Here I am to confirm that your unconditional love for Psychonauts is understandable, you can thank me with chocolate. I finished it a few days ago, and yes, this is a good game. In fact, I was, genuinely, shocked with how much I enjoyed the experience. As ever, I still had a lot of problems with various aspects of it, but for the most part it has held up remarkably well, gameplay-wise anyway.
Straight away I would like to say; Raz is a damn respectable protagonist, and Double Fine actually nailed all of the characters in Psychonauts. The interesting, quirky and fleshed out nature of the people in this game are what give it such a loveable personality and endearing appeal. The 3-dimensional platforming for the most part is just as frustrating at times as any other 3D platforming game, the combat is satisfactory, and the adventure game characteristics of using the correct item at the correct time have their attraction. However, it is the world in which Rasputin exists that is the major draw to be found here, at least for me.
Playing a few years on from it's release, the game itself manages to not look overly dated. One thing that does seriously age Psychonauts though are the pre-rendered cutscenes. Without exageration, these could be nauseatingly terrible (maybe a little exaggeration). As more and more games rely on in-engine cutscenes, my dislike for these pre-rended videos increases exponentially. I suppose whilst I'm being negative I may as well also mention how tedious I found the last hour or so to be. There is a certain point near the end of the game where if the credits had just rolled I would have been perfectly happy. Admittedly, once I did get to the very final section, I saw the value to be found in it. Nonetheless, it could have very easily been made to be a far tighter experience.
As videogame stories go, especially ones from seven years ago, Psychonauts has a rather captivating one. I've already harped on about how great the characters are, but they bring a relatively silly tale to life, allowing me to actually care about what's going on. This is just a game where somehow the whole thing comes together and manages to make you happy in a really unique and almost innocent way. This is the exact reason why I start by saying I understand the love, because I do, I really get why people are so desperate for Psychonauts 2. This is an example of a special game conjuring emotions other than a lust to kill more random military guy because yes, videogames can do that.