There's nearly a two decade gap between the first and second Psychonauts so don't beat yourself up if you're behind on the story. Even if you did play it when you were younger, it's likely you don't remember it all that much, anyway.
But, it's a numbered entry. This isn't a reboot or a remake or anything like that. Psychonauts 2 is a direct sequel to the first, a follow-up to Razputin's story of juvenile mind-bending shenanigans.
That begs the question. Do you need to dive back in time to the days of the PlayStation 2 and go through the original Psychonauts to understand its sequel? We take a look.
The Psychonauts Video Recap
Psychonauts is cheap to pick up, recently appearing on Steam for a measley 69p, and it's also on Xbox Game Pass. You can beat it in around 8-12 hours so it's a short experience, but one many feel is worth the time. It's a hallmark platformer that encapsulates so many of the tropes of the 2000s, like a time capsule to a bygone era.
However, if you don't have the time or inkling to play the first game, then there's an animated recap right at the start of Psychonauts 2 that will bring you up to speed.
The recap introduces you to the cast and it sums up Psychonauts' story in only four minutes. You won't get a completely in-depth breakdown of every nook and cranny, but you'll be caught up with the basic plot in no time.
To sum it up, the first Psychonauts is about a teacher going rogue and collecting students and agents' brains before you put a stop to his plan, confronting not only his childhood trauma but also your own. He's forgiven at the end and becomes a recurring character in Psychonauts 2 that is still an agent. He isn't put in prison, disbarred, or anything. It's a child-like world of forgiveness.
How Important Is Psychonauts' Plot In Psychonauts 2?
Even without a recap, Psychonauts 2 is welcoming to newcomers. The first game was more story-based than its contemporary cohorts but that's not saying much. It had a similarly simple plot, that of a villain doing villainous things before you thwarted them and life returned to normal. It was a PS2 platformer, after all.
In essence, the first game is a long weekend where Raz is forced to grow up and be the hero, earning a badge to become an agent of the Psychonauts. However, immediately at the start of the sequel, that badge is ripped from Raz and he becomes an intern. So, realistically, you can play the second game without knowing much at all about its predecessor because it starts from scratch again.
The big difference is that Raz is more comfortable with who he is and more confident in his abilities, but going in blind, that'll just feel like a natural beginning point for this ambitious youngster. Like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Psychonauts 2 is a sequel, but also like Rift Apart, it's also a jumping on point for new players. The first game's plot is referenced plenty but it's not vital to understanding the story or even enjoying it, for that matter.
Perhaps, if Tim Schafer gets his wish and the original is remade, you'll find an excuse to dive back and play through the first. Or, maybe the PS2 era isn't so archaic that it's unenjoyable and you'll find something of value cushioned within the original. At any rate, there's no need to feel pressured. You can play Psychonauts 2 without touching the original and still feel up to date. It's a sequel, sure, but it's also a fresh start for the series.
Amouranth scored a blue check after a series of bans elsewhere.