ok, I'll pop this in tonight, if I get a chance.
― JimD, Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:58 (thirteen years ago) link
Played about an hour last night, didn't get that far really - through the military level, and as far as the start of the "advanced training" one. It just feels like a fairly average Mario64 clone to me - about as good as Conker's Bad Fur Day or something. Will it really get significantly better as a game? Or is it just the writing that means it's so highly regarded? Because the writing seems a bit flawed to me...
It's like what Nhex said earlier on the ILG lolz thread:
I remember one review bringing up the point that the dialogue in Secret was never meant to actually be heard aloud, since there was no voice version originally - this impacts how the dialogue was (awkward, stylistically and hilariously) written, so when you hear these read aloud it just doesn't fit...
I think this is true. I think a big part of what makes Tim Schaffer's writing funny (at least in Monkey Island and DOTT) is the fact it has little reverence for the fact that you're sitting there trying to complete a game. You might have a puzzle to solve, or a level to complete, but his characters will go off on tangents, rant about semi-related situations, and belligerently shrug at any requests that they actually get on with what you want them to do. And I think this works, and is funny, when it's written down. But as soon as it's voice acted, as soon as your ability to speed read through the waffle is removed, the humour drains out of it and it turns into an irritation.
― JimD, Friday, 14 August 2009 15:41 (thirteen years ago) link
And the context is important too - in a point-and-click, you know you're there for the story, and that you're going to be happy to spend a lot of your time reading text. But he just shoehorns that same writing style into cutscenes in a platformer (which is a genre which ideally wouldn't have any cutscenes at all). If he was such a great writer, wouldn't he be better at adapting his style to fit the type of game he was working on?
― JimD, Friday, 14 August 2009 15:44 (thirteen years ago) link
I thought the voice acting and writing in Psychonauts was great! Miles ahead of Monkey Island IMO.
― BOO LIAR BEN KONOP BOO BAD BOO BEN KONOP BOO (forksclovetofu), Friday, 14 August 2009 15:48 (thirteen years ago) link
To be fair, what I was saying about the Secret remake applied because they were retroactively shoehorning-in voice acting into a nearly 20-year-old game, as opposed to modern games where there's pretty much no excuse not to get it right. And your point about adapting adventure game dialogue into a more action-oriented game is true, the game's flow is often broken because you're constantly running around talking to people over and over again for story bits (especially when it's required to move forward).
But after a little while, I ended up wanting to as much I did in those Point and Clicks because the lines and characterizations are so appealing - Psychonauts is surprisingly rich. Give it some time - the beginning is a little clunky (largely because the platforming is one of the weakest elements of the game - not good for a title that IS primarily a platformer) but the quality of the voice acting and writing is a large part of what makes the game great.
― Nhex, Friday, 14 August 2009 18:25 (thirteen years ago) link
I got the feeling the first, "military" level was purposefully awkward and bad, to mirror the different psychological levels in the game.
― Fox Force Five Punchline (sexyDancer), Friday, 14 August 2009 19:14 (thirteen years ago) link
Lungfishopolis may be my favorite level of any game ever.
― BOO LIAR BEN KONOP BOO BAD BOO BEN KONOP BOO (forksclovetofu), Friday, 14 August 2009 19:20 (thirteen years ago) link
Ok, ok, I'll keep playing. :-)
― JimD, Friday, 14 August 2009 22:15 (thirteen years ago) link
the "sexy glamour" level is lots of fun: BOUNCING
― Fox Force Five Punchline (sexyDancer), Friday, 14 August 2009 22:26 (thirteen years ago) link
yes, to sexy glamour level. is my favourite so far, i think....
― She's big on the mental illness scene (stevie), Saturday, 15 August 2009 10:29 (thirteen years ago) link
Milkman Conspiracy level is driving me insane.
― genereal disease (jjjusten), Sunday, 16 August 2009 23:26 (thirteen years ago) link
Courtesy of this thread I noticed that you could grab this game form the marketplace on xbl. I picked it up last night and am loving it even tho I have hardly any HD space left.
― mayor jingleberries, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 17:09 (thirteen years ago) link
ok Milkman Conspiracy, although great in lots of ways (v v funny to listen to the agents deadpan throwaway comments) has one super annoying counter intuitive game design bit of "cleverness" that totally sucks and makes me shake my fist angrily at tim shaefer. also, searching all the identical houses and backyards gets to be total drudgery. still love the rest of the game but booooooooo to that level as a whole.
― please link to them and breathe into a paper bag (jjjusten), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 17:47 (thirteen years ago) link
okay, i'm pretty sure i'm near the end of this game now - while i love games i don't get too much time to play them, and also i am pretty dumb, and am dead excited at least because i hardly ever finish a video game for the aforementioned reasons - but oh my god, how wonderful... so well written, so clever, so beautifully designed and so much fun to play.
what else might you guys recommend for an xbox 360 owner who'd like to check out something else along similar lines?
― jesus mighty lord chewy (stevie), Tuesday, 22 September 2009 07:33 (thirteen years ago) link
Sam and Max?
― a random googler, ripe for clowning (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 22 September 2009 13:57 (thirteen years ago) link
are you at the meat circus btw?
― a random googler, ripe for clowning (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 22 September 2009 13:58 (thirteen years ago) link
meat circus? no, am battling the coach in the wreckage of the asylum... is there MORE?
― jesus mighty lord chewy (stevie), Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:42 (thirteen years ago) link
most frustrating part is ahead.
― a random googler, ripe for clowning (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:46 (thirteen years ago) link
― jesus mighty lord chewy (stevie), Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:47 (thirteen years ago) link
oh lord. keep the faith alive, brother
― Nhex, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 17:00 (thirteen years ago) link
This is $2 on Steam through Thursday. No excuse!
― Nhex, Tuesday, 26 January 2010 18:42 (thirteen years ago) link
replaying this. loving it still, for its whimsy and its humour and its depth. but motherfuck this tank level.
― Credit: howtokeepapositiveattitudedotcom (stevie), Saturday, 11 July 2015 22:15 (seven years ago) link
Sequel in the works.
― The Featureless Mash That Was Once My Face (Old Lunch), Friday, 4 December 2015 16:15 (seven years ago) link
gonna play me some psychonauts 2 tonite, anyone fuck w it yet
― adam, Wednesday, 25 August 2021 15:52 (one year ago) link
started it last night and so far it feels v similar to the original, which i mean as a giant compliment
― orifex, Wednesday, 25 August 2021 17:03 (one year ago) link
I'll never play this game but I love that it exists. Even the original was too hard for me sometimes - I don't think I got past the level with the lawnmower - but I loved playing it, and i's surrounding universe.
― "the fancy things" being his nads, etc (stevie), Wednesday, 25 August 2021 17:29 (one year ago) link
it does have some difficulty settings so you can make the fights easier or even make yourself invincible. i love a good easy mode and am glad it's more commonplace these days.
― orifex, Wednesday, 25 August 2021 17:50 (one year ago) link
ooh, didn't know this was out!
― think “Gypsy-Pixie” and misspelled. (We are a white family.) (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 August 2021 20:33 (one year ago) link
Psychonauts 2 is great and stevie should play it imo
― reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 27 August 2021 17:12 (one year ago) link