Tak 2
The Staff of Dreams

Format: PS2
4 005209 061889
Age Restrictions: 3+
24 March 2005

Join Tak in an epic adventure, as he learns new Juju magic to recover the Staff of Dreams and defeat Tlaloc once and for all. It's not easy being Jibolba's apprentice, and Tak's got the bruises to prove it. Now dabbling with new abilities, Tak is creating a little Juju magic of his own! He's even working on mastering the ancient Juju magic of the animals. Between possessing them and turning into his Spirit Animal, Tak's got a lot to learn. And he better do it fast because Tlaloc has begun his return with vengeance on his mind...

Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams builds well on last year's (2004) Tak and the Power of Juju. Fans of the first game will find that this second instalment improves upon the original format, ever so slightly.

All the familiar elements are here - interaction with animals, colourful environments and jungle sounds - but there are few nice additions that will impress even the most hardened of gamers.

The cut movie sequences are not only some of the best rendered sections of animation we've ever seen on a PS2 game, but they are also incredibly funny.

One of the best mini games, within the main game, is the wild water ride. In this level you must guide Tak, who is stuck in a barrel, down the perilous currents of a river - dodging rocks and ducking under low branches. The graphics are truly breathtaking and anyone whose heart doesn't race while playing this section of the game should stop playing console games altogether. It's the next best thing to going on a theme park ride - and you won't have to queue for hours either.

There are also a good collection of "Dinky" games including phoenix fight, snowboard race, sandboard trick score, mummy shuttle and feather frenzy.

Sadly, the main game becomes a little too repetitive after a while. Jumping around and killing monsters becomes boring very quickly. So it's a good job that there are plenty of mini games peppered throughout the main game to keep it fresh.

There is a major problem with the controls for this game though. There is no option to reverse the x and y axis of the camera and after six hours of play, this was still annoying for me and made it incredibly difficult to move the camera while you are running. This is not good as you can't always position the camera to see where you are going - which can be fatal.

All in all this is an above average offering. Fans of the first game will love it and it will certainly keep very young, as well as more seasoned players, amused for hours.

Pete Boomer

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