GBA REVIEW: TAK 2: THE STAFF OF DREAMS

I'm not sure how popular Tak is in the cutthroat industry that is TV cartoons. But I can tell you he wasn't too popular in his first GBA adventure. This sequel, Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams manages to be different than the first game but it's still far from original. My prediction is that Tak will remain as popular as he ever was - which means that I don't expect to hear a lot from him in the future.

I'm sure there are some kids that are going to receive Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams as a stocking stuffer whether they like it or not. My advice to you kids is that if you really enjoy the cartoon, try to keep from making mention of it around the house, otherwise Mom or Dad may decide to buy this game for you don't want that. Not when there's all kinds of great games out there now.

Tak is a witchdoctor that you control through numerous jungle-inspired levels. Each level is big, consisting of several sub-levels. Taking hits from the average enemy barely registers on your health meter but occasionally they are capable of launching instant death attacks in which you will have to start from the beginning of the level. This is annoying to say the least.

Capitalizing on the witchdoctor theme, Tak is able to use magic and potions in addition to traditional platform moves. Unfortunately you have to have Juju juice in the Juju meter to perform even basic moves such as a double jump. Finding the juice isn't much of a problem but it bogs down the gameplay which isn't all that stimulating to begin with.

Exploring is encouraged to locate orbs which can be traded for magic, weapons and other goodies. You must follow a magical trail of particle effects which will lead you to a secret area where you can find an orb. It's kind of a waste since you can get plenty of orbs at one time by playing the mini-game.

I like the artful graphics which have a hand-drawn look to them. The animation is good and the controls are decent. More unique moves and abilities would have been welcome. The story has merit but you'll have to pour over plenty of text to follow it. The music is rhythm based, influenced by tribal African beats and topped with an arcade sauciness.

Tak 2 is an average platformer that is really difficult to recommend to anyone other than fans of Tak. It's not bad but it's not very memorable. Do you have fond memories of KOA the Kangaroo? Probably forgot all about it didn't you? You can expect to forget Tak 2 in much the same way.

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System: GBA
Dev: Avalanche
Pub: THQ
Release: Oct 2004
Players: 1
Review by Dan
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
3.0
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
1.5