Review by mononoke86

Reviewed: 01/27/02 | Updated: 01/27/02

Jak and Daxtor have taken the place of the bandicoot

You (Jak) and your best buddy (Daxtor) are exploring a new island when Daxtor clumsily falls into a tank of dark eco, which turns him into a ferret/weasel creature. This is where the quest begins. J&D must travel the land in search of power cells and other items scattered throughout the game. The power cells you collect will allow you to reach new areas in the game and eventually turn Daxtor back into his goofy looking self.

The search for items has never been so much fun. J&D run around solving fairly simple puzzles to obtain seven power cells in each area (except a few mini areas where you collect less). Like another Naughty Dog game starring a bandicoot, J&D can perform a spin attack that resembles a human tornado, a punch attack, and a double-jump. You would think this would be enough to tackle the incredible easy enemies but you would be wrong. Different forms of eco also power up the duo to beat the baddies. The eco can bestow the ability to run faster, use new attacks, and replenish health. When J&D do bite the dust, the games not over. Jak can take a total of four hits from the baddies but no worries; you reincarnate at the beginning of the area, which isn’t a big set back at all. One last thing, are you the type who likes to feel good about themselves by conquering the boss? Well, there aren’t very many bosses and the ones that you will encounter will be defeated without any real effort (especially the first boss, he’s laughable).

The graphics are amazing and very detailed. Awesome water and fire effects bring the game alive. The character models are nice too. Each character moves realistically and has great facial expressions. There are very few areas where there is some sort of fog effect to obstruct your view of the landscape. When you can’t see something it is because an object (like a mountain) is blocking your view.

The sound is also very detailed, whether it be the sizzle of a burning fire or the patter of rain on grass, J&D has it covered. The background music fits in nice with the on-screen action. Finally, each character (except Jak) has his own unique voice. I especially like the Oracles robotic voice; it’s the best.

J&D handle in a near flawless state. My every command is portrayed, as it should be. The camera is exceptionally nice. You control the direction of the camera with the right analog stick. Later when I was playing some other games, I found myself trying to realign my camera to the behind view (Grand Theft Auto III). The one issue I did have was with the double-jump. After the first jump you must hit the jump button almost immediately for the double-jump to work right. This made for some easy platform jumping that was anything but easy.

Some of you won’t like J&D because it isn’t a ''kill everything that moves'' kind of game like Devil May Cry (which I found to be a very disturbing). But, if you enjoyed Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie (both on N64) you’ll feel at home with J&D’s wacky style. Hey, if I can still juggle a monster in the air with twin pistols and have fun playing J&D, maybe you will too.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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