Review by Typhon4
"The First Installment of an excellent series."
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (hereafter Jak 1) is a game that I have mixed feelings for. It is tons of fun, but the story is a bit weak. The game makes up for this in excellent game play and fun boss battles that are this games saving grace. Luckily, story isn't a crucial thing to a platformer. What is important in a platformer is good the game play, the sound, and the graphics. Story is on the second burner, and while it is nice to have a good one, a sub par story isn't gonna hurt a platformer too much.
Graphics - 10/10
The graphics were excellent. The world is lush and beautiful. Before I played this game, I had never heard of the game developer "Naughty Dog." However, in Jak 1, it is obvious that attention to detail is important to them. From the way Jak looks himself, to the various NPCs you will meet along the way, to the enemies and bosses you will battle, everything looks excellent.
There is also quite a bit of variety from level to level, and Naughty Dog seems to have worked hard on each and every one. One of the great things about this game is that when you leave one area for another, you can look back and see the area you were in, which is a neat feature that isn't in a lot of games.
Game play - 10/10
The game play is interesting. You don't have a lot of nifty weapons. You just have, well, Jak. Daxter is merely in this game for comic relief, you never use him. Jaks attacks are pretty normal. You can punch, perform a spin attack, perform an uppercut, or do a jumping smash attack. Jak is pretty scrawny at this point, but he packs quite a punch. The control over Jaks movements are almost flawless. In this game, there isn't your typical health bar. You have 3 things of "green eco" and when you get hit, you lose one. Seems simple enough, but when you kill enemies you only get small things of eco, which add to the number next to your green eco. You need to collect 100 to fill up one missing life segment.
There are other forms of eco as well. There is red eco, which doubles Jaks attack strength. There's blue eco that gives Jak a speed boost. There is also Yellow eco which is like a gun. You can shoot out yellow bursts that damage enemies. There is also dark eco, and if you end up in it, you will be hurt and eventually die. That is why the what happens as the story opens makes absolutely no sense.
Sound - (8/10)
The sound is great. Pretty fitting voice actors, but Daxters voice will drive you crazy after about the 100th death with him saying annoying phrases. The sound effects inside the game are nice as well. The game uses some generic sounds, but also uses quite a few unique sounds that enhance the game.
Music - (3/10)
There isn't much music in this game, but it really doesn't need it. Besides, the sound effects would be harder to hear if there was a lot of music in this game, and I love the sound effects present. All in all, i'm glad there wasn't a whole lot of music.
Story - (5/10)
I wasn't too thrilled about the story. The main story was fine, i'm speaking of the story you have when you are actually playing the game. It is painfully repetitive. Constantly talk about power cells and orbs can seriously start to give you a headache. Some of the missions people give you to do are dumb as well. One question I have: why does everyone seem to have a power cell to give you? This doesn't really make sense to me.
However, one thing I enjoyed was how much there was to do in one level. In most games, you move from level to level in seconds. The fact that there was so much to do lets you see the detail Naughty Dog put into everything.
Replay Value - (5/10)
Eh, I collected everything on the first trip through, so there was no real reason for me to replay it. I only replayed it because I enjoyed the game so much, so it does get a few points. Unless you missed something on your first play through, there really isn't a pressing need to replay the game.
Overall - 7/10
Jak 1 is a solid game. It starts an excellent series of games, and is everything it needs to be. Sure, there are ways it could be improved, but that is true about any game. Some people like the story, some people don't. However, even if the story doesn't grab you, you can still enjoy this game.
Closing Comments & Recommendation
I'd recommend this game. I'd suggest you rent before you buy, though. This appears to be a game where a lot of people like it and a lot of people don't. Don't take this to be a kids game, though. Anyone can enjoy it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/08/06
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