Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Jak and Daxter Collection

Review: Jak and Daxter Collection

5:00 PM on 02.07.2012 // Dale North

Say what you will about rerelease collections, but this one was needed. The Jak and Daxter series contained some of the finest games available on the PS2, and this generation of PS3 gamers may have missed out on Naughty Dog's earliest works, so a series collection was more than welcome. 

The Jak and Daxter Collection takes all three games, remasters them in high-definition running at 60 frames per second, adds Trophy support and 3D support, and puts them all on one $40 disc for the PS3. Even after more than a decade, Jak and Daxter impress -- that's how good these games are. 

Jak and Daxter Collection (PlayStation 3) 
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: February 7, 2012
MSRP: $39.99

Back in the PS2 days I played all three Jak and Daxter games in their entirety, so the Jak and Daxter Collection was like a stroll down memory lane. Well, more like a run through an epic triathalon. I forgot how challenging these games were!

Playing them in order, the first game, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, eases you into the series, with platforming action gently ramping up to serious trials and some truly unforgiving ledges and edges. I can't tell you how many times I fell down off a high point, forcing me to work my way back up to a dangerous edge. While this was sometimes frustrating, I found it a bit refreshing compared to modern 3D platformers, where it's a bit harder to fall off an edge. The Precursor Legacy has aged surprisingly well for a title that's more than a decade old. The game's focus on item collection and fetch quests is a bit dated, and some of the movement and camera issues from the early days of 3D platforming pop up at the worst times, but overall it was great to see how this fantastic series kicked off. 

Jak II came a couple of years later, giving the developers time to ramp up the tech and visuals for this sequel. Playing these two back to back in this collection served to highlight the advances, showing just how fast the developers grew. Naughty Dog seemed to explode with creativity in Jak II, bringing a darker story, deeper gameplay, better animation and glimpses of some of the epic scale we've come to love in the Uncharted series. In the visual department alone it's truly surprising to see how different the first two games are, especially with the HD upgrading this collection brings.

In this sequel Jak turns into a sometimes-evil badass that can tap into his newfound darkness to hit harder and move faster. This game also introduces gunplay, and there's a neat interplay between the series' standard combat and some of the innovative new weapons. This all works nicely in the game's dark, futuristic setting, and it helps elevate the series from a standard platforming fare to a varied, open action-adventure experience.

The structure of Jak II has the heroes freely roaming a massive city, making for a very sandbox-y, non-linear experience. It's fun to run around and cause trouble, but it's also easy for the duo to get lost, and that can be frustrating. Sometimes the game is so ambitious in its scope that it borders on tedious...until you find your way, that is. And while we're on the topic of frustration, some of the game's many story-based challenges are so difficult that I found myself having to take a 15-minute break to recollect my composure. This becomes a trend that stands even now with Naughty Dog's current games.

Jak 3 is my favorite title as it brings a close to the series, bringing with it the most refined gameplay of the three games. It's also the best looking title, with the HD upgrades bringing it up to a level where it holds up nicely against current titles. Many of the game's sections shine with detailed animation running at 60 fps, and the cutscenes were so ahead of their time that with this upgrade they are on par with those of the Ratchet and Clank series. Jak 3 was a great looking game back in 2004, and it's even better in 2012.

Naughty Dog went absolutely nuts in Jak 3 with gameplay styles, making sure to throw something new at players at every turn. Multiple types of racing, arena shooting, hunting and even arcade gaming break up the platforming action, and it's all really good. These different types of challenges also provide ample opportunities for new Trophies. Aside from the game's camera following a bit too closely for comfort, all of the varied types of gameplay are so refined that you can't help but be impressed. The insanely high difficulty of some of the challenges rears its ugly head again in this title, but they're worth sticking out. While I'll always love this game, it features what is easily the most frustrating race segment ever in an 3D action-platformer. 

Jak 3 is a treat for Naughty Dog fans as it serves as an early glimpse into some of the gameplay and design elements they would eventually bring to the Uncharted series on PS3. You'll see some examples of the brilliant storytelling and dialogue we've come to expect from them, with plenty of cutscenes packed with their trademark humor. Some of Daxter's one-liners had me rolling, and they are great examples of the foundations for Nathan Drake's wisecracking. It's also easy to see several instances of their budding cinematic style and their love for huge event pieces. The whole game is like a preview of what is to come from Naughty Dog, bringing an additional layer of enjoyment for fans of the studio.

The 3D option of this collection is a nice touch, though I wouldn't say that those without 3D televisions are missing much, as there isn't any 3D-specific work in these titles. It's just a subtle tweak that adds to the fun. That said, all three games look great in 3D; the increased depth really benefits vehicle segments. The cutscenes also really pop with 3D on, especially in tight head shots. The games have a 3D depth slider option in the pause menu for fine tuning. 

One small gripe: While all three games are selectable for play from a main menu, there's no way to exit a game to get back to the menu, meaning that you'll need to quit the disc and go back to the XMB to restart it to select another game. Also, your only 'extra' for this fine collection is a scrolling credits list option. 

The Jak and Daxter Collection is a gift to platforming fans, Naughty Dog fans, and gamers in general. For just a bit over $13 a game you're getting the best version of three PS2 classics, each packed with tight platforming, great characters, hilarious dialogue, and a huge range of gameplay styles. And with the HD and 3D upgrades, these games have never looked better. Some of the item fetching of the earlier games feels a bit old, the platforming gets a bit hairy in spots, and segments of too-tough difficulty are hard to push through, but these are small blemishes on what is otherwise a beautiful collection. The Jak and Daxter series still stands as one of the best platformer series ever created, and every gamer should make it a point to play through them.



Jak and Daxter Collection - Reviewed by Dale North
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Jak and Daxter Collection

  Apr 19

Jak and Daxter Collection coming to the PlayStation Vita

$29.99 for the collection that previously came to the PS3

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Backward Compatibility Is More Important Than Ever (Maybe)

It's beginning to look a lot like censorship.

Solar Pony Django's Review on: Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

voex avatarvoex
*Sigh* time to figure out how much a Fallout 4 capable PC upgrade is gonna cost me...
ooktar avatarooktar
Ordered this on Thanksgiving and surprisingly got here today. The case is amazing and Now I got all the Persona Cards. [img][/img] [img][/
Jiraya avatarJiraya
You probably already saw this - but it is gold - Fallout 4 One Punch Man Mod [youtube][/youtube]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I just got my new Mega64 Blu-Ray! But now I have a problem... Do I watch that or keep watching Claymore...
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Hey, my new blog is up! A few days ago! Go read it! Before......before its too late. Please. *walls start crumbling, reality starts oozing out, things begin to eeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Alright so I'm looking for a few games for my newly repurchased DS. I'm already set on RPG as it's all I have pretty much. Were there any good puzzle games? I've heard good things about Professor Layton.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I made chocolate and banana cake because why not.
able to think avatarable to think
After hearing Persona 4 Dancing All Night come out of my surround sound system; I can safely say my $20 Playstation TV purchase was totally justified. The bass on Best Friends (Banvox Remox) literally shook the floor. It's freaking awesome!
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
I wish I could say I made this 'shop. [img][/img]
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow. Triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow.
Alfie avatarAlfie
Was on the front page and was greeted by a new post, which I clicked to find "You cannot see the future". Then refreshed and it was gone. I saw Chris's post on Eight Days' cancellation as it was brought, new and unready, into the world! Rare and wonderful
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Have you ever purchased a game only to regret it later and then sell it/give it away, only to even later regret selling it and wind up purchasing it again?
gajknight avatargajknight
A decadent staircase adorned in gold rises into infinite darkness. Writhing beings beyond comprehension lurk in the shadows, their mere presence encroaching on the edges of human understanding. A blood moon glows . I am losing my mind. I need more eyes...
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
We need to be implanted with microchips because I'd really like to know how much time I've spent playing different video games my entire life.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If there are rainbows in Xenoblade Chronicles X, Reyn must be in it as well. You can't have a rainbow without Reyn, baby!
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I really hope Xenoblade become it's own franchise, it has way too much potential to simply being reduced to 2 games.
Sotanaht avatarSotanaht
Touchable Holograms? When this eventually matures and hits market, almost all our regulars will vanish for weeks.
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Xenoblade Chronicles Wii for €10? Sure, Nintendo, don't mind if I do!
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Super Smash Bros. 4 has too much content. So much so I almost don't want a sequel. I honestly hope that NX gets a "Super Smash Bros. For NX" port rather than a new installment. It could be a GOTY edition and come with all of the DLC.
Batthink avatarBatthink
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -