Jak And Daxter, a cliche, typical platformer, but a beautiful game that showed hints of world building. Good for a quick run, but much of its deeper contents belong to its sequel... Jak II: I don't like it when a product goes Darker And Edgier for no reason, but I always gave exception to Jak II; it's characters are wonderfully integrated, used, and in-character with Jak himself gaining Character Development. The story is engaging and despite how blatant the story elements were in retrospect, to my then seventeen-year-old self, it held brilliant plot twists ( I have a thing for royal princes; Jak revealed as the ruler of Haven City was brilliant; too bad the game never milked it). Not to mention it sports beautiful graphics and high-quality voice acting. Jak and Daxter may carry the most charm (sorry, I STILL cannot see Jak with a gun), but Jak II remains my favorite of the series for the effort they put into it. Oh, there are flaws: the overworld may be bigger, but the city of Haven (your main hub) is crowded with limited interaction. Not to mention the game is Nintendo Hard. Good for a challenge, but unquestionably frustrating and sometimes unfair. Some levels however are a gem; I will never tire of Mar's Tomb—it is just gorgeously executed platforming. The same cannot be said for Jak 3 which had an easier, but still challenging gameplay, but not a good concept of balance; the platformer aspect seem to be downplayed over the other fun, but sometimes distracting varieties (though I may just hate the damn car missions; they handle like loose shopping carts). Not to mention its story is the worst of the lot: an out-of-nowhere Jak/Ashelin romance, Metal Heads uselessly integrated into the plot as part of a warring nations story that never concludes, Erol's Character Derailment that never bothers to explain why he wanted sudden world domination, and of course, Jak's terrible return to his Wangst state when the second game had him grow back into the Hero that he was. But his revelation with Damas (without spoiling) is heartfelt and gut-wrenching. Jak X. Decent standalone story...with frustrating gameplay. I got killed easily because half the vehicles are too loose. The tracks are often hard to see, leading to easy crashes.
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