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Retro Recap: Jak and Daxter

Another successful franchise from the team at Naughty Dog by on April 15, 2014  

It’s time for a look back at another one of Naughty Dog’s 3D platformer ventures. Albeit this series wasn’t quite as successful as the Crash Bandicoot series, but then again, not many franchises are. This week’s Retro Recap is none other than Jak and Daxter.

I haven’t really been specific. I am, of course, talking about The Precursors Legacy. Jak sets off a journey to turn his good friend Daxter back into a human. Naturally with any plot twist, the only person who can possibly help our heroes is attempting to destroy the world with dark eco! The world of Jak and Daxter runs on eco which the Precursors created long ago. In order to reach the Gol and turn Daxter back to his human form, the duo must travel north, but that isn’t without obstacles, thus the side mission of collecting power cells comes into play. With 101 in total, it’s easy to find yourself spending time collecting these power cells. In order to progress, a number of cells is required, but collecting them all does reveal a secret ending to the game.

Speaking eco, Jak possesses the unique ability to channel the eco through his body and reap its rewards. In total, there are 4 different kinds of eco, each granting a different power to Jak, whether it’s a jump enhancement, or a projectile fist. These powers allow Jak to traverse the terrain and reach his destination in a much faster and fluid action. Alongside the eco and the power cells, you can collect Precursor orbs. These orbs mainly serve the purpose of trading for power cells, so if you find yourself short one or two, the orbs do come in handy. One can argue that the game can still be completed without collecting any orbs and gathering only the required amount of power cells, the game fully flourishes if you take to the time to collect more than you should, experiencing the game the way Naughty Dog intended.

Jak and Daxter facts? You betcha!

  • At the start of the game, in Samos’ hut, you can find the Venus Fly Trap Plant from the Crash Bandicoot series, another Naughty Dog title
  • Daxter is an Ottsel, a cross between a Otter and a Weasel
  • Dee Snider, the frontman of the band Twister Sister provides the voice of antagonist Gol
  • Incidentally, the character Gol occasionally makes references to Twister Sister songs

Jak and Daxter gave me hours of entertainment, which was surprising from my point of view. When this title first came out, I was very skeptical. The belief that nothing could top Crash Bandicoot was firmly implanted in my mind and a pair of characters, one of which bearing a similar resemblance to Crash, was Naughty Dog’s poor attempt at creating further successful franchises. I can say that I was truly wrong. After being convinced to play Jak and Daxter, I didn’t put it down until I completed it. Not just complete it, but 100% it. The seamless open world to explore, the storyline and the comical, yet depth of the characters kept me hooked from start to finish. Jak and Daxter is definitely a game I would recommend to anyone. If you have the chance, pick up the HD collection and give it a go!

Did you ever play Jak and Daxter or did you pick up one of the sequels at a later date? What about the HD Collection? Let us know in the comments section below!

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