Jak X: Combat Racing

Overview

In this game, platforming is out the window and in its place are races set through several franchise-themed courses. The races are heavily dependent on combat and weapons. Weapons range from offensive to defensive. There are several vehicle classes and a variety of customizable functions for the car selections.

Plot

The game takes some time after the events of Jak 3, and Jak and Daxter saved the world from the Dark Makers. A ghost from Jak and Daxter’s past has appeared with a request. Krew, the gang lord from Jak 2, has a request of Jak and many others from Haven City in his will. Even upon entering this new Kras City, Jak and Daxter have been getting death threats.

They attend Krew’s will reading along with Keira, Ashelin, and Torn. It’s Krew’s own daughter, Rayn, that presents them with a digital recording of the big blob and a drink to be shared before the reading. The digital will of Krew goes on to tell them that he’s always wanted to win the Kras City racing tournament, but always failed in the past. He goes on to say that everyone present will be winning that race for him. When everyone refuses. The recording goes on to tell them that what they drank was a slow acting poison. Even his own daughter was inflicted with the poison. The only way to get the cure is to win the tournament, but the team financed by the local crime lord, Mizo, doesn’t plan to make this easy for Jak’s team. After the tournaments, the announcer, G.T. Blitz was Mizo. He took the antidote and was defeated by Jak. It was revealed that Mizo killed his father and Mizo wanted to own all of racing. Mizo was later killed by his broken car.

Team Jak

Though the Kras City Tournament is a free for all combat race and players primarily control Jak throughout the entire game. Players are a part of a team of racers who are aiming for the same goal.

Team Jak includes series classic characters such as:

  • Ashelin
  • Keira
  • Torn
  • Sig
  • Rayn

Eco Power Ups

The concept of Eco, energy returns, and plays a role in this racing game, but with a twist that wasn’t present in the past. The Eco colors range from Red, Yellow, Green, and the return of Blue Eco. Blue Eco has not been present in the series since the original Jak and Daxter. Light Eco, from the previous game, plays no role in this game.

All Eco is gained in races as items strategically placed along each race track. Once it is picked up in a race the item disappears, but will reappear in that location after a few moments.

Green Eco

Green Eco in this game, as with previous generations, represents the player’s life or vehicle damage gauge. There is a gauge on the bottom left of the screen showing the amount of damage players have taken. The gauge can be refilled by Green Eco pods placed along the courses.

Red Eco

Red Eco is for defensive weapons. In the center players are shown an icon of what weapon they have. By pressing the L1 Button when players are in a missile lock, it will cause missiles to miss. The weapon selection is random.

Blue Eco

Blue Eco is show as a gauge on the bottom right of the screen. It can be filled up in a variety of ways. The most common is through a pick up item of Blue Eco capsules. It can also be earned through performing Power Slides, and gaining Air Time in large jumps.

Yellow Eco

Yellow Eco is similar to the Red Eco, but this is for offensive weapons, such as missiles, grenade launcher, and machine guns. These weapons can be claimed by picking up Yellow Eco capsules placed around the track. The weapon selection is random.

Dark Eco

Dark Eco can only be earned through destroying other racers. If the player can destroy enough cars without being destroyed, there is a gauge on the bottom left that will fill up. Once that gauge is filled, the entire car will be enhanced with Dark Eco. That includes turbo, and the offensive and defensive weapons. Both sets of weapons will be augmented to a second stage and become far more destructive.

Weapons

The weapons are one of the most important tools in the races to destroy other cars and prevent others from destroying the player. All weapons have two levels that are enhancements for filling the Dark Eco meter.

Offensive

Sub-Machine Gun

The sub-Machine Guns are the default weapons and have infinite ammo, but the damage is low compared to the other weapons.

Vulcan Fury

A more powerful version then the default guns. Ammo: 50 Rounds

  • Level 1: Vulcan Fury – Damage Medium
  • Level 2: Coil Gun – Damage High

Grenade Launcher

Fires a limited rage spread of grenades.

  • Level 1: Fragmentation Grenades – 3 Rounds
  • Level 2: Skullspittler Grenades – 5 Rounds

Tracking Missiles

A set of missiles that are fired and lock on to distant targets. Will not lock on to close range racers.

  • Level 1: Homing Missiles – 2 Rounds / 2 Missiles
  • Level 2: Strike Missiles – 2 Rounds / 4 Missiles

Super Nova

One of the most destructive weapons of the game. It obliterates all vehicles in the path, but has a huge risk. If not used within a ten second countdown it will backfire.

  • Level 1: Super Nova – Destroyed vehicles reload in 3 Sec.
  • Level 2: Stellar Nova – Destroyed vehicles reload in 5 Sec.

Peacemaker

The Peacemaker has been an icon weapon of the Jak series since its appearance in Jak 2. It fires out a pulse of supercharged energy that seeks out whoever is in the lead and destroys them. It can only be blocked by a Red Defence Shield. The second level not only hunts down the first place racer, but also destroys anyone in its path.

  • Level 1: Peace Maker Missile – 1 Round
  • Level 2: Super Peace Maker – 1 Round

Defensive

Static Mines

A rear mounted mine weapon. Level 1 drops three magnetic mines that latch onto those nearby. The damage is normally moderate. Level 2 drops a single use land mine that can cause instant destruction.

  • Level 1: Magno-Mine – 1 Round
  • Level 2: Land Mine – 1 Round

Gun Tower

A robotic sentry gun that can be dropped on any spot on the track at will. It will auto aim on anyone within range. Level two switches from a machine gun to missiles.

  • Level 1: Gun Tower – Damage Medium
  • Level 2: Missile Tower – Damage High (lower rate of fire)

Smoke Screen

A rather simplistic and normally passive weapon. It releases a cloud of smoke behind the driver for 30 seconds. The level two version releases a cloud of electrically charged gas that damages all who drive through it.

  • Level 1: Smoke Screen – 1 Round
  • Level 2: Shock Screen – 1 Round

Oil Slick

A pretty self explanatory weapon, but level two is rather destructive. It releases a flaming oil slick that can cause sever damage if driven through.

  • Level 1: Oil Slick – 1 Round
  • Level 2: Flame Slick – 1 Round

Shield System

The shield fully protects the driver’s car from all damage for a limited time. It can block all weapon fire and help ram into opposing drivers without taking damage. The level two of the shield is a super charged version where one touch means destruction.

  • Level 1: Damage Shield
  • Level 2: Deadly Shield

Saucer Drone

This robotic droid will travel the race course backward for 120 seconds. It explodes on contact. Causes instant destruction in both levels, but the level two will actually track and home in on nearby drivers in the path.

  • Level 1: Blind Drone – 1 Round
  • Level 2: Homing Drone – 1 Round

Attack Drone

The Attack Drone is a small robotic machine gun that floats along with the car and fires on all nearby cars either forward or behind. The level two fires a more damaging machine gun.

  • Level 1: Attack Drone – Damage Medium
  • Level 2: Psycho Drone – Damage High

Turbo Assist

This item gives the driver infinite turbo for a set period of seconds, and prevents other drivers from using their turbo at all.

  • Level 1: Turbo Assist – 4 Sec.
  • Level 2: Ultra Turbo Assist – 6 Sec.

Development

Jak’s Redesign

Jak X Design
Jak X Design

As with every iteration of the Jak series. With every new game comes a different design. the trend is that Jak’s hair has become progressively shorter as the games have continued. This trend continues in Jak X, but not to the same degree as was shown between Jak 2 and Jak 3. The classic goggle are the only thing that remains from the original game.

A new outfit was designed for Jak that is more streamlined. It seems similar to a racing suit worn by professional racers in Nascar and grand Prix. The uniform worn by Jak in this game does have a small shoulder plating on the left shoulder for Daxter to sit on.

Soundtrack

When the original opening scene for this game was being edited, the sound designers placed the song Millionaire by Queens Of The Stone Age as a filler to set the mood and until an original track could be created. The designers ended up loving the way the song fit to the opening scene so much, they looked into getting the rights to use the song for the opening.

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