Review The PS2

Posted on Jul 30th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (ErbBetaPatched)
Posted under Jak 3, Playstation 2, review, PS2

It's here! Time to dive into Jak 3! Thanks to the evolution of this review I now know how I'm going to be handling Perfect Sequels videos in the future. I expected this review to be a lot shorter, and thus expected to be finished with it sooner. Most of the gameplay would have been covered by the last video, so all I would have to do to review Jak 3 would be to cover the new stuff, give a short story description and then call it a day, right? After seeing that my original take on the story was incorrect, I soon realized that a short review wouldn't cut it.

I rewatched all of the game's cutscenes, and soon realized that I had misremembered Jak's character entirely. In Jak 2 he goes through this arc where he decides not to return to his own time because of his attachment to the city and its people, who in effect he had been fighting for all this time, though he had his own reasons for fighting. Going into this review I had forgotten that this arc was completely wiped out for the third game, and I had to find out why. This led to me looking deeper into Jak's character and his actions, which led me to the game's underlying theme regarding the balance that must be struck between selflessness and self-interest, between saving others and seeking revenge, between light and dark. There's a lot I didn't mention about this theme, for fear of restating the same point over and over again in the video. Jak 3 relies heavily on this theme, and you can see it represented everywhere in the game, most notably with the constant use of the Yin-Yang symbol. The meter displaying your eco levels is a Yin-Yang, as are the light and dark eco crystals you get after some missions. I didn't cover it because it was a major spoiler (and you have been warned), but Jak's real name is Mar, which is also the name of the legendary warrior who founded Haven City, whose family crest is a Yin-Yang symbol. The game is unclear as to whether they are different people, but the symbolism of Jak's real name is just another way to drive home this theme. Another way the game does this requires you to know what happens in the Daxter spinoff game. In that game we learn that as the Baron was using dark eco to make warriors to fight the Metal Heads, Veger was arguing in favor of using light eco instead. Jak 3 shows us that they were both right, as dark and light eco were needed to save the day.

Once I saw that Jak 3 wasn't just a tangled mess of plotlines and that every plot somehow tied in to a central theme about heroism, revenge, and the balance between the two, I had to figure out how to work it into the review. Thankfully the story also ties in to the various gameplay changes. Jak's banishment to the Wasteland was the perfect opportunity to talk about driving and Spargus. That naturally worked its way to Jak receiving his new powers, shortly after which we found ourselves returning to a war-torn Haven City, where all of the new guns were put to the test. Jak 3's story worked out in a way where I could take you through the major events and touch every gameplay change along the way. Going forward I think this is what I want to do with Perfect Sequels videos. I don't want it to be a standard review, rather a more in-depth look at what makes the game tick, how the story and the gameplay work together, and what the game is trying to accomplish that the inferior prequels couldn't. My vision for them will probably change over time as I write more, and this review will probably be the roughest since I just sorta stumbled my way into this kind of structure, but I have high hopes for what future reviews will bring. Also play this game. It's a lot of fun and its really good.

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I'm on a quest to review every PS2 game, because its my favorite console. All of the reviews are uploaded to Youtube and I'll make a post for them when they come out.

You won't see just regular reviews, too. I also have some cool ideas I'd like to try out in order to review games in different fashions. Feedback is definitely appreciated.
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