Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier - PSP - Review
If you’re like me and love the Jak and Daxter games, the thought of a PSP game with both title characters had me excited. Sure, playing a game with Daxter as the main character was great fun but we missed Jak and the firepower he brings to the series. Thankfully, Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier brings most of the things we love about the series and does not disappoint.
In The Lost Frontier, we find Jak, Daxter and Jak’s girl, Keira, are flying to uncharted lands in search of Green Eco that will save their homeland in dire need of that life supporting element. It’s a desperate and dangerous mission but with so many lives at stake the trio sees no other choice but to head for the Lost Frontier where Eco is said to be plentiful. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones looking for Eco because there are Eco Pirates willing to do anything for it as well.
We are quickly introduced to the game’s platforming action and it’s good to see that the game manages to mimic those of the PS2 games. Jak can jump, double jump and make use of his weapon that can later be upgraded. While his weapon starts off as a blunt melee weapon, the later levels allow you to use it like a rifle of sorts. Straight off the bat, you’ll also notice a few of the problems that have plagued the first game like the awkward camera angles are back. You can move the camera around but it still occasionally gets in the way of the platform jumping. I fell to my death four times and this was just the introductory mission.
Still, the camera isn’t a big enough problem that you won’t enjoy the platform gaming aspect of the game. Almost immediately we are also introduced to the ability to freely explore your surroundings, such as the ability to move around in Aeropa City and even participate in a few mini games such as a race to find glowing eggs littered throughout the city. More importantly, though, The Lost Frontier almost quickly pushes one of its best features … aerial combat.
Jak can fly the Hellcat or any other vehicle you manage to earn and participate in aero combat missions. The flight controls are simple and easy to manage so you’ll be able to do loops and drop in on an enemy ship with the best of them. The targeting system also works perfectly so the flight combat is not only handled smoothly but it makes the dogfights all the more entertaining. I would definitely not mind a flight combat Jak and Daxter spin-off game ala Jak X: Combat Racing and the game would have been even more amazing if they had included a multiplayer aerial combat mode.
Like past games in the series, there are plenty of upgrades for Jak’s weapons you can purchase in Aeropa City or via Keira. On top of the weapon upgrades, though, there are Jak’s new Eco powers that can offer an edge in strength and mobility but also to solve many of the platforming puzzles in the game. Jak can actually teleport with one Eco ability. The level design is actually very inventive in this game and accommodates the Eco powers perfectly.
What doesn’t work, however, is Daxter’s new form. At one point, Daxter falls into a sewer and is doused with a tainted flow of Eco that transforms the funny critter into a hulking version of him with his own set of abilities and combat moves. Dark Daxter, as he is called in the game, can break through weak walls, spin through the environment like a mini tornado and even shoot Eco at enemies. Unfortunately, Dark Daxter’s levels are weak and totally unnecessary that you’ll be groaning each time the game cuts to the Dark Daxter levels.
Thankfully, the Dark Daxter moments are kept at a minimum and the game concentrates more on the fun platforming action of past games in this series. Ground combat with Jak works wonderfully, although sometimes the targeting system isn’t all too precise when you’re going up against more than one enemy. There are boss battles in the game and they’re actually very challenging and will keep you busy. The Lost Frontier is also a lengthy game even if you don’t spend the time exploring the environments.
As far as the graphics are concerned, The Lost Frontier does not disappoint as well with its sharp visuals, colorful environments and slick animation during cut scenes. It’s impressive to see the PSP pull off graphics this good and offer a lot to look at throughout the game as well as insert some amazing visual effects in everything from aerial dogfights to ground battles. Even the game’s soundtrack is as good as if it were made for a console release and the voice acting is still some of the best in the series.
Aside from the few problems, Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier for the PSP is a deeply entertaining game that is true to the beloved series. It’s a straight up, addictively fun and clever game that will certainly please loyal Jak and Daxter fans. Sure, there are a few things that just fall flat but what really works makes for a game that deserves to be among your collection if you love a platform/action PSP game that is too fun to want to put down.
Review Scoring Details for Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier
Jak and his friends find themselves in uncharted territory where they get involved in some good old fashioned platforming action as well as aerial combat situations that up the action factor. The puzzles are good and plentiful. There are challenging boss battles and plenty room to explore as well. Hulking out with Dark Daxter just isn’t fun, though.
Visually, the game looks just as good as a Jak and Daxter game on the PS2. Sporting sharp graphics, colorful backdrops and loads of special effects that light up the PSP widescreen, The Lost Frontier looks good.
The voice acting is top notch with the best lines still going to Daxter. Still, the original score is excellent and the sound effects just as detailed as the visuals so you will want to play this game with earphones.
The dogfights are actually challenging enough to give your thumbs a workout and the same can be said about the boss battles later in the game.
Forget the Dark Daxter levels, it’s Jak and Daxter together on the PSP with a game that’s not only lengthy but also filled with all the things we love about the console Jak and Daxter games. Vehicles make up a good portion of the game including aerial combat.
Despite its few issues, The Lost Frontier is yet another gratifying Jak and Daxter game that feels right at home on the PSP. While we could have done without the Dark Daxter moments in the game, flying the unfriendly skies and exploring the impressive Lost Frontier is more than enough reason to pick this one up right away.