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Tak and the Power of Juju Review - PS2

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Remember back to the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame with the character a hunched forward disfigured figure with a face only a mother could love. Well take away the hunched back and minimise the body by half and you have Tak, the star of THQ's new platformer 'Tak and the Power of Juju'. This odd-looking character is the apprentice of a shaman in an ancient, tribal world and the hope for the good to defeat the evil Juju man. Can this Quasimodo look-a-like make advances in the gaming world to be a hit or will Tak have to take his Juju home?

Gameplay

Once the opening credits have loaded and you prepare to start a new game you're greeted by the Pupanunu Tribe's Shaman, 'Jibolba'. Jibolba knows about the tribe's prophecy so he trains an apprentice student 'Lok', Lok is planned to be the prophecy hero in defeating the evil Tlaloc and recovering the Moon Juju powers. He talks directly to the gamer and is quite amusing in the manner he acts towards the screen even hugging it, he sends his servant Tak to go get the all mighty Lok, Tak only returns with a sheep and then realises that it is Lok. Leaving Jibolba in a sticky situation he is forced to send Tak instead of Lok in a bid to save the Moon Juju Goddess who the Pupanunu tribe worship and also save his Pupanunu tribe people. If Tak fails then Tlaloc will rule in his powerful sheep turning ways and the Pupanunu tribe will be no more than a flock of sheep. No pressure Tak.

Learning to control Tak is pretty simple with a moon spirit guiding you through a series of different tasks in a training mode that takes more than it should and is filled with a little too much repeated information. Your basic thumbstick camera control system is in place, jumping and double jump that most platformers possess is also a part of the controls, the club is your only weapon but this is not to mean its weak; you can bash pottery, trees, leaves, goats even chickens that don't die! It's your ultimate tribal weapon and proves to be effective every time.

Along with all the buttons and moves that you learn in the training mode with the moon spirit you also learn about your health meter and how to keep this up. In Tak's hair is an orange feather that represents his health bar, the more purple the feather gets the worse off Tak is health wise. To keep this meter up you collect the orange feathers in the levels to ensure that Tak is always at the peak of his powers, these feathers can be just found in the level or you can also get them from killing enemies or hitting interactive figures within the environment.

In the environments you'll notice a lot of animals around, some that will help you in you're missions and some that will try and stop ... (continued next page)