Pandora's Tower Review
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but swords and chains excite me. Should you climb the towers in Xseed's JRPG/adventure hybrid to save your cursed (and tragically whiny) girlfriend?
[ Editor's Note: As Nick Olsen is a writer for Theory of Gaming, this won't be counted in the monthly Vox Pop prize. However, it is very much a worthy read. ]
By Nick Olsen
Co-founder, Theory of Gaming
In 1985 Nintendo started a revolution when it...
The Good: Looks great, big, lots of powers, fun mini games, lots of upgrades
The Bad: Repetitive, hard, feels old
Ahhh…good ‘ol Jak & Daxter are back at it again in their first return since Jak 3 in 2004. Lost Frontier is a great addition to the series and has a lot to offer. For starters, you will notice how beautiful the game is in the traditional J&D art style with great controls, story, and voice acting.
The Dynamic Duo is trying to stop the evil space pirate Skyheed from taking the Eco core and using it to destroy the world. With some great plot twists this 6-8 hours adventure will leave you hooked and guessing at every second.
When it comes to Jak & Daxter games it all boils down to combat and platforming, but Frontier adds some mini games in the bunch that are very fun and satisfying. Jak and use his for guns and shoot away, but he also has an array of melee attacks that can be upgraded. There are quite a bit compared to previous games, and you can easily mix up shooting with combat to keep yourself out of danger. Another great addition are the Eco powers you pick up such as a burst you can shoot, slow down time, a shield, teleportation, and even Eco crystal manipulation. Sound awesome? Well most of them are passive, but there are quite a few and it keeps things mixed up.
The biggest addition is being in the air almost most of the time. You get three different planes and you can buy and upgrade weapons, armor, and other mods with the scrap you find from shooting down enemy planes. Daxter can actually attach to planes mid flight to initiate a mini game so he can tear off mods to add to your collection instead of having to buy them. This mini game is fun, but gets tiring very fast. Flying the actual plane is easy since the controls are great, and being able to fire three different weapons to your custom
Like in all Jak & Daxter games there are useless tidbits of side stuff you can too that I always found useless. In the beginning of the game you can do this hunt and seek Precursor orb thing, but I could never figure out what you do with all those orbs. You find them throughout the game, but never does anything come up where you can use them. Another useless tidbit is in the open world (which by the way is huge) you can shoot dark eco crystals and take them to this statue thing and it gives you precursor orbs…makes no sense, but I guess it’s for hardcore fans. Another mini game that is new is Daxter now finally gets infused with Dark Eco and gets put in a top down mini game.
My biggest gripe about this game is the difficulty. The game can be so hair pulling, PSP throwing frustrating and this includes the boss fights. You can die so easily in the game and the enemies have so much health no matter how much you upgrade it really gets tiring, and that’s the problem with this game. It gets tiring after a couple of hours and starts to lose its charm. The game is pretty much the same just destroy this ship or go down here and beat up these guys. There are some puzzles throughout, but they aren’t anything really all that special.
Lost Frontier is worth maybe a weekend rental, but it is great and five years was way too long before a new J&D game sprouted. I’m hoping the duo can make it to the PS3, but the formula feels almost 10 years old and needs a major upgrade.