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Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier Preview

Ben_Card By:
GENRE Adventure 
DEVELOPER High Impact Games 
RP What do these ratings mean?

Finder's keepers.

This holiday season, gamers will no doubt be up to their thumbsticks in highly anticipated sequels like Assassin’s Creed 2 and Modern Warfare 2, but until November, they’ll be twitching like sufferers of Asperger’s syndrome. Fortunately, High Impact Studios has a remedy to scratch your post-summer twitch in the form of Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier for PSP. 2006’s Daxter was the best PSP launch title (and is still arguably the best title thus far) and what made it - and all other games in the series - so great was its fantastic gameplay, light-hearted tongue-in-cheek characters, and its “easy-to learn, difficult-to-master” shtick. Judging by the three levels in the demo that High Impact sent us, Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier will be more of the same goodness.

click to enlargeThe story takes place after Jak 3 and references all the previous games in the series (even Jak X of all things). The gameplay is broken up into three distinct play styles, all unique, and all varied and fun enough to warrant the constant change. There’s “standard” mode which is most like the standard Jak and Daxter affair and consists of the same kind of puzzle-platforming.

You also have a gun of sorts, if jumping on heads and spin attacks aren’t for you. The gun in the demo only had two different types of ammo: a long-range shot for more precise shooting and a more shotgun-like ammo for the point-blank kill. You’ll also have Eco powers, including a super boosty jump that will no doubt aid in finding the more elusive precursor orbs that are on high platforms, and a crystal-like power that activates platforms and bridges.

Then there’s “Dark Daxter” mode, where you’re more beastly and which plays out more like God of War. In this mode you’ll mostly mash buttons and wreak havoc on your opponents with all the grace of a very, very pissed-off rhino. This mode is a lot of fun in a visceral way, albeit challenging. Your health constantly drains, and you need to aggressively press the action to stay alive.

click to enlargeEvery Jak & Daxter game thus far has featured a vehicle section that was frustrating enough to make some players take up table-top gaming in lieu of piloting another flying go-kart through a crowded city, but the vehicle section in the demo was one of my favorite parts. The controls are easy to pick up, and you’ll be tearing up the skies like an ace in no time. You’ll have a basic machine gun, manned by your furry little sidekick, for direct attacks using lock-on missiles to take out stronger, out-of-reach targets. In addition to manning (or is it rodent-ing?) the main gun, Daxter also repairs your ship if you take any damage; kind of like an FPS, you need to get out of danger quickly so he can make repairs.

Jak & Dakster: The Lost Frontier is shaping up to be one of the biggest releases for the PSP this holiday season. Look for it this November.

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