These are dark days. Physically and mentally, we’re all under stresses we didn’t think we’d have to live through. Thankfully, Tim Schafer and his crew at Double Fine have released what may be the finest piece of art ever made. Psychonauts 2 helps everyone realize a core truth: the best and frankly only legitimate path to mental health is through well-designed platforming.
The game explores a surprising array of deep and important themes, from gambling addiction, to sensory overload, to PTSD, to loss of a loved one. Every single one of these is deftly handled with a delicate touch, double jumping and floating on a bubble made out of pure dreams, sliding down a path and gathering collectibles as fast as possible.
Now, in the age of information, you may hear about self-care, about therapy, and the variety of options available for those looking to improve their mental wellbeing. The folks who recommend these pseudosciences don’t even think to mention bouncing off of giant floating teeth, or freezing time on fast moving platforms so you can swing through them. It’s so good to finally see these things represented in this generation.
It’s okay to feel down about yourself sometimes. It’s okay to experience and naturally process the full range of human emotion. But Psychonauts 2 is the only game to put the focus on what’s most important: that you need to do this processing while fighting three puppets who vomit on you in a cooking show boss fight.
We here at Nerfwire take depression very seriously. If you or a loved one are experiencing intrusive or depressive thoughts, please play Super Mario Odyssey immediately.