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PSYCHONAUTS
Category: Games
Thursday, January 12th, 2006 @ 04:29 pm
Posted By Brent

Many, many moons ago LucasArts, the video game development arm of George Lucas' media juggernaut, used to be a pretty diverse game house. It might be hard to imagine now because all they do is take their Star Wars franchise and try to find a way to trick their loyal customers in to buying a crappy game with a Wookie or a Droid on the box (KOTOR excluded).

No, at one time they had their fingers in many a pie, one of these being the Adventure Game market. For the unwashed masses not interested in memorizing the subtle nuances and differences in the different genres of video games, in an average Adventure Game you take the role of an on screen character who travels from "room" to "room" solving puzzles and collecting clues to meet whatever the goal of the game is. Currently it is a dying genre that will hopefully be buoyed by the recent critical success of games like Indigo Prophecy, but it used to be livey little niche, one which was presided over by the God of Adventure Games, Tim Schafer.

While at LucasArts, Tim either wrote or had a hand in writing the most popular titles in the genre: Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, etc, etc. And how did LucasArts repay him? They dumped everything but Star Wars games and dropped him on his ass. Fortunately, he took this opportunity to hire a good number of his coworkers from LucasArts and start his own game company, Double Fine Productions.

Psychonauts, Double Fine's first and so far only release, is actually a platformer (i.e. Super Mario 64 or Tomb Raider) that has all the wit and memorable characters a Schafer game is known for (or so I read). Sadly it's apparently fallen into the horrible realm of games that are lauded by critics but bought by no one and is a commercial flop for the company. I recently purchased this game from eBay and am patiently awaiting my desk to get shipped to me so that I can start playing it without having to rock it indian style on the floor.

Actually, "purchase" is too strong a word. I didn't steal it, but I didn't pay for it either. I actually bought it from some company on eBay, and after I waited three weeks without receiving it I shot the company an email. They apologized saying their stock was defective and had to be returned to the manufacturer so they refunded me the money and that was that... until yesterday when I received it in the mail.

Now, I'm not sure who their "manufacturer" is, but I received a game that was in an already opened, crushed and crappily reshrink wrapped box, containing 5 CD's in separate chincy paper sleeves. I can't be sure if there was supposed to be a jewel case or if the sleves are the norm, but I can assure you it's not supposed to have gummy residue where the sticker keeping the box closed once was. Or look like it spent two weeks in a cab driver's front seat. Or look like it got shrink wrapped with some Saran Wrap and a Bic lighter. I can only guess that they had no idea what they did with to the used game they were supposed to send me, so they made up a line of bullshit about defects.

Anyway, I was feeling bad because I was quite certain none of my purchase would go towards Schafer and crew, and now it's pretty much a given. To add insult to injury, after perusing their site for a while today I realized that they actually sold individual units directly. Sorry guys, I'll catch you next time.

Actually, maybe the thing is defective and I'll catch you this time too, we'll see...




Comments

NAME: ass face zitter
Friday, January 13th, 2006 @ 11:14 pm
hit and run two. best game ever!


NAME: brent
Friday, January 13th, 2006 @ 11:01 pm
If NGJ=New Games Journalism then...

No, to get into semantics, NGJ is the reporting of a game where the experience comes from actual in game happenings (my words).

No, this is, "I want to play this game but I haven't yet, so I'm going to put into words what I have about it so far..."


NAME: scott
Friday, January 13th, 2006 @ 06:31 pm
So does this count as NGJ?


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