I recently beat “Jak X: Combat Racing” for the second time with 100%. It took a little over 3 weeks. I originally wasn’t sure about getting this game because I don’t usually get racing games and I didn’t know if they were going to try to be too cool. When you try to be cool, you just aren’t. But, after much thought, I finally gave in. It is a Jak and Daxter game, after all, and I’m glad I did. It ended up being much better than I expected. It is actually very fun, and it also has a decent plot and entertaining cut scenes. You’ve done it again, Naughty Dog.
In this game, Jak, Daxter, and some others are summoned toKrasCityfor the reading of Krew’s will. (Krew was a bad dude whom Jak killed in “Jak II”.) After meeting Krew’s daughter, Rayn, and drinking a toast to the deceased gang lord, they listen to a message Krew recorded before he died. Apparently, he had planned for his death and even anticipated the reactions of everyone there. He tells them that he loved racing, and he wants them to win the Kras City Grand Championship race or something. They refuse, as he expected, so he tells them that their drinks were poisoned, so they have to race in order to get the antidote. (Well, duh. I could’ve told them the drinks were poisoned. Idiots.) Now Jak and his buddies have to compete in the dangerous races while also dealing with the gang of a mysterious man named Mizo. Wow, what a complicated excuse just to make a racing game. And why is everyone always out to get Jak? Poor guy.
Like I said, this game is super fun, and as you can tell from the title, it is more than just simple racing. It is combat racing, where you both race and attack your opponents to kill them and thus, slow them down (typing this right now, it sounds rather silly, but it is awesome anyway). There are a variety of weapons you can pick up, and what you get is random. The Yellow Eco weapons are good for attacking people in front of you, such as with a gun, missiles, or bombs. My second favorite is the Peace Maker, which kills the person in first place, and my top favorite is the Super Nova that kills everyone in front of you, but you only have 10 seconds to use it. Red Eco weapons leave behind mines, oil slicks, give you shields or extra turbo, or they can even make an attack drone float over you that automatically shoots anyone that comes near. There is also this Saucer Drone that people leave behind that kills whoever it hits. Can’t even tell you the number of times that thing has gotten me. Darn me and my slow reaction time! Anyway, these Red Eco weapons are good to save because if someone shoots a missile at you, you can use it to deflect the missile. You can’t avoid the Peace Maker so easily, though. To avoid that, you can slow down and let someone pass you, then, they’ll get hit. Usually I can’t slow down fast enough, but it works sometimes.
There are also events other then racing, like Capture the Power Cell (which is like capture the flag, of course) which I hate because my team members are always crappy. Really, it’s them, not me. There’s also the Freeze Rally where you try to get through 2 laps as fast as possible by getting tokens to freeze time. You get a 10 second bonus if you get them all. There is also a Death Race where you destroy as many drones as you can either by attacking them or ramming into them. There is also Rush Hour, which is like the Death Race, but the drones all drive at you and you must ram them. It is hard to keep control of your car sometimes in this one. In the Deathmatch, you try to kill as many of the other players as you can, and in the Artifact Race, you try to get artifacts before the other players. In Turbo Dash, you get Power Cells, and then use turbo to charge up and shoot them. The more you shoot, the more points, but the problem is, Power Cells launched by other racers can hit you. I found that a good way to win is to stay behind everyone else. Then, no one can hit you, but you can give them a lot of trouble. I am a sneaky ducky.
In each challenge, you can get 3 points. Gold is 3, silver is 2, and bronze is 1. Whenever I get gold, I have no choice but to do an obnoxious victory dance. I don’t know why. Anyway, the more points you get, the more new challenges you unlock. With enough points, you can unlock the Grand Prix Qualifiers. You must get a gold in each of these to unlock each Grand Prix race. Prix is a weird word. Why is the x silent?
Anyway, these challenges take place in a few new locations and a few old. There is Spargus andHavenCityfrom the previous games. Spargus is easier to race in thanHavenCity. HavenCitycan be annoying. And it is so much hillier now. How did that happen? Did they have a major earthquake? Am I not meant to question that? The new locations areKrasCityand theIcelands. Yay.
There are lots of secrets you can unlock in this game, such as the Sand Shark vehicle from “Jak 3”, lots of car parts (Even pink, fluffy dice, which I quite like. Watch them bounce as I drive.), plus other racers you can use, such as Daxter, Pecker, and even the versions of Jak from the previous games. There is also concept art and videos. In one video, it shows one of the opening cut scenes plus the voice actors as they’re doing the voices. They’re so serious. I could never be a voice actor. I’d giggle. Another video showed the opening scene before the game starts as they were making it. It starts out with temporary voices, which sounded quite silly, and then it went to a scene with Jak driving, but at first, it just had a version of Jak from an earlier game sitting in the car motionless and expressionless as he drove. It was hilarious. I laughed so hard.
My favorite video is the bloopers, which I guess must be weird mistakes in the cut scenes while they were making the game. (How do these things even happen, I wonder.) They are quite amusing. Several of them involve characters looking horribly mangled and in a few, they have weird colors. The one I find the funniest, but also terrifying, is a nightmarish, deformed G. T. Blitz walking towards Jak and Daxter with no legs (so I guess, floating), with one arm straight up in the air, and weird colors on his face and eyes, with a mouth that moved like crazy. That could be one of the scariest things I’ve even seen, but I laughed. (It would be super scary in real life, though.) Other things in the bloopers don’t really seem like bloopers. They show a cartoonish version of G. T. and Razer’s other hairstyles. He does not look good with bangs. At all.
Anyway, I was rather proud of myself at one point in the game. There is this special thing you can do where you press X (the accelerate button) right when the banner turns from 1 to Go, and you start off at full speed and a full meter of turbo. It’s hard to time it right, but a couple times when I was almost done playing, I did it. It was awesome. I. Am Awesome.
The first time I played this game, I got 100%, so this time I was determined to do it again to see if I still could. I got all the medals except for a gold in a circuit race in the Waterworks Circuit. This course is very hard, with a lot of difficult turns, and I wasn’t sure if I could win this time. I was going to give up, but then I decided to try one more time. I was doing okay this time. I was keeping up with the other racers all right, but not expecting to win. Near the end, I was around fourth or fifth place, then, I was suddenly in second and had just picked up a Super Nova. I couldn’t believe it. I actually stood a chance this time. So I took out the driver ahead of me with my awesome weapon, then, just sped towards the finish line to victory. Yep. I still got it. I got a crazy case of the awesomes. I have become very obnoxious during this post, haven’t I?
After my victory, something funny happened when I was racing for fun in the Frozen Speedway. This area has very short laps, and one time, the screen said I was in first, but someone (Torn, if you care) was right in front of me. I thought there was some mistake, then, I realized that Torn was just extremely behind in the race, and I had gotten right behind him.
Nothing cute to report, but I love how Daxter rides on top of Jak’s car during the races, with his tail up in the air. I don’t know how he holds on, though. Especially when the car rolls over. Wouldn’t Daxter get squished?
Now, I leave you with some amusing quotes. Because I’m nice.
Samos: Oh, and the rocks say hi. (You worry me,Samos.)
Razer: Good looks and speed win every time.
Razer: Fastest around the track and my hair is still perfect.
Kleiver: (sometimes when you shoot him) So what, I’m a big target. (He is.)
I also find it rather funny that Kleiver called G. T. Blitz “Gee Whiz Blitz”. And you should, too.
High Speed Duck