Review by Captain Ultra

"One small step for Jak, one giant leap for Naughty Dog!"

Ah, yes, the original Jak and Daxter game was superior in its time, and I still find it superior. Nearly two years after the first game, Naughty Dog has thrown another superior game that I hope other games will try to emulate. Jak 2 is definitely a step up from Jak and Daxter. Adding gameplay elements from Ratchet and Clank, Grand Theft Auto and tons more, Jak 2 blew me away.

Story: The game starts a few months after the first. Jak, Daxter, Samos and Keira found a large Precursor Ring and a Rift-Rider. The four experiment with it and a portal opens within the ring. A monstrous voice rings out over Sandover Village and strange creatures fly out. Then, a gigantic, ugly monster emerges and starts yelling at Jak, who presses a button and the four get whisked into the portal. They end up in a strange new world where Jak is kidnapped and experimented on for two years until Daxter comes to rescue him. It is a more mature story, compared to Jak and Daxter's ''stop evil genius from destroying the world'' which appeals more to the younger crowd to Jak 2's ''stop evil genius and do jobs for factions while protecting a young heir and destroying an army of hideous creatures''. Plus there are things never seen in a kiddie game like Daxter getting drunk and making fun of a fat guy while hitting on a barmaid. The story is told through cinematics which show how the story unfolds. 10/10

Characters: There are a lot of characters in the story, some are very likeable and others you want to strangle with the controller. Daxter almost always does something stupid. A snooty half parrot half monkey named Pecker is always good for a laugh (especially when he introduces himself). Sig is this big tough guy you want as a best friend but blows his own image in the end, I won't tell you how, though. Krew is a fat guy in a hover chair who can't walk with his own strength. When I first met the guy, there was something about him I didn't like, which unfolded in the end. Watching all the characters unfold is an entertaining experience. 10/10

Graphics: The only flaw with the graphics is in one scene in particular with a ball made of Precursor metal rolls by and it looks too... fuzzy. Otherwise, everything is smooth and in the texture it should be in real life, only a little cartoony. The water effects are superb, and water effects are usually not too good. The only games I've ever played with realistic water effects are Ratchet and Clank, Final Fantasy X and Jak 2. Spiderman's water effects are good too, but not superb. There is a large step in graphics from the original game. The characters, backgrounds and items have far more poly's in them. 9.9/10

Gameplay: The same moves are used from the original, only triangle is action and ''steal car'', pressing R3 does first-person-view, pressing L3 brings up inventory, R1 is fire gun, the d-pad selects your guns and L2 is Dark Jak. The gameplay is fun, fun, fun, but it is challenging at some points. When I say challenging, I mean really freaking hard. Some missions in particular, like destroying a giant tanker or the Hellcat Cruiser mission are hard as well. In hero mode, (unlocked in the original part of the game with 200 Precursor Orbs) you get your weapons at the beginning and the Invulnerable, Infinite Ammo and Infinite Dark Jak are unlocked earlier. Plus, in Hero mode, the Metal-heads (the large army mentioned earlier) pop out infinite skull gems. 8/10

Sound: The music is entertaining, and I jumped in one part where thousands of Metal-Heads swarmed me and the music took a horrifying turn. There is slow music playing in the peaceful environments, fast, freaky music playing in the more intense and scary levels. The music playing throughout Haven City (the main hub) gets a bit annoying, and some music is played over and over, while in the first game each level had its own music. The sound effects are very realistic, like the water effects. It almost feels like you're right there! 9/10

Replay Value and Length: With the Hero mode, there is as much Replay Value as Ratchet and Clank. In the Hero Mode, the enemies take more damage before they are gone, but the cheats are unlocked earlier. The final prize in Hero mode is the Ultimate Scrap-Book, which I have yet to unlock. The only replay value I remember from the first game is turning the sound off and messing with the character's lines. And finally, the second most important part of a game: the length. How much time will you spend playing it? Lots. It takes at least 15-20 hours to complete it once with 200 Precursor Orbs, making a total of 30-40 hours total. (If you're wondering, the most important part of a game is the gameplay/fun-factor) 10/10

Overall: This game is well worth the 40 or 60 dollars. It is challenging, but when you complete the challenging challenges, you are usually rewarded with a comical cinematic in which Daxter gets abused or something else happens. I say you buy it, because renting doesn't give you enough time to have fun with it and anger the Krimzon Guards (one of the main villain's lackeys).


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/27/03


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