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Erik_Twice
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by Erik_Twice Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:22 pm

Duane Dibbley wrote:Supposedly, the recent Steam updates made the Meat Circus easier. I never played the original version, but the new one still seemed pretty frustrating to me.

All they changed for the digital versions was to allow you to retry without losing a life if you fell into water. It still your dad shooting projectiles at you while you walk towards him on a tightrope.

I also noticed the version I'm playing (GoG.com) has 250 arrowheads as the price for the Cowbeb Duster instead of the 800 you need in the console releases. This is a huge change because I have 100 and can't progress unless I get 150 more, getting 700 more would just be a pain.

Interestingly enough, I don't think the final level is any worse from a design standpoint than the previous ones, it simply tries more things and since most of the things it tries are bad, the level ends up being awful. Nice theme, though.

I just finished my review of the game so I don't know if I'll keep playing. I have to get the Cowbeb Duster, which is a bore, and I think the Asylum levels don't really add much to the storyline so I may skip it and play something else.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by Sload Soap Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:00 pm

Beaten with all the baggage, vaults and brains found. Not going to bother getting all the figments though. That last level is no way near as bad as some of you are making it out to be. It's stupidly designed but it's not game ruining.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by ExedExes Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:12 pm

Made it through Sasha's mind. Very close to Rank 20.
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Xeogred wrote:The obvious answer is that it's time for the Dreamcast 2.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by Ivo Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:05 am

Didn't like Levitation training. Made me a bit dizzy which doesn't usually happen to me when playing (although Descent 1 and 2 were pretty harsh when I played back in the day). Also once more I have complaints about the camera (even though Smart Camera is off), and it is still very annoying during boss fights.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by Ivo Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:22 am

I finished the game yesterday and I'm wondering if I'm going back to collect some of the baggage and cobwebs I missed. I'm not going to try for all figments, that seems like a pain.

The Steam version I played has the duster at 400 arrowheads I think. Making it cheaper is a good move as far as I'm concerned (250 or 200 or even 100 would be about right as far as I'm concerned).
If you used to lose a life when you fell into water oh my would the last level be sucky.

Many of the characters are charismatic in terms of personality. I really dislike the art style for the humans, I think they almost all really ugly. I don't mind stylized stuff but this particular style is not a good one for me.

I also realized
when I was collecting their brains and rebraining them
that I didn't know the vast majority of the other kids. I knew the obvious ones like Lily, Dogen, and Bobby (+sidekick) and the... Russian kid? I didn't even realize there were so many! There might be some kind of design flaw there, too many fluff characters perhaps, not enough reason for me to care, or they didn't figure a good way to put them in a memorable situation during the "mandatory" parts. Even some of the ones I knew existed (like the one that is always trying to get girls, or the two that I had to give arrowhead to near the start) I couldn't distinguish visually (possibly because I don't like the art style).

I maintain that the gameplay is satisfyingly solid, but it is not much more than above average as far as 3d platformers go. To make it great they needed to refine a few aspects of level design and certainly polish the camera a lot. At some times I would really like to have some kind of auto mapping, granted that is harsh to do in 3D. Do any modern 3D platformers even try?

Some of the boss fights are also a bit cryptic in what you have to do. I'm not sure if one can ask Ford for tips during the fight, I should have tried.

Some level specific comments:
The first level and the shooting training are both well designed, I like the cube in particular.

I don't have particularly strong feelings about the tumbler level inside Raz's mind (you access it a couple of times).

I personally disliked the disco level, it even made me a bit nauseous. All the jumping and rolling around with blinking lights maybe. Did anyone enjoy it? For me it was the worst part of the game.

The underwater level can be a bit frustrating, which is not uncommon in this game. But the lungfish mind is a hoot, even though climbing the skyscrapers for figments is annoying, and I drowned a few times to destroy turrets in boats - maybe I should have used some psychic power. Great level, very funny, good boss fight in the end, one of the best levels.

The milkman level is hilarious even if the layout is a bit confusing and sometimes it is not clear what you have to do. Hiding crucial items in trunks of cars that you have to punch to open the trunks really messed me up for a while - I guess I don't have much of a vandal instinct.

The theater level has some good moments but the pacing with all the plays could have been improved.

The wargame level is very funny and I think also well designed. One of the best in the game in my opinion.

The bull level can be annoying but I didn't find it too bad personally. Solid level.

The meat circus level was already reviled in this thread, and with some good reason. Escort mission in 3D, quite annoying when you don't even know where you are supposed to go. Worse part for me was the spiraling meshes when the water is rising. Jumping from one mesh to the other is quite tricky with the bad camera angle. I had to redo that several times, and each time had to jump the 3 ropes and cross the slacklines while progressively losing health. Good final fight though.


I'm going to go read Norris article because I think he has a similar opinion, although I would say that Psychonauts would still be better as a game than a movie / book, but they just needed to polish the game aspects more. Raz being an acrobat and psychic explains naturally why he is a good protagonist for a 3d platformer game, and you would lose something in the best parts of it if it wasn't actually a game. When the level design / camera really comes together it is easier to see that the game aspects add, rather than detract, to the overall effect.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by Erik_Twice Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:23 am

Ivo wrote:There might be some kind of design flaw there, too many fluff characters perhaps, not enough reason for me to care, or they didn't figure a good way to put them in a memorable situation during the "mandatory" parts.

It is a flaw, I think. As memorable as Napoleon's level or the suicidal cheerleaders' dialogue can be they really don't add a lot to the plot or the pacing. I feel there's a lot of content, of well made-content even, that isn't really related to the main plot or the main ideas of the game.

I agree that Milla's mind is a very boring level, it's a compedium of the dull mechanics you would find in a movie-tie in, namely going through rings, barriers you have to jump over to not knocked out of the platform and a race. Really, really dull. The only good thing about it is the nightmare room with the creepy children :lol:
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by ExedExes Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:32 am

Just finished the party/60s level. I wasn't too disoriented by it, and even though there were tons of parts that were high, at least they had those "respawn springs" to put you back to a good place to start again, and at least Raz can survive long drops without losing health (or brains).

The boss fight however, had no idea what I was doing. To answer Ivo's question, using the bacon to summon Ford was the right thing to do, because he did give tips on defeating both forms so I didn't stand around wasting my time.

The cobweb duster is 800 in GOG's version, and as much as I want to do everything in each stage, I don't think it's worth it right now. I'm just trying to go for as many figments as I can, but the ones that move around are super difficult to get. Maybe if I have time getting closer to the end.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by Ivo Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:37 am

Yes, the Disco level has probably the most difficult / annoying figments. Although there are also some moving ones on other levels, as well as super-annoying ones in rail / slide sections that force you to redo a lot just to have another try at getting them!

General_Norris wrote:I feel there's a lot of content, of well made-content even, that isn't really related to the main plot or the main ideas of the game.


There is indeed also some lack of cohesiveness. Although the setting lends itself well to have very varied stages by default. But it seems somewhat like they made a movie piecing together some good sketch ideas, and some of those sketches are very good but weren't implemented correctly in terms of actual execution.

Some of the ideas in the game are brilliant, that is what I mean that we would lose something if it wasn't a game.
You also couldn't have as much exposition of backstory of characters in a movie (maybe a book), but then the characters wouldn't jump at you so much.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by ExedExes Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:05 am

Ok, if every level could be like the mind of the lungfish, seriously. What a nice surprise after that crappy underwater portion. Lots of fun dialogue, so much to smash up, a few extra lives, easy to get figments, a very useful psychic shield. a decent boss fight that was easy to figure out, and I even took out all the baggage. Close to rank 35 now.

Question -- what happens if you ever run out of astral projections (lives)? Do you have to start a level again, and do you start with 3 again? I don't see it happening, but if it weren't for all the brain-health in the lungfish level as well as the extra lives, I got pretty close as I was trying to get past the underwater level.
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Re: Together Retro: Psychonauts

by Sload Soap Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:06 pm

ExedExes wrote:
Question -- what happens if you ever run out of astral projections (lives)? Do you have to start a level again, and do you start with 3 again? I don't see it happening, but if it weren't for all the brain-health in the lungfish level as well as the extra lives, I got pretty close as I was trying to get past the underwater level.


You get booted out of the level and start again from your last checkpoint. It's pretty pointless to be honest. After the Lungfish the quality of the game jumps up a bit if you ask me.

Bit surprised there aren't more people playing this to be honest. I thought it would be one of the more popular TR games.
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