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Can there really ever be too much of a good thing? Not, according to development studio Avalanche Software and publisher THQ, whose partnership has wielded two successful platformers in the original Tak universe. The continuing adventures of the pint-sized sorcerer and would-be hero to the Pupanunu people have sucked in a dedicated fan base of platformer junkies young and old alike. Now, Avalanche and THQ have created a third installment in the series, Tak: The Great Juju Challenge.
When taking aim at a game for kids, it's hard to bring a fresh perspective to the table. Having been through COUNTLESS mascot action/platform titles, it's easy to dismiss anything non-Mario or Sonic and move on. The problem with that is, for every Spryon, Blinx, Bubsy or Aero the Acrobat, a new and worthwhile character emerges from the rubble. Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank are two recent examples of characters who distanced themselves from the pack of also-rans. The Tak series has been gradually gaining acceptance as a success story, and Tak and the Great Ju-Ju Adventure had me playing right alongside my seven-year old. More on that later.
Not since Banjo and Kazooie has there been a pair of characters as interesting as Tak and Lok. In The Great Juju Challenge, their latest surreal adventure, the two heroes must work together in unique and entertaining ways. Sound familiar? The gameplay premise sounds like the other guys, I know. But this isn't the other guys. It's Tak and Lok's adventure, taking place in a weird fantasy world that'll gain numerous "ooooohs!" and "ahhhhhs!" from kids everywhere.
Au programme : des sauts, de la grimpette, des descentes en liane, beaucoup d'humour, des personnages attachants, des décors variés et attrayants... bref, tout ce qui fait un bon jeu de plateforme.
Game Informer Magazine
Someday, there will be a great game starring these characters, but I have yet to actually see it. Tak and Lok (who is now playable) are funny and endearing, but the gameplay has yet to live up to the characters' potential.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to squabble with a title that lets you slide down endless vines before flying off to whack a few enemies around the head with a large mallet. If that sounds at all immature, then that’s entirely appropriate. Platform titles on the whole are still finding their feet a decade on from the dimensional leap that was almost forced upon them.
Même si la série n'est pas dénuée de charme, on se rend bien compte que les épisodes de Tak se suivent et finissent par se ressembler un peu trop. Bien que le système de progression ait subit quelques modifications, le déroulement de l'aventure ne nous étonne pas assez et laisse un sentiment de déjà-vu. Reste heureusement les bonnes idées inhérentes à la progression en duo, avec notamment la possibilité de jouer à deux simultanément.
Next Level Gaming
Ho hum. That's the feeling I got playing this game. I love a god action adventure game, but this one left me wanting. The controls felt loose and sluggish, and so did the rest of the game. It doesn't have much graphic firepower, and really the only things I enjoyed were some of the puzzles when I could get Tak and Lok to do what I needed them to do. This is one of those games that if your 9 year old pointed to on the shelf at Blockbuster, then you could justify the rental fee. But this is not a game for any serious gamer.
Tak 3: The Great Juju Challenge is the third iteration of the Nickelodeon-fueled Tak franchise, which focuses on a young (or maybe he's old--but he's certainly cute either way) tribal boy named Tak and his dopey buddy Lok. The story centers around a competition that happens once each generation, called, you guessed it, The Great Juju Challenge, which tasks competitors with completing various levels, competing in vehicle destruction challenges, beating the clock, and scoring the maximum number of points. The gameplay focuses on the balance between Tak and Lok's different moves and how they work together, and you can play single-player with the computer's help, or you can play split-screen cooperative mode with another player. Tak 3 certainly has some adorable moments, but they're overshadowed by a frustrating design and sloppy gameplay mechanics. If you're looking for a fun and interesting platform experience that won't infuriate you, you can do much better than Tak 3.
Tak: The Great Juju Challenge will please fans of the series, particularly when played with a fiend. The co-op nature of the gameplay causes a few problems if tackled alone, and the camera takes some getting used to, but the characters and story are often humorous enough to make persevering worthwhile. It's no classic, but it's certainly a game kids should enjoy.