Jak and Daxter Collection
Naughty Dog and Mass Media, Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform, Racing/Vehicular combat
Everyone - Teen
February 7, 2012
Naughty Dog brings back an old favorite back with the Jak and Daxter Collection, featuring all three of the classic Playstation 2 games remastered in HD as a Playstation only exclusive.
The Jak and Daxter Collection follows through a trilogy that revolves around a young man named Jak and his friend Daxter set in a fictional universe where the people have long animal like ears coming out of their heads. Where everything is run with a special power source, called eco, which comes from the world. The game has strange technology that is almost alien to what the inhabitants look like and is all fueled by eco. The technology is completely beyond what is known.
As you play through each game you follow along and see how the characters grow with each new complication they come across and ultimately how the simple mistake of going somewhere they shouldnít have thus resulting in Daxter changing into a strange talking creature called an ottsel. This started the journey of a quest to turn him back that was just the beginning of what would later become a quest to stop an evil plot to flood the world with Dark Eco to being transported to a whole new world where they have to save a city from the brink of war that finally ends in a quest to stop an evil being from destroying everything they know.
The game menus are easy to navigate through and simple to get around without any confusion. In Jak II and Jak 3 they even supply you with a mini map for when your navigating the bigger areas and then another map you can access from the in game menu. Although the mini map can get confusing at points with how the city layout looks.
The gameís re-mastered look really makes for a smoother and cleaner look to the flow of the cutscenes and how the game plays. The games all offer a uniquely cast of character looks. Even just the normal citizens all look and speak different. Also although youíre traveling through different areas they all have their own characteristics to that certain set of lands you play through.
Each game has a different color pallet to it. While the first one was more light hearted and bright the other games become consistently darker in most of their color pallet which helps set the mood for the more serious tone of the second and third installments.
The music itself for all the games adds to the mood for each stage you find yourself in. Although they also can cut out the music entirely and rely just on the sound effects to help set the tone for everything youíre doing as well.
The music in the first game is largely much lighter and happier showing the peaceful starting out setting of the journey. Each stage offers itís own track that helps with the feel you have in that land. The second and third game offers a more serious soundtrack and donít retain that happy feel. Some of the areas have some ambient songs while others make you feel the tension. The music doesnít really distract you from the game or add too much to certain parts, which you largely feel when youíre traveling through the city.
The voice actors do a good job of acting out some emotions and each character has a very distinct voice from the rest. You canít confuse one character with another since each one has a unique speaking personality. Since each character has their own style it really adds to their character and defines them. Although Jak actually starts off mute in the game where Daxter ends up doing all the talking between you and the others you encounter.
In the games you take on the role of Jak mainly while sometimes there are mini parts where you use Daxter to help you out in a tight spot. The game is set in a third person mood that has you moving through various stages to either complete tasks before you or uncover hidden objects that you need. The controls for the game are relatively simple to use. Each game has everything connected to each other for a large world that you can move around in where you solve puzzles to unlock doors or areas that you couldnít access before. Youíll be playing with a lot of jumping over obstacles or finding switches to help you progress through the game. While the first game will have you needing to meet certain conditions to move on to the different world the second and third games revolve mainly around you going to different points in the city to complete missions given to you. You will not only find yourself traveling on foot through the worlds but also on animals and different vehicles that help you get through different tasks. You will find yourself not only fighting but competing in races and fights with different vehicles.
In Jak and Daxter: the Precursor Legacy you will mainly use Jakís own skills to get you through the game. He does use certain animals as a mood of transportation for certain areas as well as a zoomer, something similar to a motorcycle like vehicle. He will also have access to special energy called eco to help heal, blast, unlock doors, or strengthen his own physical attacks. The only glitch in this part of the game is that one enemy disappears in the very beginning depending on how you proceed when you start. However, it really doesnít affect the gameplay at all.
In Jak II, Jak gets an upgrade in things he can do, youíll still retain Jakís basic physical attack skills and abilities from the first game though. While he loses his eco abilities he gains a brand new skill that is like all of them combined in one form. Heíll also gain a brand new gun that has four different weapon moods that you gain from completing certain missions as the game progresses. However, there are a few glitches in this part of the game that affect you collecting certain things. Monsters in the game can get stuck in certain parts of the field and not move when they should be. Although you can still kill them it just makes it much easier to do. Although sometimes things do phase out of existence for a little and then will phase back in which is a little annoying when youíre trying to collect certain things.
Finally, in Jak 3 you get even more upgrades in the things Jak can do. Heíll now be able to have two different Eco selections that have their own special abilities whether it is slowing down time, flying, or turning invisible to get past enemies. He will also gain new weapon modifications to add onto the ones he had in the previous game with a total of twelve different gun styles that focus on each guns different characteristics. You will also gain a new set of vehicles that you will slowly gain control of throughout the game. Each one has itís own strengths and weaknesses.
Each installment of the game offers a different amount of lasting appeal. While the first one lets you get by with the bare minimum, if you find that you collected everything in the game youíll have all your trophies completed and end up being treated to a special secret ending that transitions you into playing the second game.
Think the games were too easy though? Jak II and Jak 3 offer you the chance to play the game over in what is known as Hero Mode where all the enemies get an upgrade in strength to challenge you all over again. However, this mode is only unlocked once you find all the hidden challenges and precursor orbs scattered through all the stages.
Jak II and Jak 3 also offer you a chance to unlock all the concept art in whatís called a scrape book. In Jak II you can unlock new courses, invincibility, unlimited ammo, and the chance to play through all the missions with youíre new skills over again. In Jak 3 youíll earn more concept art and special vehicle upgrades plus the ability to use some of the sweeter rides in the game.
The Jak and Daxter collection offers you the chance to replay a classic in an all-new look without changing the game but while also giving you more to complete through the trophy mode from the Playstation 3. The game itself deserves at least a play through for itís unique set of controls and abilities.
The game itself can be pretty fast paced with some parts being a little bit tedious and frustrating to get past certain obstacles or giant monster swarms. All around though you can play through the game in any order you want and still progress through things while using whatever is at your disposal to best play through.