This is a Jak-ing

I realised that despite claiming to be interested in game development, I’ve not posted much about gaming; so I figured I could write a game review. I seem to have gone on a bit about the N64 (although trust me, I’ve been holding back), so I thought I’d talk about a PS2 series, namely Jak and Daxter.

Jak and Daxter was the first game I bought for the PS2. I remember opening the box and reading through all the instructions (it was on a long journey so I had time to kill). I loved the fact that it came with a map, I think more games (and maybe even books) should do this as it allows the user to visualise the game world as if it was a physical place.

One of my favourite aspects of Jak and Daxter is the style; the characters, the world and even the physics had a unified toony style. I’d like to think that the designers had some sort of strokey-beard meeting in which they realised that creating a realistic looking game was impossible due to the technical limitations at the time and so decided to make the best of what they had. I’m still impressed with how they managed to get such fluid animations with such a low poly count.

For me, the defining feature of the Jak and Daxter franchise (and why I consider it to be one of the best series ever made) is the way it evolved. The games matured throughout the series to match the original target audience. The characters, the worlds and even the dialogues and relationships developed organically, and yet the style remained consistent, only more refined. The Jak and Daxter series is the best example of this kind of progression I’m aware of, and something that I can only aspire to when I make my own games.

I’ve also recently discovered that they’re bringing out all of the Jak games on PS3 in HD, now I really wish I hadn’t sold my PS3.

This seemed to go well, I might do a series of these, although bewarned as I’m a student (and therefore financially challenged) these reviews probably won’t be about brand new games.