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Played in 2023
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The original trilogy levels are just the first game again but worse (including a consistent crash point I had on the Wii as a kid so I couldn't finish them even if I wanted to), and the Crystal Skull levels are just lame and boring. Thank god TT figured out what went wrong with their ideas introduced here in time for Harry Potter.
tl;dr - Buy Psychonauts 2 with money.
Just as excellent as the first game for different reasons. Where it lacks the same sharp and relentless sense of humor from long ago, it makes up for it in well-explored poignancy of its characters. Perhaps at the risk of losing some memorability or opportunity for creative puzzle-solving, the gameplay is much more streamlined and will never leave you looking up guides--a lack of obtuseness I welcome after a certain amount of frustration with lack of clarity in the predecessor. And dear god, the presentation. The soundtrack is a standout of the experience (the way the orchestra swells during the late-game combat theme, WEW.) Higher fidelity models and textures are one thing for enhancing the visual style, but the animation is what really gets me--fundamentally, Raz doesn't look too different when standing still, but in motion the kid's got a better energy about him than ever before. Some character designs look more in line with the likes of Broken Age this time around, and I welcome that eclecticism. It shows how much the studio has learned and grown over the years. They did a double fine job on Psychonauts, yet again.
Love me some Psychonauts, but I didn't really see any reason that this piece of the puzzle had to be VR, given its fairly low stakes point-and-click format. Enjoyable couple hours though, I just don't think fans who watched playthroughs or skipped it entirely need any guilt weighing on them about it.