492nd played so far


Genre: Platform
Platform: Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2001
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Today we get introduced to another 3D platforming hero. It feels like one more of many, with a bunch of companies trying to get their hero out there, but few really making it.  Still, it feels like we playing Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters quite recently.

Jak & Daxter seems to focus on a more tropical island and takes advantage of the larger environments the consoles allow compared to, say, Crash Bandicoot, which at least looks better. How the game actually works, though, we’ll see.

Our Thoughts

So what fun things do we have this time? First of all, 3D platformer open world! No loading screens or level transitions, not even a short title to tell you where you are. The areas are delineated enough that it’s clear when you enter a new area, but it’s still seamless.

The main reason for the different areas are the quests in each, which earn you power cells that are the main gating mechansim between areas. It’s very much like Super Mario 64s setup, but with some more flexibility in quest numbers and locations. You also need to discover some quests in different area, which allows for a bit more of a challenge.

The game implements a day night cycle, switching between the two as you play. It’s a nice idea, but in practice meant that I wanted to wait around for parts of the game as it was getting too hard to play. 3D platformers are tricky enough as it is – jumps can become difficult – and not really seeing where you’re going makes that worse.

The writing and dialogue is amusing. Not constantly funny, perhaps, but enough to raise a smile and add some personality to the game. It’s part of its appeal, the world is interesting enough to keep you going.

Final Thoughts

3D platformers as a genre have their problems, especially when it comes to controls. Jak and Dexter is decent at getting it right, even when there are places where it gets fiddly (and there’s one jump that did frustrate me there). Worth a try for sure to see this slightly different take on these tropes, in a larger and more interesting world than most of these games.

  1. […] some reason, we played some Daxter before I covered either this game or the first Jak & Daxter game. It takes place between the two, before the current game, covering the two years in between. […]