GAME NAME: Jak and Daxter Collection
DEVELOPER(S): Naughty Dog
RELEASE DATE(S): 24 February 2012
Before gamers had heard the names Nathan Drake and Uncharted Naughty Dog treated players to games with a very different set of heroes. The Jak and Daxter titles form one of the most celebrated platformer/adventure series of all time and now players have the opportunity to relive the classics in HD as another collection hits the market.
The HD collections are a magnificent initiative giving those who missed some of the best games from yesteryear a chance to play, and those who want feel all nostalgic get another chance to play through some of their favourites. The most important thing about collections is how well they are ported to HD graphics and whether the games stand the test of time or whether they have failed to age gracefully.
The Jak and Daxter Collection includes the first three games in the series. The first offering is Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and the game plays just as well as it did all when it first released. Jak and his now feline friend Daxter have set out to return Daxter to his true form, with hilarious outcomes. Moving through the well-designed areas and completing tasks is still entertaining and solving puzzles and defeating bosses to move forward are as rewarding as one would imagine for a platformer of this calibre.
The second game, Jak and Daxter: Renegade, sees Jak and Daxter enter an alternate dimension of sorts where Jak is tortured for two years while taking on something called Dark Eco, which has an impact on his special abilities. The second game is set in a sandbox with a Grand Theft Auto-style map directing you through various missions to join the revolution against Baron Praxis and eventually return to your own time.
Jak 3 follows on from the second game and follows Jak and Daxter around the wastelands where they are picked up by a city of outsiders as Jak fights to clear his name. The third game is also set out in a sandbox environment, with more weapons introduced into the mix for variation in attacks. Battling through obstacle courses, taking part in races and fighting some monumental enemies make up the bulk of Jak 3, the most epic of all the titles and a fine conclusion to the collection.
All three games look fantastic in HD, and the fact that the games were created with no load screens at all adds to the fluidity. The first game has perhaps not aged quite as well as the others but still looks the part. The games are as playable as they were, despite a finicky camera the platforming, missions, story and characters are impressive. The mainstay of the series is the humour and this has thankfully stayed as fresh and enjoyable as it always was. The jokes, sarcasm and references are wonderful and even if you have played through the games before you will find yourself chuckling throughout.
Collections are the in-thing at the moment. They provide an opportunity to relive some of the best games and the Jak and Daxter Collection is no different. The biggest disappointment is that some of the other Jak games aren’t included as the rest of the series has been almost as impressive. Regardless you have the chance to play three of the greatest platformers ever made, all on one disc at a decent price. Whether you have played the games before is irrelevant, and the collection pays homage to a series which Naughty Dog graced us with in a time before Drake.