During the course of the game you’ll learn a variety of skills that will help you conquer the obstacles you encounter in the mental world, from levitation to telekinesis, shield and pyrokinesis. Some of those can be used in the ‘real world’ as well, others can’t. They’re pretty standard as game abilities come, but they never feel alien because they usually fit the profile of ‘mental powers’ as opposed to being just random platform game abilities. A few more points I'd like to discuss before wrapping up this review are the humour and the sound: this game must be one of the funniest games I've played in a long time, actually making me laugh out loud a few times, something I don’t often do while gaming. Not that this is a surprise given how funny Schafer’s previous games were, but it’s always good to notice he hasn’t lost his touch. He’s a funny dude (and so is his team). The sound is just ace all around. The extensive voice-acting is really great and could easily pass for Hollywood movie quality, and on top of that every mental realm has its own unique little soundtrack. A messed up version of the Kleine Nachtmusik, an adaptation of the French national anthem, an aggressive flamenco-style guitar bull-fighting vibe: you name it. It’s clear that the composers had fun trying to come up with a fitting song for every world.
As for the bad news…as I mentioned in my introduction the game has been in development for quite some time, and it shows. The graphics are, quite simply, dated. So if you’re a graphics junkie you’re not gonna find your kick here, but if you like amazing level design and creative environments you’ll find that the quality of the graphics never really bothers you, you can take my word on that. The only other negative thing about this game is the last level. On the whole every level is logical in its madness and not very frustrating, but the final level is a bit of a bitch. And when I say a bit of a bitch, I mean a 400-pound obese ho. But don’t let that discourage you, even if you do get frustrated over the last level and give up, you’ll have one heck of a ride behind you! This game is truly worthy, a gem of design and creativity. It’s too bad the industry prefers to promote cookie-cutter games and well-defined genres over art, because that is what you would call Psychonauts. All hail Tim Schafer.