Review by The Duff Man
Jak and Daxter is made by the same creator of Crash Bandicoot. Fortunately, Crash is now “dead” and the duo have taken over the scene. Jak and Daxter are two mischievous friends that like having fun, getting into trouble and whatnot. Throughout the game you’ll be searching for power cells to restore Daxter to his previous form. These power cells can be found by searching in various places, or trading things with the villagers. I don’t want to spoil anything, so let’s move on!
Control: The control in this game is one to be noted. The right analog stick is used to make your character run around. Various other buttons like X make your character jump, and other buttons can make you spin and roll. A combination of buttons can sometimes add a new move, like R1 and X at the same time gives you a extra high jump. The controls are similar to Crash Bandicoot, so if you are familiar to that game, there won’t be any problem here. The camera is also fully customizable by using the right analog stick, so you can set it to your own preference.
Overall – Beautiful controls and easily adjustable camera – 10/10
Presentation: So-so menus aren’t anything special. They have some style and design, but nothing that will blow your socks off. The menu you are presented with when you press START, gives you a summary of all the power cells you’ve collected in different areas, it is fairly helpful and you’ll find yourself checking it to see how you’ve progressed in a certain area.
Overall – The presentation is mediocre – 7/10
Story: This story is decent. It makes a reason for you to collect the power cells. Without it it would feel like you’re on a treasure hunt, having to search for the power cells as a chore. The story basically says you’re collecting the power cells in hope of finally returning Daxter to his previous form (human). He is currently a small, witty animal that cracks jokes frequently. This form Daxter is in, resulted in having too much curiosity, but I won’t spoil anything for you.
Overall – The story is fine, and will keep you interested – 8/10
Gameplay: This game proves collecting items can be both fun, and interesting. Your job is to go across various areas and collect power cells. In total there are 101 in the game. The power cells are collected by either donating a contribution to people in the villages, or a donation to the special statues. You can also find them randomly placed throughout the levels. This game will remind you of Crash Bandicoot, because he has the exact same moves. You will however be able to travel in full 3-D unlike Crash. The interaction with enemies is fun, and doesn’t get boring. The challenges for getting the power cells are all unique. Also, the fun hovercrafts are great to control and easy to turn. The game itself will more likely remind you of the PSone classic, Spyro the Dragon. With no sequel in sight for the PS2 for Spyro, Jak and Daxter may have no competition in this particular genre.
Overall – This is one fun game, that’ll keep you going for a while – 9/10
Sound: The voices are done gorgeously. The lips on the characters move perfectly with the voices. A real amount of time was spent on the character voices, especially Daxter. For some reason in this game, Jak never speaks. He’ll occasionally nod his head in approval, but that’s it. I found it a bit odd, but it shouldn’t bother you. The enemies sound okay, and the statues sound downright scary, in a good way.
Overall – Great sound matching a great game – 9/10
Graphics: The graphics in the game are stunning. Character animations look very realistic, and the game has a cartoony, kid look to it. Think of Spyro, with improved graphics. When you want Jak to jump, no stuttering will happen in his feet. Whichever foot is on the ground will jump off in the air. The framerate is also great, and I never saw any slowdown. The cinematics in the game have the same graphics as in game, but unfortunately you’re not allowed to skip cinematics no matter how many times you’ve seen them. Daxter will perform little dances after collecting each power cell, and they are very fluid and realistic. Also, the areas in the game are huge, and the size will simply astound you. They maintain a high level of design throughout the game.
Overall – Remarkable graphics for a game of this genre – 9/10
Replayability: This game has a huge amount of replayability. To fully complete the game you will have to collect all 101 power cells. This is no easy task, and will take a huge amount of searching to find them. Despite all this, you probably won’t have much of an incentive to start the game over again and try to complete it. If you do however, good look with getting all the orbs! Somehow the retrieval of power cells doesn’t feel as repetitive as it should, which is definitely a good thing.
Overall – Long time replayability to get 100% - 8/10
To buy or to rent?: This game is a no-brainer buyer. Unless you are over the age of 15 and find Spyro type games too easy, then ignore this one. There is pretty much no challenge that will keep you stuck and retrying over and over, unlike MGS2’s Extreme mode. If you need something to entertain your younger brother or sister to get them off your back, you may have found just what you’re looking for!
Overall: This game is re-distinguishing the genre and putting Spyro the Dragon to eternal sleep. RIP Spyro.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/21/02, Updated 03/28/02
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