The stoic yellow and green-haired Jak and his fuzzy, orange, loud-mouthed sidekick Daxter are back.
The Naughty Dog team gives the HD touchup to its three most famous PlayStation2 titles: “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy,” “Jak II,” and “Jak 3,” all conveniently on one Blu-ray disk for the PlayStation3.
The Jak and Daxter series started back in 2001 with the release of the first game: “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.”
The game soon gathered a close following of fans and spawned two more direct sequels in 2003 and 2004.
The games have been beloved by many for their amazingly original characters, engaging storylines, and their classic platforming style of play.
Story: In all three games you play as Jak, a strange and powerful being from a small village in an unknown land.
In the first game Jak and Daxter get into trouble when they journey off to a forbidden island.
There, they discover evil characters harvesting Dark Eco, a substance of mysterious and terrifying power.
Being the curious and obnoxiously hilarious character Daxter is, he falls into the Dark Eco and gets transformed into some sort of creature.
The adventure starts here, as Jak and Daxter collect power cells to try and find a way to stop the bad guys and turn Daxter back to normal.
Without giving too much away, the story of “Jak II” involves the capture and experimentation of Dark Eco on Jak after a strange Precursor artifact lunges Jak, Daxter, and friends into an expansive hover-car infested civilization. There, they attempt to overthrow a tyrant controlling Haven City. Jak III’s story is about the gang’s banishment from Haven City for certain “crimes.” After getting banished to the desert, the city is attacked by creatures that were thought to be exterminated.
The city palace is destroyed by an ominous force, and the king forces Jak to save the city in return for letting him and his friends stay.
All three games have unique storylines that provide a player with hours of entertainment. If someone is new to the series, one of the best features of this collection is to have all of the games on one disk. This lets players experience the story altogether.
Gameplay: The three adventures have a similar platformer style of gameplay. In the first game, it’s all about jumping around and collecting power cells in various ways.
There is a lot of variety when it comes to collecting certain cells. For example, one cell is obtained by playing a fish catching mini-game.
Another can be earned by shooting swamp rats with fireballs in a first person shooter style mini-game.
All of these different mash-ups are a nice change of pace during the game.
Vehicular sections of the game can be slightly frustrating because of the laggy controls.
The vehicle can sometimes go off edges unexpectedly and cause the player to end up at the beginning of a level. They don’t hinder the gameplay too much, but they can get tedious.
The combat portion of this game is simple: you have a punch attack, spin kick, and lunge jump. Except for a select few enemies and bosses, everything usually goes down with one hit.
“Jak II’s” gameplay is much like the first game, only that it has been fine-tuned. The jumping and combat is much better this time around, with a larger variety of enemies that take at least two hits to kill. The player can also absorb Dark Eco and turn into Dark Jak. The addition of guns is also unexpected but accessible. The gun controls take a little effort to get used to, but are a great addition.
The vehicles in this game are the only things that didn’t get an improvement, which is sad because the player is forced to use them so much throughout the game.
“Jak III” has the best gameplay by far. All of the previously mentioned game play aspects from the other games are at their finest, except for those tricky vehicles. The game has slight improvements to the vehicles, but it can still be frustrating to use them.
The fighting is amazing because Jak can pull off useful special attacks that are more fun and more frequent to use than the Dark Jak moves from the previous game.
Overall the games have simple and addicting gameplay which will be challenging and entertaining.
Why buy it again: If people already own these games for the PlayStation2, then they might be asking why they want to shell out for this collection. All three games not only have beautifully updated HD graphics, but they also have Sony Entertainment Network trophies for all of those trophy hunters out there. These games together have over 100 trophies for you to collect, and will inspire those familiar to the series to collect all of those Precursor orbs yet again.
Final Say: The Jak and Daxter Collection is a beautiful and addicting re-mastering of one of Naughty Dog’s greatest series. With simple gameplay mechanics, stunning graphics upgrades, a story that can entertain, a cast of iconic and fun characters, and new trophies to hunt down, this collection is easily a buy.
Eric Jedd can be contacted at email@example.com