I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, my usual video game diet consists of mountains of bullets, buckets of blood, and just pure adrenaline-pumping action. So imagine how far out of my comfort zone I was when I decided to step out of my lane and give Psychonauts 2 a try. Boy, am I glad I did.
Not because it was secretly a Michael Bay film though. I genuinely enjoyed my time with the game and played a little longer so that I could clean up all the achievements because they sounded incredibly easy and find all the collectibles that I missed the first time I visited the mental world of the Psychonauts.
The charm of its story and characters are second only to the incredible level design that went into the mental environments that seemed to almost defy general laws of physics with the way Raz can traverse through them. It’s a visual spectacle if you’re willing to buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride.
If you’re planning on stepping into the shoes of the psychic acrobat, Razputen, and making the journey into the mental spaces of the Psychonauts, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got my best tips and tricks from my time with the game that will be sure to help you make the most of it. So, without further ado, here’s how to beat Psychonauts 2.
HOW TO BEAT
Don’t Stress The Collectibles
Whether 2D or 3d, no platformer would be complete without the abundance of collectibles for you to gather and discover along the way and Psychonauts 2 does a great job of keeping that tradition alive. From the word go, you’ll be introduced to the Figments of Imagination, Memory Vaults, Emotional Baggage, and Nuggets of Wisdom that are hidden in every level.
I tried my best to uncover all the collectibles I could on my initial playthrough since they aren’t hidden in obscure places and will often be placed in front of you if you stray off the beaten path. What I found after I beat the game and went back for cleanup is that many of these collectibles won’t be available until you revisit the area.
Sometimes it’s a matter of not having the right ability but I often found that certain areas weren’t accessible because they basically didn’t exist until making my way through the level a second time slightly altered the level’s design. So, if you’re planning on going for the full completion, save yourself some frustration and wait for the inevitable return you’ll make at a later time.
— Ryan C. Voller (@SteviusM) September 8, 2021
The Perfect Combo
Raz has an abundance of psychic abilities at his disposal and they can be assigned to any of the bumpers and triggers at a moment’s notice. This means that nearly every enemy encounter can be handled in a different way depending on which abilities you choose to combo in your playstyle.
I spent the entire playthrough trying to optimize my combos, swapping out which powers I had assigned, and here is the strategy I ended up sticking closer to the end:
- Time Bubble
- Grapple enemy with Mind Connection
- Spam Melee Attack
- Dash Away before they can retaliate
I found the majority of common enemies going down with one string of this combination and tougher enemies, like the Big Censors and even The Judge, could be dealt with by repeating this sequence of attacks. The only enemy that wouldn’t fall to this easily was Doubt since they can only be harmed effectively with fire.
Mental connection is one of the more useful abilities in Raz’s arsenal with it not only being a pool for traversal but a pretty handy ability against enemies as well. Being able to snap between stray thoughts is essential but amongst the stray thoughts you’ll find in the levels, there can sometimes be some dark thoughts as well.
Despite their name, they’re not harmful at all and can be used to access many of the hidden collectibles within each level. They have a distinctly different color palette and are not hard to spot but being able to use the dark thoughts isn’t so simple. You will first have to unlock the power of using dark thoughts by fully upgrading Mental Connection.
Making Mental Connections one of the priorities, in the beginning, will prepare you for their appearance later in the game so that you can get to those hard-to-reach places without the need for a return trip into the mental world. I found myself wishing I did that in the beginning and I recommend you take that approach.
— Ryan C. Voller (@SteviusM) September 9, 2021
The Most Useful Pins
Mental Magnet: Whether you’re collecting health drops or good old Psitanium, I cannot tell you how many times I had to hopelessly watch as I broke an object or health pick near a ledge just to see all the contents fall over into the abyss. That plus the decent time save it provides is the reason I keep this pin on deck.
Big Time: Time Bubble is one of the abilities that I got the most use out of but targeting only a single enemy can be a bit lacking when other enemies will still be able to move freely. Affecting a larger area will let you slow down multiple enemies and keep them off your back when you’re targeting one enemy.
Goonades: Doubts are the only enemy that can’t be taken out with a single combo and requires you to use fire to take them out efficiently. That’s why I always try to take them out first and, with a Goonade pin, I can get a lot more damage done on everybody because it causes Doubts to explode when they finish burning.
Psychonauts 2 was one of those adventures I think I’m going to remember for a while and often refer back to when I talk about my limited experience with platformers. Hopefully, with these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the experience as well. Psychonauts 2 is available right now on Xbox Game Pass.
Have you played Psychonauts 2? What are some of the tips and tricks that you’ve learned along the way? Let me know in the comments section below.