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P-Vock's Music Box: Jak Attack

Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. Summer is here. It's hot out, people are taking trips everywhere, bugs are swarming me with a ferocity I wish the ladies did, and I'm doing my best to uphold my pledge of not complaining about it all. However, I'm still biding my time until the winter hits and I can laugh as everyone else freezes their butts off as I thrive in shorts!!!!!!!!!


I could ramble on about the weather and all that, or I could take you on a trip to a tropical paradise...

After they finished the much beloved Crash Bandicoot series, famed developer Naughty Dog was very quick to pump out another series of colourful platformers with memorable characters. This time, they created one that's even better.

Jak & Daxter may not have the widespread brand recognition of Crash Bandicoot before it or the playable action movies in Uncharted and The Last of Us that came after, but it still maintains a passionate and devoted fanbase that still deludes themselves into the series will someday be relevant again.

When I'm not crying myself to sleep about Ape Escape and Mario Strikers never coming back in glorious fashion, I'm pondering the glorious world of Jak & Daxter.

This series wormed its way into my heart on early summer mornings when I was a wee lad from the moment I turned it on.

Maybe it's the unfamiliarity I have with them as someone who grew up in a frozen hellscape, but I LOVE the sound of tropical percussion. It's such a distinct sound that always invokes a fun and celebratory vibe, which is perfect for such a bouncy and jovial game. The accompanying bass and other instruments create this underlying mystery as if calling you to explore this unfamiliar island and learn about its secrets...

If that isn't a good mood setter for an exploration-based platformer set on a tropical island, I don't know what is. I'm more than ready to go explore this paradise.

One thing I LOVE about the Jak & Daxter soundtrack is how it reuses and remixes melodies wherever you may go on this island. It helps each area of this interconnected world feel unified, while still allowing each to feel unique. Sandover Village is kind of the main hub for our adventures here, and I think it manages to deliver everything the main title theme does while creating its own bombastic rhythms that you can't help but bop along to as you trek through the sand.

A top-tier beat for a top-tier location.

Now, let's turn up the heat a bit...

The final battle of Jak & Daxter has four phases, and this track gets through all four of them. As the fight progresses, the music intensifies. More instruments are added. The number of notes hit increases. The composition gets richer and fuller. Once we reach the final phase, we are greeted with a damn masterpiece that feels completely in line with the rest of the game, while also being a standout piece that is infinitely entertaining and completely unforgettable.

While it'll likely never really come back, Jak & Daxter is perfectly emblematic of the time it came out. It has that tropical/tribal feel that was all over the early '00s for some reason. The characters are charming and endlessly entertaining. It has a weirdly complex and dynamic soundtrack. The world is fun and unique.

It has a very summery vibe and is just an all-around good time. That's all a summer should be.

Whether you're enjoying a staycation, traveling to and fro, grilling every night and watching baseball, or catching up on some shows or whatever has been on your list for far too long, I hope your weekend and your entire summer are just that. A good time.

Thank you and I hope to catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.

Stay Brutal!

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