Review by forevanightsky

"What's Jak II In A Nutshell?"

Don't get me wrong. Jak II is by far, one of the best video games I've played, and I've been around. But there are just some different aspects that just tick me off. Ever since I've played Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, I've been just craving for more. Of course, when I found out about this game, I immediately placed a hold. Naughty Dog has never really released a bad game, so I was really looking forward to it. As soon as I got home with my newly acquired gift, I noticed one thing right away. It was frickin' hard.

Sound:
8/10

One thing I've noticed about video games is that there's only a select few that are really catchy, toe-tappers. When I first played Jak II, I thought this game was rockin'. After a while, the music got tedious. In Haven City, there's like, two different settings. 'Take A Walk Around Town' and 'Good God, You're Under Attack!' It's annoying. When you're just chillin', or walking to your next mission, it's the SAME. The only really noticeable change is when you piss off a Krimzon Guard. And that's fun in itself. If I could make Naughty Dog change anything about this game, it would have to be some variety in this game. Like in Tony Hawk: Pro Skater 2, where you can change tracks. That would've really made a difference. But hey, when you're not ticked off at the music, it's decent, and it doesn't sound like my 4-year old cousin didn't run over to a sound studio and bang on everything she could get her hands on. Plus, Jak's voice is really cool...

Graphics:
10/10

Hmm. What to say about Jak II's graphics in a nutshell... Great! Compared to Naughty Dog's previous games, the Crash Bandicoot series, and Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, this game soars past their graphic rankings with flying colors. Sure, like any game, there are some choppy parts. But God, for making a (practically) brand-new engine, this game is good. Some may argue that Star Fox Adventures on the Nintendo Gamecube may be better, because you can see all of Fox's individual hairs at almost any given time, but honestly, do you need that? I think Jak or any other character looks fine without that specific detail you get in the cut-scenes. If you were to somehow, be in the same place in both games, and compare graphics, you'd ditch the original Jak game and turn to Jak II. The Day/Night capability is an added touch, my only gripe about that is some missions are hard when you can't see where the heck you're going.

Story:
10/10

Being horribly lazy, I never finished Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. But after reading reviews and FAQ/Walkthroughs over and over again, I've got the basics. Anyway, at the beginning, after Jak and his 'crew' are basically screwed, I mean, how normal is that? This game has got everything you want, and then some. Revenge, romance, humor, betrayal, friendship, and guns. I don't see anything bad in that, do you? And with the games Teen rating, there leaves room for some very funny (but at times, controversial) comments. Like Pecker. That's a characters name. Exactly. I cracked up. And Jak's gone hard-core man. He's not the loveable little Jak we've grown accustomed to in the first game, oh no. He's just a little...jacked up. I mean, torture cannot be a good thing, you know? With Dark Jak, you can kick some serious ass in this game. Even though it's hard. And then the Metal Heads try to seem scary...hell, I get stranger things in my breakfast cereal! =D

Gameplay:
9/10

Like a lot of games, my first complaint is the camera. Don't think it's total trash, it's just...a bit irritating in some parts. You can position the camera in the perfect position, but then have it end up totally screwed up within 30 seconds. There are a few parts in the game where that just cannot happen, unless you want to lose a life (or more.) But all in all, controls rock. On the Zoomers, the movements are fluid, and except for those damn Krimzon Guards, you can go by without too much damage. When you're going slow, that is. Let's face it, plowing into walls at full speed is rather fun. Hell, pedestrians duck in fear! That's gotta mean something! Sometimes though, I wish the game wasn't just played in the Analog Stick. The D-pad could've been useful in some points, but oh well.

Difficulty:
8/10

Urgh, this game is hard to sum up. But, yeah, it's hard. Even from the beginning, there is no break, it's just go-go-go. From homicidal tanks, to pissy Metal Heads, it's just...damn hard. I've lost a lot of sanity over this game. (Not to mention sleep...)

Replay Value:
7/10

If you're one of those people who have nothing better to do than sit around and play video games, then this is a good game to sit around and play...again...and again... Even though you know what goes on, the characters comments are funny at times. And even though it's a challenge, you've gotten the ropes. Hell, you could make bets on how to beat levels, you could really rake in the dough once you've gotten the hang of this game. (Which, despite belief, takes a lot longer then one would think.) You just need a lot of Mountain Dew, sanity, and patience.

Overall Score:
9/10

Overall, this game kicks ass. It's got more twists and turns then human intestines. From wise cracks, to tight guns, this game has it all. If you're truly a hard-core gamer, you'll find refuge in this game. And even if you're not, you'll surely find your grounds in this one. Buy or rent? Hell, I'd buy. Renting can only let you keep it for like, a maximum of 5 days, and there is no way you can do that unless you are:

A: Some un-Godly gamer.
B: Work for Naughty Dog
C: Have mad skills.
D: Have way too much time on your hands.

But, I don't fit in any of those categories, I'm slower than honey oozing down a plank at a 80' angle. Err, yeah.

All in all, this game is cool, and you should check it out before you even set your paws on that new Mario game...correction, games.


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


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