Is Psychonauts A Hidden Gem Still Worth Rediscovering?

Do you remember Psychonauts? It was released back in 2005 for the original Xbox, PS2, and PC. You can download the game for either PS3 or PS4 in the PlayStation Store (check it out here).

Psychonauts Overview

This 3D platformer follows a young psychic who sneaks into psychic camp. Before he can be sent home, he uncovers a plot to steal the brains of all the psychic campers. Playing as Raz, you have a long list of things to find all around the camp. This does not mean you are limited to the camp though. As a psychic, you have access to the minds of the other characters (being a psychic and all). So, gameplay takes you to a lot of different, interesting, and sometimes crazy places. Every new place you go is different from every other place you’ve already been. One last thing, the game is funny. Especially the first half of the game.

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Tim Schafer: Creative Genius or Commercial Failure?

This game was created by Tim Schafer. This guy is known for games like Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and Broken Age. He worked for LucasArts for about 10 years, after which he left to start his own company, Double Fine Productions. This is where he created Psychonauts. Every indication was that this game should have been a huge success. The game won the Game Critics Award for Best Original Game at E3 in 2002. The year after it released, 2006, it won the Game Developers Choice Award for Best Writing (credit to Schafer along with Erik Wolpaw) and Double Fine Productions won Best New Studio (Schafer again with Executive Producer & COO Caroline Esmurdoc). In October of 2006, it won the BAFTA for video game Best Screenplay. Any issues in sales or lack of market interest certainly cannot be blamed on lack of media exposure.

A Semi-Rare Hidden Gem Still Worth Collecting at Reasonable Prices

So for all the awards and a game designer as creative, and funny, as Tim Schafer, Psychonauts should have been a great game for everyone to have and play and make the game worth having a decade later. The game is fairly easy to get your hands on, here are some listings from eBay for each of the three platforms:

Pretty reasonable prices I’d say, right? I took a closer look at the pricing for Psychonauts over the past 10 years or so, and I was mildly surprised. The PC game, just the disc, has sold for as low as $2.69 (!?!?!), complete it sold on Amazon for $35.00. The PS2 game has sold for only $15.06 for loose disc, with everything else (case, manual) it typically sells around $24.99 (both prices are from eBay). For Xbox (the original (which is still playable on Xbox 360)), the lowest price was $13.59 for the disc alone and the game has been listed in factory sealed condition on Amazon for $56.42. Basically, prices have been all over the place but are very reasonable considering the limited production run and moderate level of rarity.

Hope for the Future

There has been some interesting news that I recently heard that may make you want to get your hands on this game. We could be looking at a new Psychonauts game in the not too distant future. Yep, announced back in December 2015, Psychonauts 2 was put out there for public opinion. And what an opinion it was! By January 2016, crowdfunding on Fig blew past the $3.3 million goal for the game to go into development. The expected release date is in 2018. I couldn’t find anything more specific than that. It’s possible that people will want to get the original before the sequel, so we might see a price increase on the 2005 original.

I decided to track down a few items signed by video game visionary, Tim Schafer:

A few more cool finds:


 

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