Tak and the Power of Juju
With the upcoming holiday season on the horizon, gamers will undoubtedly begin to feel the weight of all the choices they'll have to make in the upcoming months. With so many titles coming out in so short a time, which ones are worth spending time with? Some of the choices are obvious, but others won't be. Tak and the Power of Juju may not seem to be much from the outside, but it's just as deserving of your time as that big named title with the power of hype behind it.
Tak and the Power of Juju is your typical platform game. How typical? Well, let's make a checklist.
Goofy main character and sidekick? Check.
Collection centered quest? Check.
A little dance after something important is collected? Check.
Jumps, double-jumps, and long jumps? Check.
Cute, colorful, and kid-friendly settings? Check.
Various mini-games, including the inevitable snowboarding level? Check.
Despite these irritating clichés of the genre, Tak is still a fun title. Levels are large with a lot of interesting gameplay mechanics that keep things fresh throughout the game. There is a good deal of collecting, but oddly enough, it never feels like you're participating in one huge collect-a-thon thanks to the sheer amount of diversity in the gameplay.
Perhaps Tak's greatest strength is its humor. While most platform games aimed at kids try to dumb down their story and dialogue, Tak takes a completely different route with an engaging and humorous story coupled with witty dialogue.
While Tak does a lot of things well, that's not to say it does everything right. Tak's move set is limited so combat can feel boring -- I often found myself trying to avoid it completely. Another issue is that objectives aren't clearly defined so there's a lot of aimless wandering trying to figure out where to go. Also, the controls feel a bit stiff when compared to the ultra-precise handling of other platform games.
Going hand-in-hand with the humorous presentation are the visuals. Tak and the Power of Juju has a definite cartoon flare look to it, which is no surprise since the game was made in collaboration with Nickelodeon. Overall, it looks terrific, but there are some issues. Environments are a bit blocky, textures are a bit drab, and there are some noticeable framerate hitches, but Tak and the Power of Juju still looks great despite these faults.
Whether intentional or not, the music in Tak isn't obtrusive, and rarely do you notice it. It just fits in with the theme of the game real well. The voice-acting is fantastic as well, but some of the lines just don't work. Tak has taken a cue from the Internet community and shouts phrases like, 'Owned'? whenever he does something worth mentioning.
Some games are destined to be defined as 'kiddie'? among the gaming populous ' Tak and the Power of Juju will undoubtedly one of those games. Looks can be deceiving, however, as Tak is a prime example. Whether you're a kid, or just a kid at heart, do yourself a favor and check out Tak and the Power of Juju.