Daxter - PSP - Preview
“There’s no Jak for PSP.” That’s all I heard before E3. “It’s not gonna happen, it’s too soon,” my colleague told me. Well, he was right. But he was also wrong.
Jak isn’t on PSP yet, but guess who’s coming to Sony’s handheld next year? Daxter! He’s short, has a plethora of moves that are exclusively his, and has a ton of new worlds to explore that his human sidekick may never see.
First things first: the graphics. I don’t make a habit of bringing them up before the gameplay, but this is important. Most PSP games look great but have a distinct PSP look. You see certain graphic flaws and say, “Yep, that’s a PSP game. It’s spectacular, but it’s a PSP game.”
Daxter doesn’t have that. Daxter is big, beautiful, and free of jaggies. The worlds are smooth, well designed, and are comparable to most of the action/adventures on PlayStation 2. This is an incredible feat for the artists working on this game, because no one – and I mean no one – has been able to do what they are doing now.
The release date is far away so I’m guessing it’s only around 50 to 60% complete, but you’d never guess it. The gameplay is already in place and it is fantastic. Daxter’s moves include fast strikes and spin moves, jump attacks and various combos. He’ll have other moves in the final version, as well as other attributes that will help him in his quest to save the world. (I didn’t get a story synopsis, but what else would an action/adventure be about? Saving a marsupial princess whose likely being kept in another castle?)
Controlling Daxter is like controlling Jak: it’s smooth, smooth, smooth. Push lightly on the PSP’s thumb pad and he’ll walk lightly; push it all the way and he’ll run. Once again we have something that hasn’t been done very well on the PSP until now. I know it takes time to get used to new hardware and their varying controls, but it’s great to know that Daxter will be a game that other developers follow, just as Jak & Daxter was on the PS2.
I’m still sad about the release date – spring 2006 – but don’t worry, because this will very likely be one of those games that turns out to be worth the long wait.