Jak II Updated Impressions

Naughty Dog shows off a few previously unseen aspects of their follow-up to Jak and Daxter.

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At today's Sony press event in San Francisco, Naughty Dog was on hand to give a presentation on its latest action-adventure game, Jak II, the follow-up to 2001's Jak and Daxter. Though our previous coverage of the game had already covered the bulk of what was shown today, Naughty Dog did show us a couple of things that we hadn't seen before.

Some of the clips featured one of the most appealing new aspects of Jak II's gameplay. Specifically, the clips featured how fluid the new game will be. In the game, you can switch functions at a moment's notice, you can change weapons in midstride--you can even switch from your jet board to a gun and back very quickly, so you won't have to stop the action at any time. One video showed Jak cycling through his multitude of weapons--one by one at lightning-fast speed.

Today's presentation also yielded a look at what appeared to be some of the side missions and minigames found in Jak II. One example of these included what seemed to be a target-shooting mission, during which Jak ran through a level, mowing down cardboard bad guys as they popped up out of the floor while avoiding "friendly" cutouts for fear of penalty. Another example was a race mission during which Jak competed against a number of computer-controlled racers on a speeder-bike vehicle that could have come right out of Star Wars. The last, and perhaps most entertaining, clip showed a whack-a-mole-inspired game. Daxter sat atop the machine, gleefully pummeling the heads of ugly creatures that periodically popped up.

Jak II is scheduled to hit store shelves next month. We'll have more on the game soon.

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