Impressions on the precursor legacy

Akshat Jiwan Sharma, Thu Jul 25 2013

The most fascinating thing about Jak and Daxter The Precursor Legacy is that how fresh it feels even after a decade since it was first released.You play as Jak who with his trusty friend Daxter stumbles upon a meeting between two antagonists of the game. During the course of events Daxter falls into an eco well and much to his dismay he is converted into a furry little rodent. With tail. Some how Jak and daxter manage to escape this strange place and after collecting their senses decide to embark on a quest to restore Daxter's body.

After the initial intro sequence the game leaves it entirely up to you to decide on how to progress. Each world is divided into a number of connected stages. Within each stage there are a fixed number of objectives that you must complete. Completing objectives gives you power cells. Collect enough power cells and you can progress to the next world where you repeat the process.

jak and daxter

There are lots of collectibles in the game. Every stage has seven scout flies. Collecting all of them in a stage gives you a power cell. Then there are precursor orbs. They serve as game's currency. You can exchange the orbs for power cells with the residents of the village. There are 2000 orbs in total that you have to collect. Since the stages are connected performing some action in one stage might open a new path in another. For instance in the first village of the game if you complete the jungle level first it opens up the eco pads on the sand over beach with allows you to collect more power cells. The stages in the game also have a day/night dynamic. Though the changes are only cosmetic and do not affect the gameplay they do help in making the levels more immersive.

The different villages in the game are connected through the mountain passes. Which you have to cross using the hover craft. These vehicle missions provide a nice change to the standard platforming actions and are quite well done. You only need to do them once for each village and later if you feel like revisiting them you can just use a teleporter.

The residents of the village are goofy and eccentric(much like in another platformer that I played recently). There is a farmer who is too lazy to tend to his herd. He does nothing but sleep all day. There is a troubled fisherman who is loosing all of his catch to poisonous eels. There is a mighty hero who has lost to a formidable opponent and is now is despair. There is a gambler who has lost everything, even his pants, due to his habit. But my favorite of them all is the drunkard at the bogey swamp. The foul rats have eaten his food and all he is left with is his barrels of wine and a few morsels that can keep him alive.

The combat in the game is all hand to hand. Though eco powers add some twist. There are three types of eco powers that you can get in the game. Blue eco makes you go fast. It is useful for platforming parts and opening new areas in the game. The yellow eco is more offensive. Kills the enemies in a couple of blows. The red eco is defensive. It grants you a temporary invincibility and one hit kills.

The animation of the enemies is top notch. The snakes in the jungle level bend and swirl. The construction bots use their drill to attack, though they are puzzled if the drill jams which gives you a chance to attack them. The worker grunts fly on balloon bicycles (don't ask me!) and die if you pop the balloons. The game often gives you a chance to turn the table on the enemies. In misty islands there is a section where the enemy trolls are firing canon at you. If you can find a way to reach them you can defeat the enemies and use the canons to blast open some crates.

During the second half of the game the plot really opens up. You now know what the plan of the villain is and in certain areas you can actually see them scavenging for materials to realize their nefarious designs. If you revisit some areas of the game after the revelation you can make out why the enemy is doing the stuff that he is. Even the grunts flying on the balloon bicycles make sense. The layout of every stage serves a purpose and it is very satisfying once it starts to make sense.

Thoughts on the vita version of the game

I played the game on the vita as a part of the HD re-release. I must say that there are frequent frame rate issues in the game. Though it is nothing game breaking it can hinder the experience for some. Still the good parts of the game are so well done that I can recommend this game to any one who likes platformers in general.


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