Review by Demyx_XIII
"Jak and Daxter- A New Legacy is Born!"
For an earlier Playstation 2 release, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is an amazing game. Even eight years after its release, I'm still simply blown away by this 3-D platformer. Developed by Naughty Dog, the same people who brought us the well respected Crash Bandicoot, this is one adventure you don't want to miss.
The controls are pretty simple and can be learned fairly quickly, two basic attacks, a couple of advanced attacks, and a double jump are all you really have to learn. Throughout Jak's journey, there are fragments of energy known as eco which enhance your fighting abilities. While eco is designed to help Jak, I sometimes found it harder to control his movements when he was charged with eco. Blue eco, for example, is supposed to make you faster- and I found myself running straight off a cliff once in a while. The controls are excellent, otherwise. The missions, which all end in the collection of a power cell (the main source of energy in Jak's world) are different and keep you moving. In one mission, you might have to look for the power cell, while in the next you might have to trade an item for it. Quite often, that item might be a number of precursor orbs, which serve as a sort of currency in Jak's world. There are two main forms of movement in this game: travel by foot and travel by zoomer. The zoomer is a sort of hovercraft which Jak rides through areas he wouldn't be able to get to on foot. It controls pretty well, and the missions where you have to use it get progressively harder, with more obstacles and whatnot. There are a number of small bosses throughout the game; once you figure out how to defeat them, they aren't too difficult. Overall, the gameplay is well laid out with few flaws in the controls.
The storyline of Jak and Daxter is quite exciting and captures one's interest relatively quickly. Basically, Jak and his goofy buddy Daxter (who was not always an orange furball) go to the one place they were always told not to- Misty Island. They witness a meeting of the antagonists Gol and Maia with a variety of monsters around a pool of dark eco: the deadliest type of eco known to man. Daxter, being his clumsy self, falls in, and becomes an ottsel (a cross between an otter and a weasel). Of course, Jak is a nice guy, so he sets off on a quest to reverse the effect, and ends up having to save the world from Gol and Maia. The entire story is well put together and more questions arise and are answered throughout the course of the game. The characters of the series are easy to become attached to and resemble humans with long, pointy, ears. And the story isn't over at the end of Jak and Daxter. It continues into Jak 2, Jak 3, and Jak X. The storyline is seldom boring, and everything you do in the game has a purpose behind it.
The graphics are arguably the best part of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. The game boasts rich, colorful environments with hues ranging all over the color spectrum. The graphics are stylish and blended smoothly. But there is a single element to the game's graphics that make them unlike any game before it. The world thrives under a bright green sun, which creates a mystical color scheme unlike any in this world. The sky also changes from day to night gradually, and the graphics are just as beautiful at nighttime without the green sun. The objects and characters are just as well developed. Throughout the game, the player encounters various pieces of intricately and creatively designed machinery and various other structures.
The games music is captivating and draws the player in, even in the first ten minutes of playing. It is appropriately tailored to its respective area to better set the mood. The music is quite imaginative and original, and similarly to the storyline, grows with the series as a whole. In the sequel, Jak II, the music has progressed to a much darker tone than the playful compositions of the first game. The cutscene music is also well suited to the environment; in the opening scene, the music creates tension as Jak and Daxter approach misty island. The special effects, which are essential to the games realism, are well utilized and are not overused to the point that the player feels annoyed. If Jak is charged up with eco, for example, the player will hear the sound effect, a pulsating tone increasing in pitch, which adds to the excitement of the energy boost that Jak has absorbed. The voice acting added to the speaking character's personality, thus, Daxter's voice obnoxious and loud. Jak does not speak throughout the first game, only yells when he falls and punches his enemies; however Daxter's endless talking makes up for it.
Play time/Replayability- 8/10
The storyline of Jak and Daxter does not take very long to complete. The play time will be slightly extended if you attempt to get 100% by collecting all of the power cells. Even after that, you can try to collect all of the thousands of precursor orbs as an excuse to keep on playing and enjoy the scenery. In terms of replayability, some people may not find the game as enjoyable the second time since some of the missions will be too easy after the first completion, such as locating power cells. I would advise you to just move on to the next installment Jak II, once you are satisfied with your progress in the first game.
With an overall 10/10, I would definitely recommend buying this game. Its status as one of the PS2's Greatest Hits makes it affordable if purchased new, and since it was released in 2001, it is extremely cheap (usually under ten dollars) if purchased used. Renting is also an option, since it is a relatively short game. Also, if you enjoy this game, you may find Jak II and 3 worth looking into.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/13/09
Game Release: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (Greatest Hits) (US, 12/03/02)
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