Reviewed on PS2


Reviewed By: Scott MacDowall

Computer Platform: PlayStation 2
Produced by: Naughty Dog
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: All Ages
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5

Overshadowed by other more famous titles, "Jak and Daxter" crept out onto the store shelves with the accompaniment of many good reviews and little else. As anyone who's had the obvious pleasure to play it can testify - this is a great shame, for Jack and Daxter has achieved a rare accomplishment in the gaming world—it's a great game that is still proves Christian friendly.

Screenshot from 'Jak and Daxter'Beginning with a slightly uninteresting plot in typical Disney style you are handed control of the agile Jak and his sidekick pal, Daxter. Your remarkably epic adventure revolves around a quest to revert the loudmouth Daxter from furry little creature back into the original human he once was. Unfortunately their large island community is under constant attack from an army of evil monsters predictably bent on world domination. This fact gives you plenty of mini-tasks to complete along the journey and, provided you're a fan of platformer games, a good deal of fun too.

Despite being formed by the team behind the popular “Crash Bandicoot” series, Jak and Daxter is considerably more innovative. The most notable change is an absence of clearly defined levels. Instead specific stages seamlessly blend into one another, without a single loading screen in-between, giving the impression that you are simply exploring one gigantic island. As you travel around be prepared to encounter the colorful inhabitants, all of whom seem to have pressing problems only you can solve. By skillful climbing, chasing, fighting, and jumping you'll earn a collection of "power cells", consequently opening further, more imaginative, areas of the mystical island.

Screenshot from 'Jak and Daxter'Encapsulating the action are fabulous graphics that effortlessly create huge, atmospheric, arenas for the adventure. Climb atop a hill and peer out in every direction, seeing detailed scenery stretch off to the horizon. The waves will rise and fall, the sun rises in the morning and sets at night, and with such evident perfectionism it'll take an extremely observant gamer to spot a single fault in the appearance of this game. Special mention needs to be made of the wonderful animation that easily equals the best TV has to offer. Unfortunately the ethereal music fails to live up to the standard set by the graphics, yet the amusing character voices perform admirably.

Proving that you don't need to sink to violence and immorality in order to entertain people, “Jak and Daxter” is highly suitable for any age group, though younger gamers may be frustrated by its challenging difficulty setting. Jak has the ability to fight his way out of a problem, combat is never directed against human opponents, and always appears very inoffensive—this is a blood, foul language, and sexual immorality free game, yet is undeniably excellent fun throughout.

Even though it can seem somewhat repetitive, and suffers from an unhelpful camera on the odd occasion, the small faults pale into insignificance when compared to the delicately balanced gameplay. It is recommended to all Christians wondering if there will ever be a good game for the PlayStation 2 that doesn't compromise their faith. Hopefully it won't be the last.

Year of Release—2001

Positive—All I have to say about this game…My husband doesn't play much on the PS2, but he took over the controller when I bought Jak & Daxter…and he didn't give it back until he won the game a few days later! I haven't yet played it! This game can hook the young and old. It's one of the best games ever made for the Playstation 2. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Amy, age 31

Positive—Some Christians may be offended at parts of this game. The more disturbing thing in the intro movie is the Daxter person getting pushed into a pit (of energy?) and getting turned into a critter of some sorts (from a human). Most kids may not care but as parents, please check it out. Also, you do “fight” things so it is not completely violence free. Why can't playstation developers allow you to choose from the 2 joysticks versus the gamepad? This one would only let me play with the joysticks, left for movement, right for swinging the camera around. What a pain. Why couldn't they help automate the camera movement like DungeonSiege did? Okay, I'll stop complaining. This may be a good one for your family, check it out with them. My Ratings: [4/3]
   —Tim Emmerich, age 34

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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