Jak and Daxter.

I can’t believe it took me so long to actually initiate a relationship with this title. Being the Nintendo fanboy I am, I am very precarious when it comes to the more bubblegum playstation 2, what with their titles like Final Fantasy, and Dance Dance Revolution, or the not-so-there’s that are flooding the market with blah-de-blah and nothing-so-special. Yes, the Playstation 2 is in fact a consol for the average gamer. With old school rehash’s such as Spy Hunter and Contra, and cliche and disapointingly “edgy” and riskque games like Vice City, the PS2 has what any gamer could want, unless you are a hardcore Nintendo Fanboy. But to the point.

I finally got down and dirty with Naughty Dog’s latest series of games featuring the elf version of Crash Bandicoot. Yes, I mean Jak and Daxter. It’s been out for a while, but since my brother just got his PS2 for Christmas, I figured I’d give it a go. And what a go it was.

It seems apparently you are a trouble making adolescent elf type person who doesn’t talk much. You’re elf friend, Daxter, does all the talking for you. It’s pretty standard so far. Well, Daxter accidently falls into Dark Eco, which surpisingly looks like the bad water that you shouldn’t jump in from Rayman 2. This turns him into the loveable little fuzzy sidekick that we reconize.

You start out with a few moves, and don’t learn anymore during the game. This provides a much more realistic approach compared to games that require you to have a specific kind of jump learned to progress to another portion of the game. From the very get go, you know there are a few different types of items to find. These range from Precursor Artifacts, which are much like coins, and even used to barter with characters, to “scout flies,” there are seven hidden in each “area,” and the most important, Power Cells, which are much like the Stars from Mario 64.

It isn’t very often I compare a game to the greatness that was Super Mario 64. Even though the game is reaching almost a decade in age, it is still a very good standard as far as 3d platforming. Jak and Daxter could very well be used as a standard much as Mario 64 was. In some ways, J&D surpasses Mario64, mostly due to technology developement.

For instance, the game runs as one level. With no load times between any of the areas, and seamless travel from one end of the game to another, it causes the adventure to be hard to put down. You start out in a small village, with a few exits, leading to other areas. Eventually you can go through one of the exits and use a hovercraft like vehical to travel through a canyon to get to another “hub area” which also has several entrances to other areas, one of them being another canyon area. As you progress, it gently gets more and more difficult, but for standard gamers, it is relativly easy, with only a few snags here and there. The music is standard, maybe sometimes better than other times, but without a doubt it has that Naughty Dog sound to it. The game looks, plays, and feels great, and left me very satisfied.

With only a few minor quirks, I give this game a 9.5 out of 10.



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