The PS2 was spoilt for choice with platforming adventure titles, Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper and of course Jak & Daxter. So an excuse to dive in again in shiny HD with widescreen support was a no-brainer.
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is admittedly one of my favourite games, but have I been remembering the game through rose-tinted glasses, was it really that good? Hell yes it was. Originally released in 2001, this was ridiculously impressive both technically and in terms of gameplay. All the levels are linked together, and you can run from one end of the game to the other without a single loading screen.
This original game was the purest of the three with a heavy focus on platforming. Jak’s movement skills are second to none. In addition to a standard double-jump, he can do a spin attack in the air that acts a brief hover to slow down your landing. Better still is the rolling jump where you spring forwards a longer distance than a regular jump. There’s a great risk/reward factor as if mistimed you’ll roll off the edge. Astonishingly, this move was removed from the fourth game released a few years ago on PS2/PSP, and it stank accordingly.
Jak 1 is packed with missions like clearing enemies, looking for lost pets, fishing, exploring jungles, temples, mountain passes and more. What makes it so moreish is the wealth of collectibles. Powercells are rewarded for missions or intense exploring, while the numerous Precursor Orbs (aka the Strange Relics from the Uncharted games) are littered around both in the open and hidden away. With helpful menus showing you what you’ve not yet found in each area, you’ve no excuse not have a crack at hoovering up everything.
Each of these games has a Platinum trophy and I bagged the first one in one day. One epic eight-hour day of gaming bliss. Jak might be a mute character here but his sidekick Daxter provides enough laughs to keep things going along at a nice pace. With multiple objectives to attempt at any time, the gameplay always feels fresh.