A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that playing Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier can be a frustrating experience because it doesn't feel truly finished. Aiming weapons is often annoying. The lack of depth perception leads you to die a lot. While the violence isn't a major issue as enemies die with a flash of light (and with no blood), the game design is. Within this confusing story are some mild cussing and sexual references of the double-entendre type.
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What's it about?
THE LOST FRONTIER, the fourth installment of the Jak & Daxter action platformer series, reintroduces you to Jak, a tough, young boy adventurer and Daxter, his wily ottsel (half otter, half weasel) sidekick. As the game proceeds, they find that Eco, the energy that does everything from growing things to giving the characters strength, is in extremely short supply. By traveling to strange locales on the ground (like lava-filled caves) and in the air (where you participate in dogfights with sky pirates), the pair work together to remedy the dire situation. They even travel to other planets in their quest to find Eco. At one point, Jak takes Dark Eco which turns him evil.
Is it any good?
Although it's somewhat repetitive, the best portion of the game happens in the air during dogfights in planes. There, you don't deal with the same confounding issues you deal with on the ground in this platformer. You can unlock as many as five planes and customize them with weaponry as well.
This could have been a worthy addition to the Jak & Daxter series. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t feel finished. The camera sometimes doesn’t work, yielding a skewed vision of this world, and sadly prohibiting visual clarity in game play. And the necessary feel for 3-D in this semi-realistic world isn’t there. When you jump from area to area, there’s no feel of depth. So, for instance, you fall, die with a gasp, and have to start again. Plus, the Dark Daxter levels suffer from inane dialog which is supposed to be humorous but is not. Dark Daxter isn't evil; he's just boring. That’s too bad because there’s steampunk-like flight on crazy airborne vehicles, the thrilling change to an evil, fanged Jak after he takes Dark Eco, and a variety of sci-fi weapons to explore. If they had spent more time on the game, this frontier wouldn’t have been so lost.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between Jak and Daxter. Which character do you like more, the heroic Jak or the wisecracking Daxter?
Do you think the story should have been made clearer? Or do you think it is fine the way it is?
There are many weapons from which to choose in the game. Which do you like best and why?
Did you find it frustrating that you died a lot in the game?
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