The Playstation 2 was king when it came to 3D Platformers and one of the best was the Jak and Daxter series. The series was spawned by developer Naughty Dog who also developed the Crash Badicoot series and is now famous for the Uncharted series. Sure, Crash Badicoot had success on the PSX but it was Jak and Daxter that established Naughty Dog as a first class company. Now, all three Jak and Daxter games are in stunning HD on the PS3. If you missed out on these games before, now is a great opportunity to experience these wonderful pieces.
The Jak and Daxter games follow the adventures of Jak and Daxter, go figure. The first game, “Jak and Daxter : The Precursor Legacy” sets up the characters. “Jak 2” goes in a much darker route and is more action focused and “Jak 3” is a combination of the first two while tying up the story. While the story isn’t the main star in these titles, the diverse characters make each game feel unique and help drive you forward.
Naughty Dog has always put frame rate as their priority over visuals in the Jak series. Despite their age, all three games look great in HD due to their great artistic design. While textures may look plain and the city in Jak 2 can look a little dead, the colorful graphics more than makes up for it. Jak runs, jumps and attacks with flawless animation and all the characters have distinct looks and are very vibrate. While you may not gain much visually with this collection, its refreshing to see such a colorful world in a market now largely dominated by more realistic graphics.
All three games in the Jak series have distinct gameplay. Jak and Daxter is a light hearted, fun 3D platformer. Jak 2 focuses more on action, bringing in third-person shooter elements. Jak 2 also introduces an open world to the series. Finally, Jak 3 is a combines elements from the first two games and also throws in a lot more vehicle missions. Everyone has their favorite game in the series but all three are still fun to play. All three games also do a good job of mixing things up. They try to throw in different types of missions as much as they can to keep things refreshing. There are some notable problems though. The camera is sometimes difficult to control during big action sequences. Also, mission generally only have one or two checkpoints which leads to you starting the mission over when you die. That combined with the wonky camera, can lead to some frustrating missions. Those missions are far and few in between and the majority of Jak and Daxter is a blast to play.
If you’re still a fan of 3D Platformers and never experienced the Jak and Daxter series, for forty bucks you can have all three games in glorious HD. With a colorful cast of characters and addictive gameplay, The Jak and Daxter series still holds up strong.