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Tak and the power of Juju is a platform game for the gamecube which was described as being the best platform game of 2003, so it is quite ancient in comparison to some games, but it is still as much fun.
Tak is the main character of the game and we are introduced to him whilst being introduced to Jibolba, an old man is the Shaman of the village Pupanunu and is also Taks mentor. Jibolba trained another warrior who is known as Lok to save the Moon Juju but Lok has been put under a spell and it is the task of Tak to find Lok and bring him back to a human form by finding magical plants known as Nubu plants and destroy them. Tak looks like a little Indian with his purple war paint around his eyes and his feather in his hair.
So whilst all of that does sound like complete gibberish we are then introduced to Flora whose mother is called Moon Juju and Flora is tasked with helping Tak in anyway that she can, through training exercises and when things become a little difficult Flora is there to guide you and offer possible solutions. At the beginning of the game, Flora puts Tak through some menial exercise such as running, jumping and climbing upon different objects, all of which are extremely useful when Tak has to jump from rock to rock whilst fighting off evil little creatures that bite you literally to death. A word to the wise is to watch out for Floras twin sister Fauna who is a bit of a trickster and will guide you in the wrong direction.
So what is the object of the game? Basically with Lok being put under a spell, Tak is the only person who can save the Moon Juju, the village and the people of Pupanunu and in doing so you must complete any objectives given to you which include finding new places, objects, acquiring Juju powerups and taking part in and winning battles against evil forces. Along the way you must also acquire a few objects which will aid you. These objects include Gold Teeth, Acorns, Yorbels, Tiki, Magical Nubu plants and finally the Moonstones which are the most important objects to find.
When the game begins Tak has a feather in his hair which denotes his life and health status. When the feather, which is gold, is coloured all the way to the tip you are in full health and it will give you a percentage from 0 to 100%. Every time you are injured the feather will turn darker in colour and becomes completely dark upon death. Along your way there are four different feathers which you can collect. A gold feather will return Tak back to full health, a small purple feather is worth 1 Mana and a slight increase in health status, orange feather are worth 3 Mana and more health increase and finally a blue feather is worth 10 Mana and some health increase.
So what is a Mana? A Mana (which is found on the bottom right hand screen) is the force which powers Juju which means you are able to use more powerful spells against evil forces, every time you use a spell your Mana will decease and it is shown as a feather, like the one on Taks head and as your Mana decreases the feather will change colour, so collect as many feathers as you possibly can on your journey.
Juju powers are ancient yet legendary Pupanunu Shaman magic and they include:
The restoration dance - this is a magical dance which heals all the damage done to you and restores your feather to 100%
Crazy Feet -helps you to run incredibly fast
Stunner Stops enemies in their tracks so you can go and club them.
There are at least sixteen Juju powers in total which Tak can use to help him continue through the levels, make himself more powerful, summon fruit to use as a weapon or a distraction and as powers to stop enemies to give him an advantage. Just remember to collect the feathers to increase you Mana.
As you go through each stage within the game you will earn more powers, a Jujuman can already talk to animals and use them to help him. For example, whenever there is a sheep on the screen, Tak knows that the sheep is there to help him; the question is what he is going to help him do. Most of the time the sheep are used to run on little treadmill like machines which open doorways to new levels and stages within the game, to get the sheep onto these machines, Tak must carry the sheep and place it on the machine to make it run. This simple act is actually quite funny and it has me in fits of giggles every time I have had to do it. There are also Gorillas who pull down trees for Tak to stand on and fling him over long distances and ledges and Rhinos whom Tak must jump on in order to steer the Rhino through tough fences and walls which lead to hidden stages. Other animals include Orang-utans and Emus. Any animal you come across should be able to help you in your quest.
Along the way, Tak comes into the possession of numerous weapons which he carries on his person. These weapons include:
A club and it is your basic weapon for self-defence and you use it to take a swing at enemies and to break open pots, which often contain feathers.
A blowgun. This is my favourite weapon and it can be used to shoot acorns, pole vault over obstacles or hit things and I have spent many hours shooting acorns at Gorillas and sheep to make them run, trust me it is hilarious!. The Blowgun is extremely accurate from a distance but for a helping hand there is help and guidance. To use this blowgun you need to collect Acorns and Fire Acorns.
The spirit rattle is designed to be used in place of your Club and can be found in the Lower Tree Village. A Shaman uses a spirit rattle to cast spells with his Spirit Rattle but when used it does leave a pretty nasty swat too. If you have the skills you can use the rattle against enemies both mortal and spiritual.
Those are just a few of the weapons that Tak can use on his journey and believe me there are many more to use in later stages.
So Ive told you pretty much the basics of Tak and the power of Juju but not anything about how many levels there are to complete. When I first started playing this game, I naturally assumed it would be a few standard levels, most of the platform games I have played have had between 8 to 10 levels, with Tak there are 15 levels and they included:
Tak's Village - The game starts at Taks village and whenever you go through levels you will find a warp facility which can always take you back to the beginning and back to Taks village or any other area you have visited.
Lower Tree Village
Upper Tree Village
Chicken Island West
Mountain Top North
Upon your travels with Tak you will invariably meet many odd shaped and mannered creatures such as:
Tlaloc - he can only be described as a truly wicked and downright selfish shaman who has stolen the precious moonstones that protect the local villagers from evil Juju!
Pins and Needles - two animated voodoo dolls that were created by Tlaloc who act as his main henchmen and will do anything in their power to stop Tak from succeeding in his mission.
Mon Juju - is the beautiful queen who protects the world from evil Juju. Now that the moonstones have been stolen and the Moon Juju has been captured so she can no longer protect Tak and the Pupanunu tribe.
Those are just some of the characters you will meet along your way, other include the Dead Juju, two-headed Juju and many more besides.
For me this game is everything I want, it is a platform game which in style and objectives is very similar to Rayman or Crash Bandicoot which I also enjoy playing. The voice graphics for Tak, Flora and other characters are brilliant and completely believable and lifelike and that is also true of the animal noises, the water features which sound like water features right down to the evil little gremlin things which sound evil when they hear them laugh as they run towards you baring their teeth ready to bite.
The scenery in each of the levels is help by blue arrows which tell you the way you should be going, however, as helpful as that is, I have found that on many occasions I have gone round in circles because it is not always evident where to jump, climb or be flung, it is a process of trial and error.
To play Tak and the Power of Juju is addictive, playable and to all extents and purposes playable and is in essence everything a platform game should be. It revolves around collecting features such as gold teeth and acorns which are scattered throughout the game and the outcome if evident find them to proceed further in the game.
If you enjoy playing platform games which like Tak is playable but at the same time you do have to concentrate then this is definitely worth buying. I bought this game from the shop Game for the bargain price of £9.97 and have definitely got my moneys worth out of it. Having briefly googled this game I can tell you that it is available at most online stores although the prices do vary from £9.97 to £25 so I do advise you to shop around and it is worth knowing that you can also buy this game for the Playstation 2.
Tak and the Power of Juju, is a tale of good vs. evil, set in an ancient tribal world where magic (juju) actually works¨It's a fantastical place full of both danger and delight. Tak, a shaman's apprentice must recover moonstones stolen by the evil juju-man Talaloc to save the moon juju and restore her powers. Tak will have to stretch beyond his training and use his wits, his environment and the power of the juju gods to overcome Talaloc and return the moonstones.