Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams

a game by WayForward Technologies

Platform: GBA

Genre: Racing

There's nothing really worth saying about THQ's second attempt at brining Tak to the world of video games. While Tak 2: Staff of Dreams offers up a more robust game with a deeper plot and more abilities, it still does little to separate itself from the myriad of games coming out this holiday season.

In this latest Tak you are on the hunt for an evil shaman who is armed with the nightmare scepter. The key to this latest adventure is Tak's Juju meter, which shows how much magical power he has on hand to perform special abilities. Unfortunately, these special abilities include just about everything you would normally want to do in an action game. In other words, to jump higher, do ground attacks or rolling attacks you need Juju. While, if handled right, this could make the game a bit more tactical in nature, this game doesn't handle it right. Instead of forcing you to think about when to use these special abilities it frustrates you, because there is no choice. When you have to double jump, you have to double jump, there is just no way around it. And if you don't have the Juju you'll need to go scrounging for some.

Tak's one set of new powers allows him to turn into or control animals, something that can be quite fun but doesn't make the rest of the game worth playing. The game's levels have been designed a lot like the levels in the Mario world games. In other words you have an overhead view map that shows where you are and paths to other locations. You can wander the map and choose when to drop down to a level. You will have to beat certain levels to continue to unveil the map. The game's developers did try to add a little value to this game, by sprinkling hidden areas through-out the levels. To find these hidden areas you have to look for sparking spots and then go into dream mode, which reveals hidden platforms and sometimes turns bad guys into good ones.

Overall, Tak 2: Staff of Dreams is an unimaginative platformer and action game with a wildly unbalanced difficulty and nothing that would make you want to keep or even finish the game.

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