Jak and Daxter Collection Review
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The games aren't perfect, however, for the most part, they withstand the test of time quite well. Looking incredible in HD, this is a great way to experience these benchmark PS2 titles.
- Jak 2 & 3 look stellar in HD
- Cut-scenes are always a blast to watch
- Great blend of platforming, action, exploration and vehicles
- Uneven difficulty spikes
- Some aspects of gameplay just don't hold up
- The first two games often feature annoying checkpointing
(continued from previous page) ...clear jump in production value. Voice acting, graphics, storytelling, cut-scenes, all took a rather large step up from the first game. To put it into perspective, if you’ve played the Sly Cooper games, it really felt comparable the jump from Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus to Sly 2: Band of Thieves.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, as Haven city quickly turned into one of my least favorite parts of Jak 2. It’s simply too big and frustrating to navigate though, since you’ll do most of your getting around by stealing hover vehicles from NPCs, which attracts attention of city guards from time to time resulting in annoying chase sequences. Missions have a complete lack of checkpoints, which, when paired with the game’s surprisingly high difficulty, literally led to me walking away from the PlayStation a few times. Difficulty aside, the story and gameplay remain fun and engaging throughout.
Jak 3 is, I’m happy to report, the most functional of all three games. Sure, it’s the latest in the trilogy, so it makes sense, but Naughty Dog really learned from the previous two games and cut out most of the fat while delivering an absolutely stellar experience. I’m not kidding when I say that Jak 3 looks better in HD than a lot of games released today. Jak 3 may or may not be the fan-favorite in the trilogy, but believe you me, it not only withstood the test of time, but it remains one of the best character action games to grace the PlayStation 3 to date.
Naughty Dog ditched Haven City for this one, bringing in a new – way more functional and fun to navigate – city hub. Characters are way more interesting, and not only do the missions finally have efficient checkpointing, but they’re extremely varied. Jak 3 always gives the player something new to do, new weapons, abilities and more, keeping the game fresh throughout. Seeing it in HD, I think Jak 3 warrants the $40 asking price alone.
You may think I’m pretty down on the first two Jak games but, trust me when I say this, they are in no way bad games. All three Jak games excel in their own areas and depending on what you like, you very well may have your own preferences or qualms with the series. Jak 1 is a more than competent -- yet at times frustrating -- platformer. Jak 2 is the darker, grimmer take on the universe; it definitely evolved the franchise, however, some aspects of the gameplay feel frozen in time, making them mildly frustrating to deal with. Jak 3 is a culmination of everything learned from the previous two games, and more. It’s not perfect, but it aged fantastically and is still a great game by today’s standards.
The games look great, sound great, and even have newly added stereoscopic 3D support. For those of you that care, this collection has 3 platinum trophies that are relatively easy to acquire so long as you don’t mind exploring environments to collect precursor orbs.
So if you’re at all interested in the replaying the Jak games, or if you’ve never played them before, this collection is a good investment; it’s a great way to experience these benchmark PlayStation 2 titles. It would have been nice to see either Jak X Combat Racing, Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier or Daxter make it into the collection, but like I said before, you’re already getting your money’s worth with this one.
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