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Save Summer Camp in a Stunning Original; Blow $50 on a Lucas Vehicle

Can it really be true? An inventive, creative, new game and not some mephitic sequel or franchise? Here's the thing: Tim Schaefer is the somewhat twisted game maker who was responsible for the great noir-meets-Day-of-the-Dead detective classic, Grim Fandango. Now he wants to brain you, literally. In PSYCHONAUTS you're the cheeky Raz, who finds that Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp isn't just for food fights and mosquito bites. It's an elite training ground for a group of superior soldiers with psychic abilities such as telekineses and levitation. In order to progress and become a true Psychonaut (and save the camp), you must play psychologist—shrinking heads, dealing with other people's dreams (OPD)—with all that ol' Freud drama. Early on, you'll encounter an old piece of luggage that starts gabbing at you. It's crying, identifying itself as . . . emotional baggage. There are also figments of imagination: monsters you find yourself brave enough to walk through. I could wax literary about the puns, the wit and the humor, but just get the damn game. It's one of the year's best.

I was torn by STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH. I didn't want to deal with the pain of another sequel (see above) and I didn't want the Star Wars movie-into-game series to end (if only it meant that I was getting older). This latest Star Wars game takes some inspiration from the Lord of the Rings games, mixing live-action clips from the latest Lucas flick into the game. Yeah, the graphics could be better on the Xbox version I looked at. But the play, the light saber battles and the use of the Force, are inventive. Plus, they branch off from simply following the movie. Word is that the extra levels are derived from real scenes that ended up on Lucas' cutting room floor. Is Revenge of the Sith one of the great games of the year? No. Is it worth your $50? Hell, yeah.

Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.

Details

Psychonauts
For: Xbox
Publisher: Majesco Games
Developer: Double Fine Productions, Inc.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
For: Xbox, PS2
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: The Collective

  • Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.
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