Review by Mech Master
There hasn't been a platform game that has blown me away this much since Super Mario 64 debuted on the Nintendo 64. That says a lot. Platformers aren't known to have amazing stories, but Jak and Daxter does. The mythology and all of the characters in this world really drew me in amd like in my synopsis is just breathtaking. To see these graphics for the first time will blow your mind. Even by today's standards they still hold up extremely well. The sound defys anything I have heard before in this genre. The characters are hilarious and the script and dialogue is top of the class. No other platform game has drew me in so much. Jak and Daxter is a classic if I ever saw one. This is the future of platform games.
I love the story. There is a great mythology of the world Jak and Daxter live in about these ancient precursors and this substance called eco. The precursors are these ancient people that have built all of this ancient architecture and mysterious items like the precursor orbs. The story is about two young friends, Jak and Daxter. Jak is the silent type who does most of the work throughout the game and the hero of the trilogy. Daxter is the loud mouth who can't seem to keep his hands to himself. He messes with everything and that is how the story starts. Jak and Daxter are putting their noses in a place it doesn't belong and Daxter falls into a pool of dark eco. There are different types of eco. Dark has very negative effects. Daxter is turned into a...a...thing. He looks like a weasel. That would describe Daxter. Throughout the game Jak and Daxter attempt to change Daxter back to normal and stumble upon something big, really big. That is about all that I can say.
Wow. Jak and Daxter looks amazing for a PS2 game. It runs at sixty frames per second. It animates like no other game. And the game is just huge, but doesn't sacrifice detail for a vast world. The character models are really sharp and clean looking with enough detail so that it retains its cartoony look. The environments are also just as good. The colors are vibrant and the environments sport even more detail than the characters do. The animations are impecable. I have never seen a game animate and have character models move so fluidly. It is like wathcing a Pixar film. This is all at sixty frames per second too. The framerate also never drops. It really doesn't get much better than this. This game came out a couple years ago and still looks amazing. Even with Jak II out this still goes above and beyond every other platformer for the PS2.
Comedy. That's right, comedy. This game has lots of it. Daxter is hilarious. He is rude, funny, and just downright entertaining to watch and listen to. There may not be the more vulgar and mature content like in Jak II, but still entertaining nonetheless. The music is great too. Every environment has some piece of music that ties in with it and sounds great. The voice acting, writing, and script are all done perfectly. There are some great voice actors. There may not be any big celebrities, but the people they got for the game are as good as anyone else. The script is very well written. All of the guys at Naughty Dog like Jason Rubin help write the script to make it very funny and give their input. I love the sound too. What more can I say.
The game is up their with Super Mario 64 for the best platformer. Jak and Daxter takes every last cliche from other platformers. You have crates, collectables, and all of the other ones. The reason I don't mind is because everything is done so well that it is okay that all of these little cliches are in the game. Unlike Crash Bandicoot, Naughty Dog's last series, the game has no HUB and is in a completely 3D environment. You have one huge overworld. There are even some RPG elements like being able to tackle the main quest and finish the game quickly or do some side quests for some upgrades. There are some really fun driving levels too. I do wish you could get some upgrades for your zoomer though. There are your typical ice worlds and you've got your fire level as well, but the tasks are so fun and different than what is out there that the game always seems fresh. There are also minigames like in every other game out there. The game is driven by the story and that what makes the game even more fun. The story is so interesting that even if you are stuck at a place you will be compelled to get past it to find out what happens next.
This is a textbook example of a Platformer's controls for the PS2. All of the commands are mapped to the right button on the PS2. Everything feels it is in just the right place. Square is used to punch. The O button is used to do a spin kick. The X button is used for jump, obviously. You can also tap it twice for a double jump. You move with the left analog stick and move the camera around with the right analog stick. Those are your primary buttons that you will use most of the time. There are a couple of other moves like rolling and stuff, but those are your main commands. The only real complaint is the same cliche that is is almost every single other platformer out there and that is the camera. The camera will occasionally get stuck behind walls and houses that makes the game hard to play. You can just swing the camera around to a better place though. The reason I didn't deduct that many points for this is because you are usually in huge wide open environments where it is really hard for the camera to get stuck.
+ intriguing storyline
+ beautiful graphics
+ lots of humor
+ fun game
- every platformer cliche in the book
- not enough environment interaction
- minor camera issues
This is a game that should be in any platformer fan's PS2 library. Screw that! This should be in everyones library of games whether they like Platformers or not. This game is fun, that's why. The graphics and animations are the best of the best. The game has a great soundtrack and humor that will make you laugh long and hard. I really haven't been influenced by a game in this genre before like this since Super Mario 64. All you need is twenty bucks. Twenty bucks for this masterpiece since it is on the greatest hits list and for good reasons too. I don't care if you rent this game, buy it, borrow it, steal it, just play the game somehow. Once your done go read my review for Jak II and see why to buy it as well.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/29/04
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