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Psychonauts (PS2/Xbox)

What a wonderful game this is.  This shows what an excellent storyline, fantastic character design and high quality voice work can do for a game.  Raz and Co. are insanely likable almost right off the bat.  And the plot quickly picks up from a normal summer camp for psychics (you've heard of them, right?) to a fight to save the world and rescue Raz's friends and counselors.  That may sound a bit clichéd, but trust me - the story of Psychonauts is beyond the average gaming experience.  The game's hub world of the campground is pretty awesome in its own right, but it's when Raz starts entering minds that the game really began to win me over.  
The game's platforming stages are among the most unique, incredible designs in any game I've played.  One stage has Raz learning Levitation in a 60's disco complete with proper disco music.  Next you're battling against Lungfishopolis's crazed army as a giant Raz, recreating scenes from Godzilla and King Kong as you try to complete your goals.  I don't want to spoil any of the later stages, because they are really worth discovering on your own.  This game's strength lies within its immensely clever level designs.  The music is perfect for every stage, and there's tons of stuff to hunt down and find.  The game's psychic powers are also ingenious, each having a purpose in the game and are all rather easy to utilize.
There are a few downsides to the immense joys of Psychonauts, though.  The game controls really well...usually.  Sometimes jumping is a touch too sensitive.  You can get yourself stuck in some piece of a level, and you either have to warp out and then go back or pray that you can wiggle the control stick enough to get out of the predicament.  The camera is usually cooperative, but it does get into some moments where it doesn't seem to want to help you.  The game is loaded (pardon the pun) with loading screens.  Last but not least, the final stage is an exercise in frustration.  They did do some things to try to help ease the pain (nets that bounce you back up, for example), but on the whole I really disliked the final area.  If the last stage wasn't there, I'd probably have this much higher than it is.  Despite my gripes here, Psychonauts remains a gem of a game.  Great work Double Fine...I hope to see more from you soon.