The smaller, hairier half of PS2's platform-leaping duo Jak & Daxter is going it alone for this PSP adventure. Daxter spans the gap between the first two games in the series - the two friends have warped into a grim future, Jak's been locked up and an otherworldly enemy is beginning to invade. We caught a firsthand look at how Daxter is making it on his own.
This future world is being overrun by Metal Bugs - mini relatives of the Metal Heads monsters that Jak trades lasers with in Jak 2. Lost, alone, and with only the fur he's standing up in, Daxter takes a job as a zero-tolerance pest exterminator while he comes up with a way to break his buddy out of the clink.
Our first job as Daxter took us to a rundown hotel, but it's not your average hotel. To reach the room we needed to de-infestulate we had to leap through a lush garden atrium, avoid giant man-eating plants, and jump across an over-sized rock garden complete with an impressive looking waterfall.
PSP's reduced controls mean less complexity, but that's a good thing. The analogue 'nub' isn't always precise, but moving Daxter around and hurdling obstacles is simple and comfortable.
When you find a swarm of bugs, it's swatting time. Armed with an Electric Flyswatter, Daxter can wade into enemies and unleash a string of attacks - and during the game you unlock new moves by completing special minigames. You can play these whenever Daxter takes a nap. In rhythm-action style episodes, each minigame turns Daxter into a different character - like a rodent Neo, for example - and throws combinations of button presses at you to punch out.
Back in the main game, it's not long before you get equipped with a new toy - the Spraygun. This stuns bigger bugs to let you get up close and deal damage with the swatter, and both weapons are a cinch to use.
In addition, the Spraygun can also be used to hover in the air and, when fully powered up, you can go back to previous locations, like the hotel, and get to areas that were out of reach before.