Review by Nando_X
"Burns brilliantly but only for half as long"
Have you ever had really good quick sex? Well that's about how I'd describe this game. It rocks while it does when it does but before you know it, it's over all too soon.
The funny thing is that after the gigantic monstrosity of a game that was Donkey Kong 64 you kind of expect every one of these hunting and collecting games to follow suit. But bigger and longer isn't always better. But before I digress further into more tired sexual innuendo, let me proceed with my review.
Jak & Daxter is from the mastermind developers at Naughty Dog. The opening tune in the game reminds me very much of the Crash Bandicoot series of games. This actually worked against the game for me because I like what it is on its own much more than the Crash Cow that's gone multi console.
Let's start with the graphics. This is a pretty game, not pretty like Devil May Cry but pretty for what it is. This is next generation and while it probably won't win any awards for its looks, it looks good. There's no loading time at all between the levels which are almost seamlessly interconnected. In fact if you look off into the horizon, you can see the levels that you have already been to or have yet to explore.
This makes the world of Jak & Daxter very alive and tangible as opposed to the hub based business that was Mario/Rayman/Donkey Kong/Banjo Kazooie/*insert your favourite N64 platformer here*.
The graphics are cartoony and the animations are done quite nicely. Jak & Dax have some nice attack animations and Jak looks like a gorilla when he jumps up and down continuously. Daxter has some hilarious animations and plus, he has this crazy smile that just makes me want to laugh.
The environments in the game are vast and fantastic. You have your standard water, snow and lava levels and they all look great. There's not much slow down except when there is a lot of stuff going on at once.
The Boss battles are pretty impressive with some wonderful effects. Naughty Dog were very pro-PS2 from the get go when everyone else was complaining as to how hard the system was to develop for. Their expertise shows as this game moves along at a silky 60 frames per second pretty constantly.
The gameplay is pretty standard and dare I say it, easy. In fact, I actually finished this game which is quite a feat considering I have yet to finish Super Mario 64 completely. The challenge wasn't that great though there were definite challenges there.
Actually, I take it back. The game wasn't easy. It was just very forgiving. You have an endless amount of lives and believe me, you will need them but at the same time, the final boss battle kind of had me going... what, that's it?
I think that's the problem with the game. I collected everything and I mean everything before I beat the final boss. Then there was nothing to do. There wasn't much of a surprise or a reward at the end for doing that. The game was... over.
I guess I was expecting more. A bonus perhaps but once you're done, you're done and the credits role, again and again. Naughty Dog could have implemented something more, some kind of unlockable goody, something.
I do have to admit though that I felt driven to find everything. I usually don't bother with these types of games. With Donkey Kong 64 there was just far TOO MUCH stuff to collect. You lost track of it after a while. I ended up not even finishing that game before I sold it off because I got tired of it. This game keeps it minimal but is enjoyable for the collector in all of us.
I played it pretty much straight through as well and coming from a person who has over 5 different game consoles, that's saying a lot.
I whole-heartedly recommend this game. It's fun and it's the closest thing to Super Mario 64 that you are going to find on the PS2. It's not terribly challenging unless you want to collect every precursor orb and power cell but even then it's more of a jog through the park than a simple walk.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/19/02, Updated 08/19/02
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