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Posted on Oct 27th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (ErbBetaPatched)
Posted under playstation 2, jak and daxter, jak 2, grand theft auto 3

I started working on this video about 11 months ago, and by working, I just mean I got the idea for the review and recorded the entire trilogy of games. I pounded out a very structured comparison between both games and hated the script and put it off until a few months ago. Since then its gone through a transformation with a new framing device that I think worked better for the review, as Jak and Daxter and Jak 2 are pretty similar games.

Grand Theft Auto 3 was big when it came out and created a larger demand for more mature games. Jak and Daxter's sequel would have to go through a tonal shift to keep up with the market, and it worked out well in the end. The change in tone works inside the story, as Jak and his friends are sent to a place that's much darker than from where they originate. The story itself is grittier and follows the trend set by GTA 3 that a lot of other open world action adventure games followed. Grand theft Auto 3 is also a revenge tale where you don't care who you help out, you just care about revenge, though at some point the events of the story force the characters to rearrange their priorities. Jak 2 has a very interesting story about revenge and being strangers in a foreign land, and the story is several leagues above Jak and Daxter's. I definitely tried to avoid revealing any spoilers, though if you watch the video carefully and listen to what I say you could probably piece together one of the major twists. The action is much improved with guns and the platforming is made a lot more technical and fun with the new jet board. By all means, it should be the better game.

But it isn't. Jak 2's improved mechanics are excellent and when it implements those mechanics properly, it surpasses the previous game. But like a lot of these "GTA clones", it also creates a bunch of new mission types. Think about how aggravating it was to pilot the remote-controlled helicopter in Vice City. Every time you think about playing through that game, you look back at that moment with dread. These new types of gameplay can be refined and made good, as we will see when I get to Jak 3, but as they are, they certainly detract from the game. And that's not to say that they occur too often or that Jak 2 is bad, it's just a lesser game because of them. I'd say that Jak and Daxter is about 96% fun to play, and Jak 2 is more around 85%.

Both are excellent games, I'm glad I reviewed them, though I think I could have worked on tying it back to the framing device a bit more. I didn't want to talk too much about Grand Theft Auto 3 because that's still a game I have to review, and it's inclusion in this video is to show what the differences between these two games means to me. But stay tuned because I want to get the review for Jak 3 out soon, and it should be a shorter video, as I already discussed much of Jak 2 already, so I shouldn't have to repeat much.

Let me know what you think, or if I'm wrong about something in the video. I appreciate the feedback and want to make these better.

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After watching this I really had to sit and think for a moment.  I played the first J&D and it didn't do anything for me.  Kind of felt like a collecta-thon, which by 2005 (when I played the game) I was sooo over.  But I really got into Jak II, even though it was the most challenging game in my gaming career (that I've managed to finish, anyway).  The GTA angle that you mentioned is what pulled me in and kept me, though that is the exact thing that keeps me from playing the game now.  That, and Jak III being...  another day, another day.

No pressure but I am really looking forward to your Jak III, as it is one of my favorite games on the PS2.  Good job and keep it up.
@bombatomba: Thanks, and your experience with both games is kinda the point I made at the beginning of the review for Jak 2. after the release of GTA 3 the cutesy platformers from the 5th gen waned in popularity and these mature games like GTA and God of War exploded. It makes sense that if you were playing games at that time then you too would also be part of this trend. And I definitely have a lot of good things to say about Jak 3, since it fixes a lot of what made Jak 2 worse.

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