Ten years may have passed since the release of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, but the arrival of the HD Collection has brought happy memories flooding back to the team at PSU Towers.
Ahead of the release of the Jak and Daxter HD Collection on February 24, which brings together all three games from the series, we’ve spent the last few days debating which title is our favourite from the trilogy. As it turns out, there’s a real division of opinion among the team.
PSU Executive Editor Adam Dolge loves Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy for its “colourful sandbox environment,” “entertaining puzzles” and “cool variety of enemies,” while East Coast Editor Don Oliveira prefers the second entry in the series.
Don believes that Naughty Dog built on those solid foundations for Jak II, and he enjoyed the new game mechanics and abilities that were brought in for this second iteration. Don rates it alongside other PS2 classics such as Ratchet & Clank, God of War, and Sly Cooper.
Managing Editor Editor Mike Harradence, well, he’s PSU’s own living, breathing action man, so it’s no surprise that he believes that Jak III has the “best weapons line-up in the series.” Mike may be able to crush a walnut with his biceps, but he’s a sucker for a good storyline and believes that Jak III’s is the best of the bunch.
One thing we all agree on is that Jak and Daxter’s ability to entertain throughout the series is unquestionable. Here’s our individual thoughts on each game.
Adam Dolge, Executive Editor – Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
"The Precursor Legacy brought something new to the genre that I hadn’t experienced before. I’ve always been a completionist in games, so love hunting for collectibles. Jak and Daxter had an enormous amount of items to collect, and part of the fun was hunting for them in an beautiful open-world environment that was full of surprises and entertaining enemies."
Don Oliveira – East Coast Editor - Jak II
"From a technical perspective, Jak II looked and sounded absolutely great in 2004; it stood out as one of those PS2 games that looked great for years after it came out. The recently-released Jak and Daxter Collection gives you a clear look at how Naughty Dog upped the ante for the second game in the franchise.
Then we’ve got the gameplay and story to write home about, but we can easily sum that up for you: the story is surprisingly dark throughout, and the new mechanics / abilities that blend both platforming and action make for one mega sequel. Jak II pulls off all this with flying colors, and for it, holds a spot as one of the showpiece PlayStation 2 experiences alongside Ratchet & Clank, God of War, and Sly Cooper."
Michael Harradence, Managing Editor – Jak III
"When it comes to picking my favourite game in a particular series, typically I’m the sort of bloke to gravitate to the first entry; namely, the game that started it all and laid the foundations for future iterations. Jak and Daxter is an exception, however, as my pick of the bunch is the desert-dwelling Jak III.
For one, I love a challenge, and Jak and Daxter’s third adventure has this in abundance – perhaps more so than any of its contemporaries at the time. Furthermore, the fact you’re no longer confined to the iconic Haven City – with the game adopting a more open-world template with multiple points of interest at your disposal – really adds to the overall sense of scale and diversity. It also helps that Jak III’s narrative the most compelling of the trilogy, and the series’ trademark humour is here in suitably generous fashion, with the comical duo oozing charm at every opportunity.
Gameplay wise things are pleasingly familiar, with Jak III’s intuitive controls pathing the way for more high-octane blasting and satisfying platform-hopping antics. However, Jak III boasts in my opinion the best weapons line-up in the series, expanding on its predecessor’s somewhat lacking arsenal. If I were to sum up Jak III, I’d say that it combines the best of both worlds from its predecessors and wraps them up into one cohesive, vibrant package that’s easily the series’ standout entry. Now Naughty Dog – where’s my Jak 4?"
Jak and Daxter HD Collection is released on 24 February and features all three games, re-mastered in 720p with slicker animation and full Trophy support.
Join us in the forums and let us know which is your favourite Jak and Daxter game…