Review by MetalGearRexus
"More than just milking of a series."
The Jak series has always been top notch at what it does: the first was an ace lighthearted platformer and the second and third were superb matured renditions with an incredible mix of great story, flowing controls, ace gameplay, and amazing graphics. Jak and Dax, the illustrious charismatic serious/funny duo, have now taken to the streets to burn rubber and swap paint. Enter Jak X, Naughty Dog's take on the futuristic racer scene. The vehicular portions of the previous titles have now taken a step up to become their own game.
The game kicks off with Daxter telling a story of how they were welcomed into Kras city: one hell of a rocket-filled welcome. He goes on and on about how his ottsel self guided Jak on their vehicular combat intro into the city as the people around him grunt in dibelief... just to have some sense knocked into them by Jak as he crashes into the bar Dax is in, adding truth to his tale.
o mai gad, it actually has an interesting story
Yup, you heard right. The game has an intriguing story. Basically, Krew of Jak II fame invited Jak and krew (har har) to his will reading, and surprise, surprise, Krew had them poisoned by the drinks he had his daughter pour them for this "special occassion". Thing is, even his daughter drank from it since she didn't know. Why poison them? The poison is a slow-potency one that will take time to fully take effect, enough time for Krew's new recruits to win the Kras City racing championship, since ti was always a dream of Krew's.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines
The game is comprised mostly of Adventure and Exhibition modes. There is also a Secrets Shop that will keep you coming back to unlock more and more stuff as you progress and gain more precursor orbs, the currency used at the shop and for upgrading your vehicles. Yup yup, you can upgrade and customize your vehicles, down to last flag. You can customize everything about it, from hoods and fenders, to tires and side panels. The more you delve into adventure mode, the more parts you'll unlock.
Take me on an Adventure
The Adventure mode is basically comprised of 4 cups. Each cup has 60 points to be had, with points being represented by:
bronze = 1 point
silver = 2 points
golden = 3 points
So with some calculation, it boils down to 20 challenges per cup, without the cup finale being counted (so all in all 21). Challenges are varied and rarely get monotonous, ranging from Freeze mode (you have to get flakes that will freeze time as you boost your way to the finish line in attempt to beat the preset record) and Turbo Dash (you have to collect orbs and boost enough to launch it; the more you launch the more points you'll get, but, you have to be careful from being shot by your opponents' launched orbs and dodge them by leaving a present to deflect them... more on that later) to Deathmatches and normal Circuit Races.
What about the driving and action themselves?
Ah yes, I've yet to talk about the game mechanics proper. Basically, you pick a vehicle and take it to the track. Their are three types of eco on the tracks, blue, yellow, and red. Blue takes care of boost fuel. Yellow is for front weapons and read is for rear weapons. Yellow weapons are more offenssive in nature and will tear down through enemies in seconds, making way for some nice vehicular fireworks. Red weapons are really useful though: when your opponents unleash their yellow weapons of doom towards you, you'll get a box that keeps closing in on the middle on your vehicle, and by the time it locks on to you, you've been hit So, what happens is that the moment you're about to get hit, you release your rear weapon and deflect the oncoming weapon. Real cool.
The tracks are riddled with amazing scenery and come in all shapes and sizes. There are tons of these tracks, but the shortcuts are limited. You won't mind though, since you'll getting most of your frills from the fierce combat and amazing vehicular skids that will make even the sharpest of turns a breeze smudged with cool. Yes, you'll feel amazingly cool as you skid + turbo corners, as it gives a sense of a great driver.
Talking drivers, there are tons of drivers, but you'll only get to experience there lines in exhibition mode, sicne: 1) in Adventure mode you'll only control Jak and 2) they make little difference sides the lines they utter on the tracks. Most of the lines are nice to listen to as you breeze through asphalt, dirt, and snow while barely giving attention to the background music.
Nothing like burning rubber with friends
Exhibition mode has all sorts of varied modes for you and friends to take part in. The multi-player portion of the game is limited to two players offline. The online portion has a full set of players. Is it fun? Definitely. The arena facet of the multi-player games is the most addictive. You never get tired of toasting your baby brother in deathmatches, getting the most kills in a game of hunting, or frantically turboing to the next artifact in a capture-the-most-artifacts match. This adds to the life span of the game after you bring down the Adventure mode in about 15 hours.
I can oogle all day long
All this takes place on a great smooth graphcis engine. The graphics are great and framerate smooth as silk... that's proly all you need to know.
Give me my bottomline
So, all in all, sweet fun racer with varied tracks, vehicles, and game modes all held together by intriguing story and sweet adventure mode.
+Sweet frenetic combat action
+Varied tracks, vehicles, and modes
+Sweet adventrue mode held by god storyline
+Fun multi-player off and online
+Tons of secret stuff to unlock, ranging from vehicles to extra video reels
-Some challenges sometimes get annoying
-There is little to the characters other than their lines
-You can't hold on to first place a lot in races as CPUs most of the times unleash the first-place-tracker-ball-of-fury
- Being forced to connect with the PSP game Daxter to get some extras (not for 100% completion though)
Gameplay/Fun Factor: 8
Lifespan: 7-8 (depending on if you're going to be multi-playering or not)
Final score: 8
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 05/22/06
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