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Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin PSVR Game Review

February 27, 2017

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Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin PSVR Game Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Feb 27, 2017
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Psychonauts returns for the first time in over a decade! Check out Kidzworlds thoughts on this VR adventure game, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin.

By: Max Cannon

When I was about 13 years old I remember begging my parents to buy me the game Psychonauts. I had grown up playing 3D platformers like Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, and Banjo-Kazooie but even earlier than that I had spent my days playing Point-n-Click Adventure games like Pajama SamPutt-Putt, and Fatty Bear

Psychonauts was a 3D platformer developed by Tim Schafer's studio Double Fine Productions, a pioneer of early adventure games that seems to make their way into Xbox Games with Gold and PlayStation Plus all the time. Playing as Raz, an acrobatic psychic who ran away from his parent's circus, you have a few days to make your way through Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp and become a Psychonaut.

The hypnotized counselor from the original game, Coach Oleander, returns!The hypnotized counselor from the original game, Coach Oleander, returns!Courtesy of Double Fine Productions

The game was hilarious, truly innovative, and insanely memorable even if it didn't sell very well. After having my excitement thrown through the roof at the announcement of Psychonauts 2, I heard that my next opportunity to control Razputin would be in the PlayStation VR exclusive Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. The game is short, smart, and very Psychonauts. 

Getting in Your Head

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin starts immediately after the closing of the original Psychonauts, don't worry if you haven't played the first game there is a short recap at the beginning of this game. In your seat onboard an aircraft owned by the Psychonauts you're teamed up with some friends to save Lili's kidnapped father.

Throughout most of the game, Raz is restrained in his chair so you'll need to use his power of clairvoyance to look around. Clairvoyance gives you the ability to look through the eyes of other people or animals and see what they see. After crashing into the Rhombus of Ruin, the game's version of the Bermuda Triangle, Raz needs to not only save Lili's father but everyone else onboard the crashed ship. 

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin - Launch Trailer

The game is funny and that's what made it so comforting. I felt like I was playing in that world from my childhood all over again, like I was 13 one more time. Tim Schafer's writing is perfectly on point and consistently hilarious. I'm often critical of comedy in games but nothing hits the nail on the head like a game made by Double Fine Productions.

There is no world that's so funny, original, and interesting as Psychonauts and the decade between games almost didn't seem to happen, this feels like a cut scene from the original game... just played with a PSVR headset that is less than 6 months old at the time of writing this.

This chamber holds Raz for much of the game.This chamber holds Raz for much of the game.Courtesy of Gaming Age

Using Your Mind's Eye

Virtual Reality games have a hard time nailing movement. If you're running around and looking all over it'll easily cause motion sickness. That clairvoyance I earlier mentioned allows the player to jump from mind to mind without actually moving. If you played Batman Arkham VR then you'll be familiar with how this works because it's nearly the same exact system. Instead of using gadgets like Batman, you'll be using Raz's arsenal of psychic powers. Psychokinesis, Telekinesis, and Psi Poke make up your moveset and all are just based around where you look with your headset. 

Psychonauts 2 Announce Teaser!

Puzzles are very "Adventure-gamey" you'll be picking up items to mix with other items, lighting things on fire to let your friends move around, and pushing buttons/knocking things over with your Psi Poke. None of the puzzles are too hard but they often feel satisfying to play through, there's a lot of trial and error but even the error is typically rewarded with something hilarious.

The game is short, it took me about 3 hours but I got stuck on a really, really easy puzzle that I was overthinking so I think it would be even shorter for most people. The final puzzle is also hugely satisfying in terms of Psychonauts lore, which made the short playtime even more painful.

I'd like a little more diversity in terms of puzzles, aside from a few standouts, and some of the story beats are totally unresolved - including why the team was kidnapped. But when the challenge is good, it's really good and then the story is great, it is really, really great. 

Raz's fear of water isn't as centric to an underwater game as I would have guessed.Raz's fear of water isn't as centric to an underwater game as I would have guessed.Courtesy of Hardcore Gamer

Final Thoughts

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin is an insanely satisfying return to one of my favorite gaming worlds. If you have PlayStation VR and you haven''t picked this game up, you messed up. Puzzles are good, story is great, but I just want more. Luckily Psychonauts 2 is scheduled to return to the 3D platforming world in 2018 and this VR game made the wait a little bit easier.

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin Cover ArtPsychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin Cover Art

Available Now Exclusively on PlayStation VR.

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin PS4 Game Rating:4

Have Your Say!

Are going to play the new Psychonauts? Have you played the original game? Comment below!