WMG / Ty the Tasmanian Tiger

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger copied off of Jak and Daxter, or vice versa.
Either Ty the Tasmanian Tiger copied Jak and Daxter or vice versa. Think about it. Both of their first games had basically hub locations that branched out to different areas that you could only access after completing the last hub. Both of their second games were much more open world with quests strewn about the map. Finally, their third games were both very similar to their second games with the addition of a Darker and Edgier plotline and venturing out into some sort of wasteland.

The series is set in the Crash Bandicoot universe.
This explains why all the animals are Australian, and can talk. They were all descended from animals affected by the Evolvo-Ray. The reason Cortex never shows up is because he's become obsessed with defeating Crash, and as such, tends to stay around Wumpa Island. A shame, really. Could you imagine Cortex teaming up with Boss Cass?

This segues into a darker theory that Shazza's father never appears because Cortex captured him and fused him with a crocodile to create Dingodile.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WMG/TyTheTasmanianTiger