Score of the Game
by Kurt Johnstone
One of the most underrated and rarest games on the Xbox and PC is now available for the Playstation 2. The latest work of Tim Schafer, who is known for some classic adventure titles such as Sam & Max and Day Of The Tentacle, takes a shot at the platform genre. You will meet interesting and wacky characters, solve puzzles, learn psychic powers and enter worlds inside people’s minds.
The graphics are odd and wildly imaginative. Though character models are never impressive they do the job. The environments are full of vivid colors and wacky design even if the resolution is of a lower quality than some games. The framerate is locked in at a solid 30 FPS so the action stays smooth.
The main idea of the game is to enter character minds and help them cast away their insanity, fears, conflicts, or anything that will allow you to progress through your mission to get back your friend’s stolen brains. You play as the character Raz who escapes the circus to join a psychic summer camp to learn and enhance psychic powers.
Tim Schafer, the Tim Burton of video games, has created something very original that never becomes repetitive. Each level you enter is completely different than another. One looks like you’re in a French painting, another has you stuck in a board game where you must win the game, and those are just two examples.
The gameplay is a platform game where you must do a lot of jumping and swinging. The gameplay never gets overly complicated and stays simple throughout. Another big part of the game is solving fun puzzles that are not too hard but very entertaining. Using your psychic powers is key to solving these puzzles. Also, finding items in the minds you explore is vital. Pretty much classic Tim Schafer stuff. The music is amazing, suiting the area and circumstance you are in, making the experience richer.
Acting is top notch—without it, this game would not be the experience it is.
This game is extremely entertaining from beginning to end. There never seems to be a dull moment. Puzzles are fun and unique as are all the minds you will explore. You just want to keep playing to see what you will run into next. There are many cutscenes explain the story. The several psychic powers you obtain—levitation, marksmanship, telekinesis, invisibility and more—are also very entertaining.
I strongly recommend picking this title up as it is interesting and offers few problems, which is rare in a platform game. The game balance is ignored, as is the challenge level of the game, but it is still one of the best experiences in gaming.