Tak: The Great Juju Challenge
Review by Arkrex
"Just like a cartoon episode - fun but too brief"
Tak for the DS is essentially a short-lived 3D-platformer with touchscreen minigames interspersed between. I cannot compare to the console versions for I have yet to try them. You play as 2 characters, Tak and Lok, and are able to swap between them the majority of times. Tak can float briefly and relies on projectile attacks, whereas Lok is the brute with powerful, but slow melee hits; he can also climb walls.
You guide the duo through 5-6 stages depending on how you look at it. Each 'world' looks different, but for the most part they are all pretty sparse with a couple of enemies scattered about the place. The graphics engine is simple but very, very solid. Camera control is very intuitive and is a big step up from other similar games like Super Mario 64. Everything looks rather nice in the first few levels, nice textures here and there, but later on it gets kind of samey. A consistent framerate and easy controls are a big plus.
There are 10 minigames throughout the short 4-5 hour journey. Most require the stylus, and nearly all of them are a quite fun! You will experience some crazy flying-pig-dog-fights, croc-boat chases, and floating sheep amongst other bizzareness. Upon completion, you are able to replay them for high scores at any time. It is a shame that there just isn't more.
And so for the bulk of the game you are jumping about the place, hitting switches, and perhaps solving 2-3 'puzzles' (in the entire game!) There are some car-race sequences which can be fun, but it does grate when you fall off track anywhere, having to restart from the very beginning. The platforming action is not bad, helped by very decent camera controls. Combat is fun too, with lots of unlockable combos; but since the game is over too soon, you probably won't learn more than half of what's there. And there is no 'New Game +' if you were wondering too. This is a big loss, since there is also a great customisation feature which is is left largely untapped. If the game were twice as long, the potential could be enormous.
Tak plays out like an episode from a cartoon series. The whole 'race' concept is pulled off well (just wish there were more active cutscenes rather than stills), with good presentation and conciseness. Those looking for more than just an 'episode' may want to perhaps look towards the previous console iterations, which i assume are more lengthy. Overall, it is a a nice 3D-platformer done well on the DS, and a perfect rental.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/11/06
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