Retro Review! - Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

Naughty Dog really had something special when they started the Jak and Daxter Series. Platforming, collecting, engaging puzzles with just the right amount of difficulty, and to top it all off, it had the first seamless 3D open world with no loading screens. And who doesn’t love a furry otter-weasel hybrid sidekick? I just wish they had kept the plans to have Jak a wolf-like humanoid! Always could use more wolf characters!


Jak and Daxter starts off like any teen duo would, definitely breaking rules and being where they are not supposed to be. Who doesn’t want to sneak onto a dark -and definitely not an evil villain’s lair- island crawling with evil creatures? Unfortunately (or in our case definitely fortunately) Daxter falls into a pit of Dark Eco and transforms into an Ottsel. Thankfully for him, The Green Sage, Samos, knows of another sage who may be able to help Daxter transform back into his human form. There’s just one problem, none of the other sage’s portals are working, and haven’t been for a long time. Queue the unlikely hero duo as we platform through several areas collecting precursor orbs and power cells to find out what happened to the other Sages and help Daxter transform back to his original form. In the end they face off against a villain, who just so happens to be the sage that was supposed to help Daxter change back. This Sage, Gol, is trying to flood the world with Dark Eco and it’s up to Jak and his sidekick, Daxter, to save the world! 



So you have to save the world and you have a furry sidekick, what all can you do? The player plays as Jak, who has an innate ability to use different forms of Eco, green is life, blue is speed/magnet, red is power, yellow is…. Guns? Yeah, you shoot yellow eco orbs at enemies and difficult to break boxes. At the same time you have different abilities such as a spin attack, dash attack, double jump, and combinations of those moves to platform throughout the game. Complete puzzles, races, herding, collecting, and exploration as you navigate on a beach, in a jungle, through a volcano, under the sea, inside of a dark spider cave (of course there are spiders in the spider cave), the top of a snowy mountain, and more! Whether you’re riding the flut flut (a large blue bird mount) you saved early in the game or taking your zoomer through the mountain pass and volcano, you can go anywhere at any time with no loading screens. Want to wait on the beach until night time? The world is your Ottsel! No matter what you are doing you better be collecting precursor orbs for every villager who will need 90 each, not to mention the oracles who will want 240 each!! But hey, everyone but us seems to have power cells and that’s what we need to power our shields to get through the volcano passes, so trade those orbs and get those cells!



GF Retro Review Scores:

Gameplay: 5/5 - Some retro games feel dated while playing or have major problems in modern times. The platforming and collecting offer the perfect amount for its time. The controls are dated, but it is easy to get used to. Outstanding Job and the only thing that could make it better would be a sequ- oh it has one… (furiously goes to download it and play next)

Visuals: 5/5 - As I ran around the 3D world the textures and assets can really still compete with modern day games, which is saying something. The style is perfect for the series and had ground breaking technology for the time, with a dynamic day/night cycle and seamless 3D open world with no loading screens.

Sound: 4/5 - The sound is the only place that doesn’t get a perfect 5, and while it still had a memorable dynamic between the BGM and effects, I did on rare occasion notice some weird issues with some sounds/music stopping or playing a sound effect out of time.

Final "Retro" Score: 5/5

“Stay Fuzzy or Save the World” -Daxter

In the end our heroic duo did in fact Save the world, FOR NOW…………………….

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