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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
Naughty Dog
GENRE: Platformer
December 04, 2001
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier

Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier


Jak X: Combat Racing

Jak 3

More in this Series
 Written by John Scalzo  on June 26, 2001

First Impressions: Look! Up in the sky. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Crash Bandicoot. Wait, no it isn't.

Naughty Dog Software was the geniuses behind the Crash Bandicoot series, Sony's first "mascot" title that was meant to compete with Mario and Sonic, and a darn good platformer at that. Well, Crash has flown the coop, settling in with Universal Interactive. So what's a Naughty Dog to do? (will... resist... humping leg joke). Well, if you're these Naughty Dogs, you get right back on that bicycle and try again.

So here we are with Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Jak and Daxter are a young guy (with hair to the sky, naturally) and his animal sidekick. Jak is our young adventurer. And Daxter is his little furry sidekick, although he wasn't always Jak's furry sidekick. He used to be a real boy, until he got zapped in this pool of energy (that'll teach you to go swimming right after eating). So now Jak and Daxter are off searching the land to find the cure that will change Daxter out of this Pokemon-reject state and back into a real boy.

The world that Jak and Daxter run around in is incredibly detailed. Jungles, rivers, waterfalls, fiery dungeons, and of course, the giant foreboding castle with lightning crashing among the towers. That's right, all your favorite 3D platformer locations are all present and accounted for in Jak and Daxter. And there's more than a little passing resemblance in Jak and Daxter to the aforementioned Crash Bandicoot series. It's very subtle, but you can tell that these are the same guys that made both Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter.

But similarities aside, Jak and Daxter is a very impressive looking platformer. Jak moves smoothly and can run, jump and swim his way through these massive worlds, just like a good mascot in training should be able to do. And don't forget those puzzle solving skills. Like all good platformers, Naughty Dog won't make it easy for Daxter to get his opposable thumbs back. The worlds are detailed and stretch as far as the eye can see. The enemies are appropriately monstrous. The characters that Jak and Daxter run into are definitely that, characters. They're all unique and more than a little strange looking. And if we could hear them talk, I'll bet it'd be funny. But no, no sound from the game released yet to the non-E3 going public, just this weird new age music that they used in the trailer, no sound effects, just basically Enya. And at this point, I don't know if that'll be in the finished game or not.

Final Thoughts
Jak and Daxter looks like your standard platformer on the surface. But by the winter of this year we'll get to see if it plays as good as it looks. Because if it does, give old Jak the big head and zipperless suit and I'll be happy that he's my mascot.

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