Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Jak & Daxter is one of the latest big titles for the PS2 and Naughty Dog wanted to create a promising successor to their Crash Bandicoot series. Let’s see wether they’ve succeeded.
Jak & Daxter starts with a nice intro-movie where you see that Daxter falls into a magical well while fighting some enemies. Luckily for him he comes out alive, but then he notices he’s not himself anymore but some small fuzzy animal. That’s where you find out that your quest in this game will be to get Daxter back to his normal self.
To get to that point you have to collect the standard platform items, this time called Power Cells. The difference with most platformers lays in the fact that this game doesn’t really look like it’s made out of seperate levels. You’ll wander around in various surroundings and from time to time when you’ve finished a part you’ll get a nice cut-scene where Jak & Daxter do some dancing (and Daxter’s moves are really funny ;p) while the game gets saved.
The graphics are really amazing and the animations are well-done. Even when you’re walking around with Jak (who looks like a DragonballZ character), Daxter will move independently on your shoulder and it are details like that which make the game so great. The surroundings are to say the least spectacular from time to time and the world seems to be one big place where you can run almost freely. As I said before, it’s like there are no levels, which is certainly and exception in this type of games.
The control system is pretty straight-forward and easy to use. The only thing bothering me a bit is that some of the moves (including special moves that you can do by a combination of button-pressing) seem to have come straight off Crash Bandicoot but that isn’t a real problem.
Next to collecting power cells, you can also get some lightnings (blue and red) which give you powerups like faster running or more power to chop some enemies. Every time you get one of those lightnings you’ll also get to see a short animation where Jak gets surrounded with electric lightning. Spectacular is the word here although after a while you can get bored with it.
The tasks you have to complete to get hold of the power cells are very varied, going from kicking a bird to more difficult puzzles with mirrors amongst others.
Of course you don’t have to just run around collecting power cells and solving puzzles. It wouldn’t be a game if the world wasn’t in danger, so next to getting Daxter back to his stupid self, you also have to get rid of different enemies and save the world at the same time.
To give the game that extra touch (as if it still needed something), Naughty Dog provided Jak & Daxter with a nice non-irritating soundtrack, clear effects and funny comments from Daxter, who’s really pissed that he’s turned in some kind of ferret.
Overall, Jak & Daxter show about the best graphics ever to be seen on the PS2 (certainly in this genre) and have an addictive way of gameplay which can keep you occupied for a long time. If you’re into platform games this is a must.