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North American PlayStation Portable box art
|Developer(s)||Ready at Dawn|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Designer(s)||Michael John (Lead Designer)|
William Anderson (Additional Designer)
|Composer(s)||Jamey Scott (also Sound Effects)|
|Series||Jak and Daxter|
Daxter is a platform video game developed by Ready at Dawn and published by Sony Computer Entertainment on the PlayStation Portable on March 14, 2006. A spin-off of the Jak and Daxter series, Daxter takes place during the 2-year time-skip occurring during the opening cutscene of Jak II; unlike the other instalments of the franchise focusing primarily on Jak, the game focuses on the adventures of his sidekick Daxter while Jak is imprisoned.
As of June 11, 2008, the game has sold 2,300,000 copies, and received generally positive reviews from critics.
The game takes place in the final months of the 2-year gap presented in the opening of Jak II (and the aftermath of The Precursor Legacy), between the moment when Jak is taken prisoner by the Krimzon Guard and the time in which Daxter finally rescues him from the Krimzon Guard Fortress. The introduction shows Jak being captured, while Daxter manages to escape. Almost two years later (having no luck with rescuing Jak), Daxter has forgotten all about finding his friend. An old man named Osmo, whom Daxter meets, hires Daxter as an exterminator working in various parts of Haven City, and occasionally its environs, to exterminate bug-like Metal Heads referred to in-game as 'Metal Bugs'. During his adventures, Daxter meets a mysterious woman named Taryn who, despite being less than impressed by Daxter's interest in her, occasionally helps him.
After completing a number of missions for Osmo, Daxter sees Jak in a Prison Zoomer and attempts to chase after it. After being cornered by some Krimzon Guards (who had noticed Daxter's pursuit), Daxter is rescued by Osmo's son Ximon, who assists him with several more missions including one to Baron Praxis' palace where Daxter steals a map of the Fortress, the prison where Jak is being held. After returning to the extermination shop, an arthropod sidekick that Daxter acquired earlier is killed by Kaeden, a bitter man who seemingly wants to steal Osmo's shop, but, in actuality, is working for Kor, the Metal Head leader.
When Daxter tries to stop Kaeden from escaping the shop, Kaeden suddenly blows up the shop with a bomb he placed in the shop earlier. Daxter and Osmo survive, and Daxter promises to stop Kaeden, but only after he rescues Jak. Daxter infiltrates the Fortress and finds Kaeden, who reveals himself to be a giant Metal Bug. Daxter manages to defeat Kaeden, who tries to warn him that Kor is waiting outside for them, and then uses a hover platform to begin searching for Jak within the Fortress, leading into the opening cutscene from Jak II. After this, the game cuts to a point later in the timeline at Daxter's Naughty Ottsel Bar, where he is recounting the story to Jak, Keira, Samos, Tess and Taryn.
Due to his new job, Daxter is now equipped with an electronic blue eco powered bug-swatter, which acts as his melee weapon, and an extermination tank, which sprays green eco based bug spray to stun enemies. The tank eventually receives several modifications, including doubling as a type of jet-pack that allows Daxter to fly, flamethrower capabilities, and an ultrasonic attachment.
The flamethrower modification allows Daxter to hover higher and longer in jet-pack mode. With the ultra-sonic attachment, Daxter can shoot a blue eco projectile that causes high radial damage, but uses one fifth of the player's maximum bug spray. When the player finds a small space where Daxter's normal stance cannot squeeze through, the player simply presses the triangle button for Daxter to crouch. The game also features levels where Daxter navigates vehicles to move around massive areas quickly. The player can also double-jump in order to reach great heights.
The player can also climb certain areas by using Daxter's Ottsel abilities. Daxter can also ride on a zipline, jump onto a trampoline to reach great heights, jump from netting to netting and enter portals to other areas. There are also the traditional Precursor Orb collectibles (1001 in number), which unlock videos about the game. The game also has a new collectible known as the Golden Bug-Gems, which can be acquired immediately when you kill a bug, excluding the bosses and Haven City termites. His health can be regenerated by receiving green eco health packs, and the extermination tank's green eco based bug spray can also be regenerated by absorbing green eco clusters.
During the course of the game, Daxter can unlock "Dream Sequences", a series of five bonus games located in a bedroom behind Osmo's shop and unlocked by collecting Precursor Orbs. These mini-games feature Daxter dreaming himself into various movies as the hero, and on completing them will gain either a new attack ability, a health upgrade or on attaining gold, website codes or character costume modifications.
- Matrix Reloaded – Based on the courtyard fight scene from The Matrix Reloaded; Daxter features as Neo while Gol Acheron features as the various Smiths. This level is unlocked by collecting one Precursor Orb.
- Braveheart – Based on either the Battles of Stirling or Falkirk from Braveheart; Daxter features as William Wallace while Gol Acheron features as the various English soldiers. This level is unlocked by collecting 100 Precursor Orbs.
- The Two Towers – Based on the Battle of Helm's Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; Daxter features as Gimli while Lurkers feature as the orcs trying to scale the walls of Helm's Deep. This is the first mini-game where Daxter is physically able to move around by using the left analog stick. This level is unlocked by collecting 200 Precursor Orbs.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark – Based on the Chachapoyan Temple from Raiders of the Lost Ark; Daxter features as Indiana Jones, who must defeat a number of Lurker snakes and spiders, as well as avoid rolling boulders. This level is unlocked by collecting 300 Precursor Orbs.
- Matrix – Based on the training fight sequence between Neo and Morpheus in The Matrix; Daxter features as Neo while the Farmer features as Morpheus. This level is unlocked by collecting 400 Precursor Orbs.
- Fellowship of the Ring – Based on the Mines of Moria from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; Daxter features as Gandalf the Grey while a Precursor Robot features as the Balrog. This level is unlocked by collecting 500 Precursor Orbs.
Throughout the game, Daxter will occasionally collect 'Combat Bugs', bugs which are used in a combat sport similar to "rock, paper, scissors". These bugs can be enhanced by collecting Combat Tokens or potions which are found hidden throughout the levels. The Combat Bug mini-game is not part of the game campaign and is accessed through the game start menu.
Apart from completing Dream Sequences, Daxter can also unlock unique items by breaking picture frames found hidden throughout the game. Alternatively, if the game is connected to Jak X players can unlock an option to have Daxter's goggles down, or, if the Jak X save file is 100% complete, a modified Hover Scooter paint scheme.
Reception and sales
Daxter received generally positive reviews from critics. IGN gave it a 9/10 and GameSpot gave it a 9.1/10. It has an 86.2% at GameRankings. As of June 11, 2008, the game has sold 2.3 million copies.
Daxter is regarded as one of the PSP’s best titles by a number of websites. GamesRadar+ ranked Daxter the 4th best PSP game ever made, calling it “an absolute must-play for the PSP enthusiast.” Kotaku cited it as one of the 12 best PSP games, claiming it’s “as funny as it is well-tuned.” Additionally, Digital Trends and TechRadar each listed Daxter among the 10 best PSP games, with the former specifying that “Daxter’s vibrant colors and subtle details inject the game with a ton of flair.”
- James Brightman (2008-06-11). "God of War PSP Dev Talks About Ending PSP Development". GameDaily. Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- "Daxter Reviews".
- Daxter for PSP Review – PSP Daxter Review
- IGN: Daxter Review
- "The 25 best PSP games of all time". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "The 12 Best Games on PSP". Kotaku. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Nick Hastings. "The 10 Best PSP Games". Digital Trends. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Emma Boyle. "Best PSP games: 10 games that are perfect and portable". TechRadar. Retrieved 14 May 2019.