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August 09, 2002

Whose Game Is It, Anyway?

I mentioned Wednesday that Kelly has told me she doesn't want me to play Jak and Daxter without her. The other night I had another exposure to this attitude. Let me set the stage...

Jak and Daxter, like most platform games (3D or otherwise), separates play into multiple stages or worlds. J&D tries harder than others to seamlessly integrate these stages, and in fact you can see one stage from another in many locations. The link above describes the authors' attempts to sustain this illusion. Within each of these stages, you can save one of two ways: directly, by invoking an options menu and choosing 'save game', and automatically, whenever Jak recovers a 'power cell'. If you quit the game then, you can start up from your last save.

However, starting from a set of saved data doesn't start you up in exactly the same location, just in some standard location for that stage. There appear to be multiple 'launch points' within a stage, but they don't necessarily overlap the location where you saved. And herein lies the rub, as I am sure you can anticipate.

I went downstairs and fired up the PS2 while Kelly was brushing her teeth. No waiting to play the game when she was ready, you see. When she came down, there was Jak, Daxter on his shoulder, bouncing idly and waiting to find those Precursor Orbs. Kelly took one look at him and said "Dad, have you been playing without me?"

"No," I replied. "What makes you think that?"

"He's not where we left him last night. Are you sure you haven't been playing without me?"

So I had to explain game mechanics to her, and we established that he didn't have more Orbs, Flys or Power Cells than when we quit the night before. But sheesh! I bought this game to give myself a break from RPG/Survival Horror games, and now I can't play the darn thing outside of Kelly's schedule! TANJ!*

* There Ain't No Justice

Posted by dpwakefield at August 9, 2002 09:16 AM