"A Good Start"

Jak and Daxter, a game I personally never played, was the first platformer in this now series. It ended with a cliff-hanger, which now starts this game. Jak 2 is an excellent game for people who love and hate platformers. The game is done in such a way that you will love every difficult mission. Yet, Jak 2 is not without its flaws...

Story 8/10:
You start this story as a prisoner of Baron Praxis, an evil dictator over Haven City. Daxter helps you escape the evil fortress, and it is there that the story begins. I have never heard of a platform game's story being so deep and having so many plot-twists. You will enjoy this twisty-turvy story, and will enjoy learning about each character's interesting role. However, the story does have a difficult time getting off.

When you enter Haven City (a city like GTAs' cities where you can explore the city from the very beginning.) you will be doing missions (once again in the same way as GTA games). However, eventually you will get to a point in the game where the missions don't keep the story going, but instead seem more like busy-work. Many times you will have missions throughout the city that are very similar to other missions that you have already done. The missions throughout the city consist of two different types of missions: protecting the underground, whilst the Krimzon Guard (the Baron's own little cops) try to kill you, or you will be racing with some kind of time limit. Sometimes the missions do get very repetitive, and every mission is terribly difficult.

The characters are all a great addition to the story, however, sometimes you will have no idea what a character does in the game, or even what his/her name is! There are so many characters and many of them disappear after just one mission. Although this is not bad, I would have liked to learn a little bit more about each characters' backgrounds, and their roles. Also, so many characters are based on a stereotype, which gets very annoying. Ashelin, the Lara Croft girl who feels the need to constantly be protecting herself, is the rebel who can get very annoying. Vin is your wimpy scientist. Kor, your nice old guy. Torn, you love-struck confused hero. Erol, Jak's main enemy. Krew, your evil fat-man. And there are many more characters that have little to no depth involved in their characters, which is rather disappointing. Yet, there are some characters that I did like. Onin and Pecker (his mother was very vindictive) are both hilarious, and Jak and Daxter are both a great team.

The story, although excellent, needs some work. Characters also need to be a bit more developed in my opinion, but of course the story itself is far better than most platformers.

Graphics 10/10:
The graphics for this game are superb! Every character has a unique and beautiful look about themselves. Haven City is a beautiful world and you will enjoy traveling around its different areas. Each area in the game is interesting and has its own look. From the water spewing out of the pumps, to the facial expressions of each character, to each surprisingly different area, the graphics are superb for the PS2.

Gameplay 9/10:
Haven city, basically a GTA city, involves so much freedom from the beginning that you will expect this game to only be a copy of GTA. Yet, the gameplay of this game is so different from GTA that it is amazing! I have decided to split the Gameplay section into smaller sections:

The Guns 10/10:
You are given four guns in this game. Although this may not seem like a lot, it is. You will never want an extra gun throughout this whole game, because every gun is useful in its own situation. And just when you think, ''Oh, I just got a new gun, I'll never use this gun again,'' you will find a time when your ''obsolete'' gun won't be so obsolete.

Dark Jak 9/10:
One of the most unique systems of the game. Because Jak was pumped with Dark Eco, he now has a darker force, and alter-ego, if you will. This is a great addition to the game. The moves of Dark Jak are great, and it makes the game a lot more interesting. Yet, sometimes, Dark Jak will seem useless, because guns are so much better...

The Cars 7/10:
There are very few cars, or hover-crafts, in this game, and it is kind of disappointing. Of course, this isn't a driving game, but it would be nice to have some more cars. Although this game probably packed this DVD to the brim so much that there was no extra room for cars.... Yet, a lot of the time, you won't feel a need for any more cars than there are, since cars don't play an immense role in the game. Also, I feel that the cars blow up too easily, which gets annoying quickly.

The City 7/10:
The city can get extremely boring at times. The city is immense, and sometimes you will wonder why it is so huge. I think that something like 100 Hidden Packages would have done this game well. And most of the time, you won't spend any time exploring this city because it is too big.

The Cops 5/10:
The Krimzon Guard, or cops, are probably the most annoying feature of this game. They are involved in almost every single mission, and can get quite annoying... Bumping into one guard can get the entire Krimzon force on your back, and most of the time you won't last long. I think it would have been nice to have a system, like GTA, where there are levels of the cops (Like GTA's one star to six stars in cop levels). Because if you get a guard mad (and you will very often) then you are in trouble because it takes a long time to dodge them completely.

The Missions 8/10:
The most important part of the game. Most missions are fun, however, as I said, they get very repetitive very quickly. The missions also offer a form of difficulty that I think is very great! Although many missions may seem impossible, you will have fun trying to complete them and their difficulty.

Overall 9/10:
A very good start to the Gameplay of the game, although it does suffer from some problems. This game is a lot fun though, yet it does need some fixing.

Sound 8/10:
The music in this game can get very repetitive sometimes. Although every world has different music, the music itself isn't the most amazing feature of the game. The sound-effects are great though. And the characters' voices are unbelievable.

Controls 9/10:
I loved the controls in the game. Every button had a purpose for anything in the game. The game was also extremely smooth, and I don't have any complaints over the camera. The only bad parts re that sometimes when you turn, the graphics skip (although I am fairly certain that can be fixed) (this should probably be in the graphics section...). And also, sometimes, when I hit an object in the game, the game would just pause out of nowhere, for no reason. I don't know if that was just my game, but I felt like putting it in here.

Overall 8/10:
Overall, this game is great. You will love this game. Of course I do think this game needs some improvements. Yet, this game is a great start to an already excellent series.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/27/03

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