Review by Menji

"Adios Crash and Spyro, we got a new platform mascot"

The Playstation era was home to two platforming kings; Spyro and Crash Bandicoot. Now that we are in the Playstation 2 era, there are new kings of the platformer. Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank. They currently have three games each and are working on their forth. This is Jak's first game and there are a few problems that are corrected as the series improves into a classic series.

You start of the game by listening to the Green Eco sage tell you the legend of the Precursors. The Precursors left behind all of their advance technology and were masters of eco. Eco which is used all over the world is the power the people use to live by, though they have yet to tap the potential of all eco.

Jak and Daxter being the adventurous bunch, decide to head over to the spooky isle of known as Misty Island. They wander around for a bit and then witness some dark characters plotting the fate of the known world. Curious as they are, they decide to explore the secrets of the island. Eventually they approach a large collection of dark eco and out of nowhere a large beast charges them. Jak thought quickly a lobbed a precursor artifact at the beast and the beast was destroyed. The blast however cause Jak to knock into Daxter who in turn fell into the pool of dark eco. Jak looked about a was relieve when his friend returned with his voice but a whole new body. Daxter was transformed into a creature called an Ottsel which I recently learned is a cross between an otter and a weasel.

Hoping to find a cure, they return back to their island and meet up with the Green Eco sage. He then goes on a long speech of how the only way to save Daxter is to meet with Gol: The master of dark eco. Thus they set of on their journey.

Gameplay is like a normal platformer with some new elements. Jak can do things like double jumps, high jumps, rolling turbo long jumps, dive attacks, and uppercuts. With these moves along with spins and kicks, he is able to stop any monster that gets in his way. Throughout the game Jak gains the ability to drive vehicles, mainly because there are to many jumps for him to make by himself, thieves have taken something or he needs to get passed some lava. Instead of gold coins, Jak has many things he can collect and use. Precursor orbs are our equivalent to money and Jak mainly uses these to buy Power Cells. Power Cells are received after completing objectives and are used to power up machines and vehicles.

The rest of the items are different kinds of eco, eco helps Jak recover and be able to do things that he usually cannot. Green eco is found throughout the world and heals you. Once you collect 50 of these, one of your life energies return. You have a total of 3 containers but can have a fourth if you have 50 green ecos in reserve. Next up is blue eco, blue eco gives you the ability to run faster and activates ancient technology such as doors and machinery, it can also attract green and blue eco particles. Yellow eco allows Jak to shoot yellow blasts of energy at monsters and in some cases allows him to operate guns and shoot monsters. Lastly is Red eco, this eco powers up your attack and allows you finish off enemies quick than usual.

Graphical quality in this game is pretty poor, compared to Jak II, this game looks very disgusting. Luckily, the games cartoonish feel saves the game and as the old saying goes, “Don't judge a game by its graphics” is never truer. The only other problems besides the graphics are that the game is pretty short (about 17 hours) and if you die you may respawn quite a ways back from where you died from. Which can be really annoying when you are about to get an item and you fall of and have to redo 5 minutes of tough puzzles.

The music and sound aren't memorable but still give you a sort of upbeat feel, character voices aren't annoying and the dialogue does get pretty funny at times. I only wish the music was upbeat and flowed along with the game to match the environment, but overall it's solid.

Buy or Rent?

This is one of the few times I recommend renting a game. It's a pretty old game but should be at most renting stores. If you are a fast gamer and can complete a game in about 20 hours all in a 5-Day period, go ahead and rent this. But if you are one who likes to savor the time then buy it for $20 as a greatest hit and keep it in your gaming collection. Copies are everywhere so you shouldn't have to worry.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/27/05, Updated 07/25/06

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