Review by Firestorm ZERO

"One of the greatest ever made?"

Introduction:
Jak 2 is the sequel to Jak And Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, one of the first titles in the Platinum Range on Playstation 2, the original was a great game giving the sequel a huge reputation to live up to. Jak 2 is made by Naughty Dog, the company who created the Crash Bandicoot series, other bits of the game come from Cerny Games and Sony. The genre of Jak 2 varies, there are action sections with the guns, adventure sections with the mission structure, sports sections with the Jet-Board, platform sections with the jumping, racing sections with the driving, bemani sections with one of the mini games, RPG sections with the weapons upgrades and fighting sections with the melee moves. The huge range of genres should satisfy most gamers and that must have been one of Naughty Dog's main intentions. The thing that really makes this game though is the differences from the previous game which was all gentle and was at heart a children's game, this time though Jak is bigger, bolder and better. One question to ask though is which is the better game? this or Ratchet And Clank 2, both are as close to perfection as anything ever created, well here's the verdict.

Storyline:
A vastly deep story that is easy to pick out, this game does though have more plot twists than you can count because it can change at any moment, this adds points to Jak's score. Here is a brief description of the plot. After defeating Gol And Maia in Jak And Daxter: The Precursor Legacy Jak and Daxter find a machine, they take this back to Samo's the Sage for him to work on. The games first cinematic's start with the machine being activated and Jak, Daxter, Kiera and Samo's are blasted into Haven City, one thousand years into the future, Jak and Daxter are separated from the other two and are immediately arrested by soldiers of the city ruler Baron Praxis, the soldiers are known as the Krimzon Guard. Jak and Daxter are arrested but Daxter escapes. During the next two years Jak is subjected to Dark Eco experiments in the Baron's attempt to create a perfect warrior, the experiments fail though and Daxter releases Jak, together they go to the Underground, a resistance faction and thats where the game begins, from there you'll be trusted, betrayed, fought, shot at, helped and assisted.

Graphics:
Absolutely superb, yes, absolute perfection, just about. The graphics in Jak 2 go further than any game before, they are bold, solid, polished, stunning and everything seems to be perfect, it is damn near impossible to pick out any negative points. Loads of positive points though, firstly the attention to detail, there is truck loads of it, everything from Daxter's fur to the banner on a building one hundred yards away. Characters are exceptional, they move realistically, show emotion well are more detailed than a PC instruction manual and overall feel like real people. The city is also very realistic, the terrain and buildings are incredibly detailed and polished and it overall feels real. The cinematic's are great but not too different to the general graphics but still are absolutely stunning. Overall these are some of the finest graphics ever seen in a video game, compared to Ratchet And Clank 2 they are about the same, both are great so at this point the games are even.

Sound:
The games worst point but it is still absolutely phenomenal in the special effects and the way sounds fit in with parts of the game, character sounds have also been revamped with Daxter being funny and not annoying and Jak speaking a lot instead of being a mute. In detail then, firstly the special effects, they're fantastic, there could be a few more but sometimes they are unnecessary, however it all adds to the games realism, water dropping in the sewer? yes its there, People screaming when they're shot? yes, detailed and variable loudspeaker scripts? you bet, Jet-Board friction sounds? yes they're there, overall for special effects is a good rating, it all adds to the tally, on a small negative there could be more in some places. Next the overall music, does it fit in with the environments? well guess what it does, the audio fits extremely well with the environment, for example the forest has a happy flowing tune whilst the fortress music is tense as you could be attacked at any second, everything seems to be right and there are no flaws you can pick out, music changes at different times too, calm town music to a heavily armed Krimzon Guard raid, the music changes instantly, no matter where it was at, this factor of sound is outstanding in my opinion. Finally the characters, they are voiced by people and are voiced well with the script being good and fitting in with the storyline. So sounds score, fantastic, compared to Ratchet And Clank 2, about three marks under, the sole reason is the menu music of Ratchet And Clank 2 being better than the boring one of Jak 2.

Gameplay:
If you like solid gameplay you'll love this game. Firstly the controls, they are flexible and easy for a beginner to get into, there are loads of moves to master and different controls for different situations, so many in-fact that its hard to keep up. Next you have the sheer amount of mini-games, guns? yes, bemani? yes, racing? yes, its all here. Next up the multi player and online, I wanted to see one of these but there aren't any, still it doesn't matter. The fun of the game is next, well I'll tell you that the game is more fun than anything else you can do on a Saturday Afternoon, whats better than going through a wasteland, blasting at everything you can see with a machine gun? nothing, absolute bliss. Next up is the customisation, whilst there's little of it, there's plenty to see you through. Finally, you have the wonderful menu screens, they're simple, user friendly and polished, nice. Say goodbye to boredom and free time.

Game Time:
A whopping two months which is dead even with Ratchet And Clank 2, so Jak 2 is even with Ratchet on another category. The game time adds up through the huge amount of missions and mini games to do combined with the mastery of everything and the collectibles, even after that there is Hero Mode to play through and complete. its never boring, its always fun. Sounds like this game will be taking over your free time for a while, a very long while.

Extras:
Well if you want one word loads! if you wan't more read on, firstly the collectable's, there are two hundred and eighty six Precursor Orbs to collect and earn a bucket load of stuff with, theres also loads of gems to collect to earn four new Dark Powers, there's also mini games to be played in the form of gun courses, bemani, JET-Boarding, racing and other oddball tasks. Compared to Ratchet And Clank 2 though Jak 2 finally falls, Ratchet has so much more to do, collect and play.

Final Recommendation:
This is an incredible game, unquestionable. But is it the one of the best ever made? On the Playstation 2 it certainly is, being no less than the second greatest game in its genre, but if you include every format, and every genre, it falls down a few positions to thinks like Zelda, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Super Smash Brothers Melee and Battlefield 1942, and compared to other platformers on other systems, it falls below Playstation games Ape Escape and Spyro: Year Of The Dragon, without a doubt though, this is a must have game in your collection. There's no reason to not buy it.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/03, Updated 05/09/04


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