Tak and the Great Juju Challenge is the third and final installment in the Tak series, in the previous two titles Tak had to defend his Pupanunu people from evil enemy Tlaloc, This installment see’s you competing in a tournament with four tribes competing to earn the protection of the godly Moon Juju for the next 60 years. The game starts up with friends Tak and Lok attempting to take a feather from a phoenix in order for their tribe to enter the tournament. This is basically your tutorial level, and feels a little like Rayman 2: The Great Escape., which is probably one of the standards modern platform titles follow. Unlike previous installments, the player can now switch between Tak and Lok at anytime they wish to, making The Great Juju Challenge the first title in which Lok is playable.
The heroes of the game must compete against two representatives from each of the other 3 tribes, the JibbaJabbas, the Grammazons and the Black Mist. The character diversity makes the Great Juju Challenge stand out against most of todays platform based games. As is the norm these days, as the story advances you are treated to numerous animated cut scenes where you get to learn more about the characters and their backgrounds, so far, so painting by numbers.
The great Juju challenge tries to be humorous, but after being released during a similar time frame to Psychonauts and Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel without a Pulse, both from THQ owned publishers, it just doesn’t cut it and feels quite immature at times. Also the double team comedy capers were done much better a few years back in the original Jak and Daxter title, surely if anything, they’re the Laurel and Hardy of the gaming world, not these cavemen. The games level design isn’t entirely different to the rest of the series, and while this is to be expected it would of been nice to have seen some experimentation from the developer, rather than them taken the safely safely approach that they seem to have.
Challenges within the tournament see you racing through the levels in order to light to beacons in order to open a portal that leads to one of three sub levels. These beacons are lit via fiery auras that come from the feathers of phoenix’s that Tak and Lok have plucked into their hair. Activation of the beacons and the like is completed via the normal methods of clearing an area of enemies or solving a puzzle.
Overall, Tak and The Great Juju Challenge is an entertaining romp if your into the platformer genre, but it feels so unoriginal and by the numbers that people that aren’t fans of the genre would easily get bored. If its a humorous game of a similar style that your looking for, I’d personally recommend Psychonauts, proof, if it was needed, that Tim Schafer is a comedy genius when it comes to games. But if you enjoy titles like Jak and Daxter, Ratchett and Clank and all those other platforming double teams, then you may just want to pick this up as it is right down your street, and is a much better offering than the previous attempts by both of those series.