Video Game Review: The Jak and Daxter Collection
As mentioned in my previousÂ First ImpressionsÂ onÂ The Last of Us,Â I am a huge fan of Naughty Dog and their games. Out of their three video game series, that beingÂ Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, and Uncharted,Â theÂ Jak and DaxterÂ series is my absolute favorite. When I first got the PS2 back in 2003, I had gotten the PS2 pack which had two of their Greatest Games packaged with the console. Those games wereÂ Jak and Daxter: The Precursor LegacyÂ andÂ Ratchet and Clank. I had played both of those games and loved them.Â Over the years, I had purchasedÂ Jak II,Â Jak 3,Â andÂ Jak X: Combat Racing,Â and had spent many hours immersed with the characters, storyline, gameplay, and more.
After the PS3 came out in 2007, I couldnâ€™t wait for the next installment of theÂ Jak and DaxterÂ series to come out, but they had decided to work on theÂ UnchartedÂ series. On December 3, 2011, theÂ Jak and DaxterÂ series celebrated its 10th anniversary and Naughty Dog had announced that they were going to be a HD collection of theÂ Jak and DaxterÂ trilogy in February 7th. I was waiting for this for a very long time and was very excited for it to come out. It seems now that when people associated games from Naughty Dog, they always think of theÂ UnchartedÂ games and seem to forget about theÂ Jak and DaxterÂ games. With this collection, itâ€™ll really introduce people who missed it the first time on the PS2.
So, as of today, I had taken a few minutes to play all three games and now Iâ€™m going toÂ giveÂ myÂ video game reviewÂ on the collection. Has the series held up well after 10 years later to be purchased or has it become so dated that you shouldnâ€™t bother with it? Well, here we go.
When I first saw theÂ Jak and DaxterÂ series back on the PS2, the graphics were absolutely amazing. I loved the bright, lush, and green jungles inÂ Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy,Â the dark atmosphere from Haven City inÂ Jak II,Â and the huge deserts inÂ Jak 3.Â When looking back at the games again, the graphics has gotten a bit dated, especiallyÂ Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.Â Over the years, we have come aÂ long way from graphics with todayâ€™s looking more realistic, especially since Naughty Dog pushed it to the limits with theÂ UnchartedÂ games. However, with the sequels, they look much more improved and they look a lot more sharper and cleaner thanks to the 720 HD visuals.
All three games are just as much fun as they were 10 years ago. WithÂ The Precursor Legacy, youâ€™ll be spending a lot of time exploring a non-linear world collecting Power Cells, Precursor Orbs, and Scout Flies, obtaining different colored Ecos and doing unique abilities such as run faster and gaining extra strength, fighting large bosses, riding a Zoomer to complete tasks, and so much more. Itâ€™s such a shame that you donâ€™t see a lot of these platforming games anymore.
WithÂ Jak II, they made a huge change with the series changing the gameplay to focus more on sandbox gaming and third-person shooting than platforming and collecting items. Not only that, but you can also steal Zoomers and drive them around, have races, ride a Jetboard and pull off some neat tricks, killing Metal Heads and collecting their Skull Jems, and obtain a new ability that can make Jak turn into a darker version of himself. With the popularity ofÂ Grand Theft Auto IIIÂ at the time, Naughty Dog took a huge risk in makingÂ Jak IIÂ more darker and more serious than its predecessor. PlayingÂ Jak IIÂ again made me remember how difficult and frustrating some of the missions are, although they arenâ€™t as bad as I did it the first time. But for those who are playing this game for the first time may give up a few times along the way.
WithÂ Jak 3â€™sÂ gameplay, itâ€™s pretty much the same asÂ Jak IIâ€™s,Â but the gameplay has gotten more refined and less difficult than the last game. Also it taking place in a different city with new tasks and new areas to explore. Also there are new things to do such as more racing, arcade shooting range, hunting different Metal Heads, exploring the desert, and so much more. It also introduces a lighter version of Jak with the ability to heal himself, slow down time, create a barrier, and fly for a short period of time. Thereâ€™s also new abilities for Dark Jak and 8 more weapons to unlock.
Similar to other PS3 collections, there are trophies to be earned for every task completed. Other than that, thereâ€™s really no reason to play the games a second time besides getting 100% on theÂ collectibles and playing some of the mini games.Â Itâ€™s such a shame that there are no new levels, mini games, or even DLC.
Overall, after 10 years later, the trilogy still holds up very well with its amazing story line, fun and unique game play, and intriguing characters. Sure, some of the graphics and game play fromÂ The Precursor LegacyÂ areÂ a bit dated, the laterÂ levels ofÂ Jak IIÂ are very difficult, and there are no extra features to make you want to go back, but this isÂ definitelyÂ worth spending $40 dollars on Naughty Dogâ€™s earlier games. Hopefully, we can get more people to remember theÂ Jak and DaxterÂ series as one of Naughty Dogâ€™s greatest game series as much asÂ Uncharted.Â Check it out.