ARTICLE: Jack and Daxter: A History

Jak and Daxter, A History – fabz_91

Jak and Daxter, one of my all time favourite game series. This series is what adventure/platformers are all about. Awesome controls, great level designs, great cartoony graphics, a good story and memorable characters. This series, had it all.

Jak and Daxter, The Precursor Legacy

Jak and Daxter, the Precursor Legacy is the first game in the Jak and Daxter series and was the company Naughty Dogs main game series for the PS2, following the Crash Bandicoot series on the PS1. It was released in December 2001, exclusively for the PS2. The game followed the two characters, Jak and Daxter, Daxter turning into an otter early on in the game making for a humorous side-kick and Jak is the hero of the game.

The game contains similarities to Crash Bandicoot, Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank series as not only is the gameplay similar but so is the objectives as you always have to either collect an item or complete specific tasks. However, what makes the game unique is the openness of the game world and allows you to explore at your own will as it isn’t a linear game. Unlike the other games in the series, there are no guns/weapons in the game as Jak fights with his fists, giving the game a more innocent feel in comparison to the other games.

The game received very good reviews scoring 9.4 on IGN, 8.8 on Gamespot and scoring 90/100 on both Metacritic and Gamerankings. A member of IGN’s staff said this about the game: “…Jak and Daxter is a breath of fresh air, a funny, light-hearted, but no less epic action-adventure game all its own…”. IGN also ranked the game 8th on their greatest PS2 games of all time list. The game went on to sell over 1 million copies leading to a Greatest Hits version. The game ended up with 1.97 million copies sold.

Jak II: Renegade

Jak II, Renegade was released on the 14th October, 2003 and is the second game in the Jak and Daxter series. The game made a huge change from the first game in the series as the game had a much darker tone and the gameplay was a lot different. The game starts off with Jak in the future, being caught by the cities guards. He’s tortured and turns into a much darker character and learns how to speak! Once Daxter breaks him out, the two set off on a journey wanting revenge.

The game changes completely this time round and is definitely not a bad thing. Sure the colourful environments of the first game were great but the gritty dark tone of Haven city has its own appeal. The game also takes some gameplay elements from the GTA series as you can steal citizens hover crafts, beat people up and if you attack a guard, you’ll have them on your tail! Other changes include being able to use weapons, Jak being able to turn into Dark Jak and some mature language used by your favourite gaming duo. The game is completely different and sure a game similar to the first one may have been great, but the effect that the shock of the changes in this game had on gamers and the fact that the changes actually enhanced the game made it one of the best games on the PS2’s library.

IGN and Gamespotwise the game this game did even better than the first game as the game score 9.5 and 9.1 respectively. However it score 88% and 87/100 on Metacritic and Gamerankings respectively scoring slightly lower than the first game. The game sold over 400,000 copies in its first 11 months making the game another Greatest Hits game.

Jak 3

Jak 3 is the third and final game of the Jak and Daxter trilogy, although it spawned Jak X, Daxter and Jak and Daxter the Lost Frontier due to its success. The game was released on the 9th of November, 2004 but wasn’t released in Japan due to its poor sales in the country. In Jak 3, a huge war has broken out in haven city between the Krimzon Guards (the police force in the last game), The Metal head survivors (the main bad guys in the game) and the new military enforcement run by Jak and his crew. However, Jak is banished from the city due to the fact that he cannot control his dark powers, leaving him for dead in the wastelands. Jak is saved by a man called Damas and takes refuge in Spargus City and is where the adventure begins.

Although there were many changes in the first game, there are quite a few changes in this game including many improvements on gameplay elements in the first game. For example, this time round there are a lot more weapons in the game, the 4 weapons in the last game now having different upgrades. As there are now two cities in this game (Spargus City and Haven City), there are vehicles in the game to get you through the wastelands, which is needed as if you travel on foot you will be hunted down and killed by rouges. As well as being able to turn into Dark Jak, Jak can also transform into Light Jak, allowing him more control over his dark powers and giving him many other useful abilities.

Although there are vehicles in Haven City, the City is a lot more empty this time around as the war has lead to many of the vehicles being destroyed, although you do have a hover board that you can use to get around. Similar to the last game, there are some awesome boss battles in the game, so you’ll need to use all your abilities and weapons to get past them. In addition, the missions are a lot more varied as you’ll have to complete missions in not only Haven City, but in Spargus City too.

The game did very well in reviews scoring an 8.6 from Gamespot and a 9.6 from IGN. This led to an average score of 84/100 from Metacritic, scoring slightly lower than the other two games. Overall this is another fantastic game to the series, and is a worthy game of ending the trilogy. However it was followed by a slightly different game, Jak X, a racing game.