I didn’t already write a post about this, right? I don’t think I did…. Anyway, some time ago, I wrote a post comparing the “Jak and Daxter” and “Ratchet & Clank” series, and I thought it was high time I gave you guys a more in-depth look at the “Jak” series, one of my favorites, and yet, at the same time, one of the most disappointing.
Because, like so many other series, this one started out so very good, only to turn so very bad. The first game, “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy”, was very short and simple, but it still remains as one of my favorite games. I don’t even know what it was that made it so great, but I just love it. It involves Daxter falling into a pool of Dark Eco, which turns him into an orange half weasel, half otter creature called an ottsel, and Jak and Daxter set out on a quest to seek out the Dark Sage to try and get Daxter changed into a human again. Simple concept, but the humor and the gameplay was just wonderful. I thought this game had the funniest minor characters I have ever seen, and the game was just pure fun. It really just involved a lot of collecting, but you got to explore cool locations and use different types of Eco that gave Jak different abilities. And riding that zoomer was awesome.
The game was just pure and simple beauty, and I just love the whole feel the game gives me, the innocence of a time long before the worries we have in the modern day, where you can explore a land filled with mystery, that has yet to be spoiled by human advancement.
And then “Jak II” was released, and the series was never the same again. Jak and Daxter end up centuries in the future, thanks to a time machine they really were foolish to check out. Ever since then, this game has taken place in a far more modern era in Jak’s world, complete with evil dictators, guns, machinery. And booze. Which makes me sad. Very sad.
Because the first game was really something special. “Jak II” and “Jak 3” had much more complicated and interesting stories, along with a lot of great characters (though, these things aren’t quite as good in “Jak 3”), but the charm that the first game possessed is completely gone, and the feel has completely changed. “Jak 1” was just such a nice break from the crud so prevalent in real life. I loved playing this game and, in a way, getting a break from the real world, where I could explore a land and a time far nicer than our own. I enjoyed the entire environment this game took place in, and it’s been destroyed. It’s like a forest that’s been hacked down to make room for a shopping mall. The beauty is gone, and that past time has been pushed aside for something far more unsavory.
And I know I’m making quite a big deal of it, but it really makes me a sad duck that such a great series changed so drastically. “Jak II” was amazing, as well, but it can’t compete with how very beautiful “Jak 1” was. And it helps little that the series has become so mediocre in recent years. They don’t even make games for it anymore, which is likely for the best, as it’s no longer worth playing. Nevertheless, that will not stop “Jak 1” from forever having a special place in my heart as one of my most cherished games. And if you haven’t tried it, please check it out, and you, too, can experience something truly wonderful.
Jak and Daxter: The Duck’s Legacy