first appearance as a leading man could spell trouble
for the charismatic team. by
29, 2006 - Daxter
may sound like only half a game, in the same way that
"mother" is only half a word (think about
it, I'll give you a moment.) That's because Daxter
was one half of the team of Jak & Daxter. It seems
that Daxter was too irrepressible of a character to
be regulated to sidekick status. So now he's starring
in his very own game and giving Jak a run for his
is a game full of bugs - but not technical bugs like
you're probably thinking. Daxter becomes an exterminator
after he's overheard in a bar bragging about his bug-killing
skills. He's also on the lookout for Jak but doesn't
wasn't to find him too soon since he's enjoying the
attention of being the star of his own game. Is there
some kind of coincidence between the infestation of
these metal bugs and the disappearance of Jak? Although
the orange, furry creature known as Daxter is having
a hard time going it alone in this game, he's going
to do whatever it takes to search for clues throughout
Haven City and get to the bottom of things.
is a very funny game in the tradition of Ratchet &
Clank but not as edgy as Conker the foul-mouthed squirrel.
There are some genuine moments of bad taste which
I just can't get enough of. The gameplay is fashioned
after old-school platforming. There is some combat
and there are some puzzles but platforming forms the
foundation of this game. And it's a solid foundation.
The controls are superb and Daxter has a wide assortment
of moves, although not as many as in some games. It's
the variety of ways that he can put his moves to different
uses that makes the game easier to play and ultimately
more fun since there isn't a lot of obvious repetition.
Daxter still performs the same basic moves such as
crawling, jumping and climbing but they are used in
different contexts and situations.
can stop on a dime, and that's important in platform
games. He doesn't slide around on solid surfaces after
a landing, unless they are intentionally slippery.
Much of the control system is very forgiving but it
really doesn't make the game any less challenging,
just more convenient to navigate. For instance, when
Daxter approaches an object that he's going to climb,
he will intuitively make the transition from walking
or crawling to climbing, without having to fuss too
much over having to move him in a precise location.
air ducts to get around inside homes you will notice
that you can enter various rooms without any load
times. That's because the game is streaming. In all
actuality the load times are disguised when you approach
doors that take a while to open. They will go through
some kind of Rube Goldberg process as the chains and
pulleys engage in intricate animated sequences specifically
designed to disguise load times.
electric flyswatter is one of the weapons that Daxter
uses to kill the metal bugs. But the best and most
versatile weapon is the bug-spray canister. Not only
can it be used to kill bugs but it can be used to
propel Daxter into the air and across open spaces.
The more propellant that he has in the canister, the
longer he can float in the air and the further he
can go. Some of these open spaces are too wide to
jump across so you have to use the can. By adding
a flame you can turn the canister into a flamethrower
which will give you an extra boost when soaring into
the air and when used as a weapon.
items are called Precursor Orbs and you'll find them
in abundance throughout the game but they aren't always
easy to get. There are times when you'll have to make
a decision to go for some and risk getting killed.
There's one level where you jump from train to train
to avoid various tunnels and objects that might knock
you off. At the same time you're also attempting to
collect the orbs, which can be very distracting. When
you collect enough of them, you will activate a dream
sequence in which Daxter dreams about playing mini-games.
These are a good source of unlockables and power-ups
such as new moves and health extensions.
are unlimited so you can replay troublesome areas
until you get it right. The first half of the game
is relatively easy so you won't have many worries
until later. Checkpoints are plentiful, almost to
a fault. One seems to occur as soon as you make your
way to a new screen. This is a good feature for a
portable unit since with the auto-save feature you
can restart the game very close to where you were
when you shut it down.
Combat is the name of the multi-player game that can
be played over the Ad Hock Wireless system with another
player. It forces you to play the single-player mode
to search for bugs and bug upgrades that you will
use in this mode. The single-player mode is linear
so there's not a lot of new places to explore. Still,
these bugs and upgrades are hidden so you have to
check all the nooks and crannies.
Combat works like a version of rock/paper/scissors
where you put a specific bug in the ring in hopes
of it defeating your opponent's bug of choice. The
interesting thing about the game is that you can change
your bug on your last move.
is an amazing looking creature. He's loaded with personality
and his animated movements are fluid and well detailed
as he slinks around with tail wagging and ears flapping.
There isn't much for background animation but the
environments have a solid and clean look to them with
great 3D perspectives. There is a little slowdown
in the big cities where there is more background animation
but it's totally forgivable considering how great
the overall production values are.
is still a great genre but it's been overdone to death
in the last 10 years with very little innovation.
But when a game like Daxter comes along and claims
the genre for its own, it's time to sit up and take
as the Dastardly Daxter - Daxter allows gamers to
play from his perspective offering a distinctive
set of moves with agile abilities that allows players
to climb walls, creep up on enemies, fit in small
places and maneuver vehicles.
Best In Action Platforming - Taking a job as a pest
exterminator, to fight an ongoing invasion of metal-bugs,
Daxter comes equip with gadgets to rid the city
of these metal nuisances. Get close up and personal
by using your flimsy bug swatter to squash an army
of attacking insects or your spray gun to hover
around a variety of environments while picking up
Wi-Fi Gameplay - Compete head-to-head against crushing
opponents in a variety of mulitplayer combat arena
New PS2 and PSX Portable Connectivity - Gamers can
use their PlayStation Portable to unlock drivers,
vehicles and graphics for Jak X: Combat Racing or
connect to their PS2 to open up secret features
in Daxter via USB connection.