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Jak II Review

Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: October 14, 2003 Also On: None

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is one of my favorite PS2 titles and one of my favorite platformers of all time. Jak II was obviously something that was going to become developed, considering how popular the original was. In Jak II, Naughty Dog took less of a Mario approach and more of a Ratchet and Clank meets Grand Theft Auto, but they attempted to mix all three titles. The result is a game which is free-roaming, but overly repetitive. To start us off, Jak II has small variety of unique character models in the city. The same can be said for the number of vehicles available, not many. Jak II does have a night and day system, with superb lighting and shadow effects. Jak II also has a large amount of architectural detail and a nice variety of buildings.

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There are a few elements within Jak II that are quite frustrating. I found that there are some ledges that seem like you can go up them, but you slide off to your death instead. In total, there are around 10 vehicles that you can carjack. Faster cars tend to be slow and explode easily, slow cars are large, but can easily get vehicles out of the way. Something that is less frustrating than last game is the fact that there is less collecting, aside from the occasional fetch-quests.

In Jak II, you and your friends find themselves in Haven City, after they activated a gate and went into it. As soon as they landed, Jak is arrested and Daxter slips away, since he is of course “only� an “animal�. Jak was being held by Baron Praxis where he would be performed on with Dark Eco experiments. After two years, Daxter finally frees Jak, with nothing on his mind but revenge. Jak II is laid out in a mission-by-mission structure, but side-missions are readily available. The map is just like that of Grand Theft Auto, meaning you will find your missions by an icon on the map. You must go to the destination where the icon is located and receive your mission from an individual and once you complete your mission, the process continues.

Jak II, unlike the original, gives the player an option to use guns. Of course, the kicks, punches, etc. are all still here, but the guns add a new level of game play. You will receive a Scatter Gun (shotgun), Vulcan (machine gun), Peace Maker (electricity), and a Blaster Weapon (assault rifle). Jak II fails to deliver on both fronts, since if you bought it for the guns, Ratchet and Clank is a much better shooter/platformer, but if you bought it for more of just platforming, punching, collecting, etc., the first one is much more appropriate. In all, Jak II wasn’t a massive failure, but it didn’t succeed in many areas either. If you were impressed with the original, like me, you will probably be as disappointed as I was in the transformation of the series.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 6.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 7.1
Written by Kyle Review Guide