The first game can be summarised as a freeroaming version of Crash Bandicoot. It had great, if cliche platforming and awesome mini-games. The story was simplistic, but good, and Daxter was annoying, but loveable.
Naughty Dog took what gamers liked about the first game (the hoverbiking for example became more prominent in Jak 2), ramped it up while ejecting some of the lesser elements (the twee storyline, and the hero's Heroic Mime
status), and added a lot of Darkerand Edgier
, plus a smidgen from GTA's playbook.
The result- AWESOME. The vastly different, yet highly competent playstyles that Jak2 used(you're platforming, you're shooting, you're racing, you're hoverboarding) combined with some brilliant setpieces (ex: being chased by a tank with the action being shown from the tank's perspective) gave the feeling that you where taking part in a truly cinematic story.
An extremely well-written story- Jak got a gun and a voice, Kiera got sexy, Ashlyn injected further sexy, Baron Praxis and Errol made awesome villians, and the plot twisted admirably, furthered by the moral ambiguity of characters such as apparently-friendly arms-dealer Wrex and wise old mentor figure Kor.
Daxter became less annoying and sweared a bit. Also, he got a human girlfriend.
This was disturbing to most, but likely arousing for some
Jak 3 built upon this, with new playstyles added (riding "not Taun Taun
's honestly" and driving all-terrain vehicles in the desert). Moreover, the gameplay becomes even more complex- the addition of further mods for Jak's gun (20 in all) plus his Light and Dark Jak forms (each with their own vastly different abilities), in addition to the "generic platform hero moves" gave the gamplay the greatest variety and depth you'll find outside of JRP Gs
and Fighting Games with obtuse combos. Plus the excellent story of Jak 2 was expanded upon and peppered with a whole lot of Crowning Moments of Awesome/Heartwarming, and grand secrets and revelations- all and all, this was Jak, but EPIC.
Daxter sweared some more, got some character development, and generally a larger role in the story- also, his interspecies sexcapades became less disturbing.
This troper hasn't played Jak X- a Kart racer doesn't suit his preferences, so he can't comment.
The first three games however?
's most ignored killer apps.