I have a confession to make. I love HD collections. With the demise of backwards compatibility and my memory making older games look better than they actually do (I am looking at you Resident Evil Remake), these collections are absolutely fantastic. Not only do they give gamers a chance to experience classics from the past, they give old-timers like me the chance to play these games again the way I remember them looking. Sony is king when it comes to these collections. God of War, Sly Cooper, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are just a few that come to mind. Now Jak and Daxter join them.
Jak and Daxter is an action platformer from Naughty Dog, the same guys who brought you Crash Bandicoot and the more recent Uncharted. You see, Naughty Dog garners so much respect from me simply because they know when to call it quits; three games in each of their beloved franchises, and all of them top-notch. Jak and Daxter is probably their least known IP, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. These three games are still considered some of the best in the genre, and if you have never played them, now is the time to jump in.
I am not going to run down all three games in detail, but I will give a quick overview of each one. The original title, The Precursor Legacy has not aged as well as the other two titles. This first outing showcases some rough visuals at times, but in fairness, it is still probably the most conventional of the series. Once Jak II arrived, the team introduced Dark Jak as along with guns, and by Jak III, it was almost entirely an action title mixed with incredible platforming elements. It is actually a very well done transition, and that twist ending from part III still gets me to this day. The games are remarkable examples of game narrative, which you can see being carried over to Uncharted on the PS3.
With HD collections, the first thing people want to know is how the games have improved. Trust me, when compared side-by-side, the Jak games look great with a fresh coat of HD paint. I did try out the 3D on all three games, and much like Sly Cooper, it really didn’t wow me as much as MotorStorm or Uncharted, titles designed for HD resolutions from the ground up. It is understandable that these older games were not built for the technology, but still disappointing, because when 3D works, it is incredible.
The one area that took me some time getting used to, though, was the camera. The game’s camera is a bit stiff at first, with a quick swivel that can be disorienting. Once you get used to it, though, it works wonderfully.
This package continues the trend of incredible HD collections coming from the Sony camp. If you never played these titles, you really need to go out and pick this collection up now. Naughty Dog has become the de-facto Sony developer for a reason, and this showcases some of their best work. These games still hold up well today and highlight how this forgotten genre is still one of the best in gaming. If you own a PS3, this is yet another HD collection you simply have to own.
Review copy of the game provided by publisher.