Over the last few years the guy’s over at Naughty Dog have been very busy taking what at first was more of a childish platforming game and now transforming it over the last few years into a much more serious action platformer. It all started with the first great platformer for the PS2 in Jak and Daxter, and then moved onto the excellent Jak 2. Now ready for their third installment wouldn’t you know it, it’s called Jak 3 and its now out for the PS2. Is the third time the charm? Read our jam-packed review to find out!
The Jak series started off with a huge bang, giving gamers a firm grasp of what the PS2 was really going to be made of. It combined some great platforming elements and then added some amazing visuals that made for a really great experience. Then came Jak 2, an even better game that gave gamers a more serious and sophisticated looking Jak, with a lot more free-roaming gameplay, not unlike the popular Grand Theft Auto series. To be quite honest, both the first and the second games were just awesome games. Now we move onto the third and final game of the series in Jak 3, a game that attempts to close out the series with a bang.
Well the story picks up a little after the last game and they game starts off with the town of Haven City, which is still up in arms with three different groups wanting control of it. The whole town seems very distrustful against Jak for his dark mysterious powers, so one night there is a surprise attack against the palace, which gives Count Verger the opportunity to banish our beloved Jak from the city and to the not so lovely wastelands. Well of course my favorite character in video games, Daxter, and the trusty parrot friend Pecker join Jak in the wastelands. So now it’s up to you to get back to Haven City and free everyone from evil. The games story is definitely one of the biggest driving factors behind this game, and for good reasons too. The comedy in the game is one to be mentioned and the game flows at a very nice pace. To put this all together this is by far the best-developed story of the three Jak games, with plenty of action and comedy mixed in.
In Jak 3 we are given a game in which isn’t all that much different from last year’s game. The game takes place in a very open-ended style setup, where gamers get much more of options as to what they want to do in the game. Kind of taking the Grand Theft Auto approach to the platforming genre. What this allows you to do is when you feel like you need a break from the regular story mode there is just a large quantity of mini-games in which you can sink your teeth into. The mini-games are actually really quite fun and are a nice breath of fresh air, away from the rest of the game. My favorite mini-game would have to have been the dune buggy races, which really give you quite a good diversion from the game.
The missions in the game play very similar to that of Jak 2, which really is not that bad of a thing. The levels in the game usually require you to finish some sort of objective, most of which can be quite difficult. This is one of the more difficult games in the Jak series, which makes for some very challenging sequences. You will go through the missions on hoverboards, dune buggies, and all sorts of different mission types. The game really does do a great job of mixing the gameplay up to make for a much more diverse experience. The gameplay elements of Jak 3 are high flying and very nicely paced. Like mentioned before, they all prove as much of a challenge which usually means you won’t be able to complete a mission on the first try and maybe not even on the second.
Overall I must say that I was very impressed with Jak 3 in fact I will be bold enough to say that this is by far the best game in the series. The game may not be all that long with about fifteen hours of gameplay, but it does make up for it with a great storyline and plenty of entertaining mini-games to dive into. The gameplay may not be all that changed from Jak 2 but they do make some very solid improvements with new items and such to make this game just an excellent action platforming experience.
When the original Jak & Daxter game was released a few years ago it really showed gamers for the first time the true potential that was the Playstation 2. Now quite a few years later that same duo is back trying to keep raising the bar for the PS2 and does a nice job of it in Jak 3.
Jak 3 is, hands down, one of the best looking games for the PS2 right now. The character models have once again been improved from last year’s game with plenty of detail and an even more sophisticated looking Jak. One thing that has happened each through each game of the series is the look of Jak has become more and more adult like. Last year we were introduced to Jak with a full go-tee and this year we have Jak an even darker look. Not only are the character models improved, the environments themselves are amazing, with so much detail and so much color it’s hard not to just look and gaze at how gorgeous this game is.
To be quite frank, this one game that really takes full use of the PS2’s hardware and makes for one of the best looking games of the year. If you thought Jak 2 looked good wait tell you see Jak 3 because you will be in for one big treat.
The Jak series has always been an extremely fun series and nothing really changes in this game either. Although this game may also be the most difficult game in the series it also still retains all of the fun and enjoyment that has been with this series since the very beginning. This game more so then the others is actually quite difficult which at times can make the game seem to be mean, but in all sincerity the game plays very fairly and just offers up a very challenging experience, that fans of the Jak series are really going to enjoy.
Let’s all give a hand to the development team Naughty Dog who for the past few years has brought us three of the best platforming games of all time, and has concluded with an extremely fun and enjoyable game. Any fan of the Jak series should definitely go out and buy this game right away, as this is a great end to a great series.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.