If the list was 'Top 50 Funniest Games' or 'Top 50 Games With Best Dialog', Psychonauts would be near the top. I laughed harder during Psychonauts than almost any game I've ever played. Unfortunately, as I went on, I realized that I was slogging through the gameplay, just to get to the parts where the writing shone through. Once I got to the infamous "Meat Circus", the suddenly psychotic difficulty got in the way of what was already some fairly uninspired gameplay.
To be fair, there were sections that had excellent and rewarding video game action (Lungfishopolis springs to mind), but even then, the gameplay isn't what made it good. As a written story, it's close to the best video gaming has to offer. As a video game, it just kind of gives me a 'meh' feeling.
I can see why critics loved it - Lord knows I wanted to.
Now that I got all downer, let's go on to the good times.
After the kind lungfish swallows you to ferry you across the deadly lake (yeah, Psychonauts is that kind of game), you come to an old, rundown asylum. The gate is locked, and the only sign of life is a half-crazy (or more probably fully crazy) guard patrolling the area, muttering about 'the milkman' coming to unlock the gate. Once you use your Psycho-Portal to access his brain (again, that kind of game), you begin to unfold the glory of the Milkman Conspiracy.
Turns out, the guard is out of his gourd, and his brain is overrun with G-Men looking for 'The Milkman'. In order to keep up appearances, these spies have posed as seemingly everyday people such as gardeners, housewives, plumbers, and road workers.
|No one here but us plumbers. Move along citizen.|
How do you foil such crafty agents? By playing their game, of course. Simply pick up a prop and the agents will readily accept you - to not do so would be to drop their cover, and they are certainly to wise to do that. In fact, if you use Raz's new 'clairvoyance' ability to see yourself through their eyes, you will see that you actually show up to them as though you are the person you're posing as. That's dedication.
Eventually, you find the milkman, who is exactly who you thought he was. Before you exit the guard milkman's brain, he leaves you with one parting bit of wisdom...
"I am the milkman, my milk is delicious"
True that, Milkman. Now give the world the milk it wants - the milk is deserves.