movies like Deer Hunter or The Lives of Others that i'm not impressed by 'sitcom-esque' writing , which is his trademark.
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Suskie posted February 09, 2012:

RunningFree, if you were as cultured as you pretend to be, you wouldn't be (a) crazy and (b) an idiot.

I'd love to think that by now you're very much aware that no one here takes you seriously. Now I want to help you understand why.
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SleazyBastard posted February 09, 2012:

Leo Tolstoy stored rifles in his house because he was suicidal, and Gustave Flaubert criticized War And Peace's second epilogue as a naive, simplistic pamphlet, which would fit your a) crazy and b) idiot qualification.

Pedestrians seem to always have a way to drag down elite and high-class people down , so as if they were not as good as the world claims them to be. This might also be amplified by gaming, its nature of immediate gratification will always trivialize everything they see . "Oh, he also plays video game,he can't be that sophisticated." A sad, skewed world perception,i would say.
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zippdementia posted February 09, 2012:

This is an awesome new approach to trolling, Running Free! I haven't seen the Ayn Rand side of you before.
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S-Cynic posted February 09, 2012:

Do you think this hack has ever read War and Peace, Anna Karenina, One Hundred Years of Solitude, or watched Akira Kurosawa's movies ? Yeah, watch witty garbage without artistic merit on TV like Cheers and Seinfeld, and you are set to become a writer.

You had me going until you implied that Cheers and Seinfeld were witty.

Incidentally, I've never gotten around to reading War and Peace; is it worth it?
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SleazyBastard posted February 09, 2012:

It personally blew my mind. The structure resembles that of soap operas, the story jumps from one perspective to another. If you have no affinity whatsoever toward Christianity, you would think this is one of those Chick tracts that try to talk you into accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, although without being patronizing. I've read 200 pages of Swann's Way, and i threw the book of the floor,because it was too 'panoramic' in the sense of creating an intimate place and vain. War and Peace is much more 'straight-forward', back then i was reading 70 pages each day.

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