I know it was only a few days ago that I was telling you all how I enjoyed taking a trip back to my childhood by diving back into the Jak and Daxter series, and today I’m going to talk about my favourite Jak game, Jak 3. I completed this game yet again yesterday, one of the best games on the PS2 in my opinion. It had so many brilliant elements that caused it to surpass its predecessors, while Jak 2 brought in the use of guns and being able to drive small vehicles through the city of Haven, Jak 3 when another step further by adding an extra 2 modes to each of the 4 gun types as well as adding a whole new map in the wasteland where we had several big cars with guns of their own! New characters of the badass variety and some of my favourite old faces only added to the enjoyment that I got from the third adventure of Jak and Daxter.
The story of Jak 3 also happens to be my favourite across the series, from Jak being banished from Haven City to him becoming a member of Spargus City becoming a true wastelander in the process. We discover more about Jak (and Daxter!!) in the process of this story, I have to say finally meeting these legendary precursors was a personal highlight. Who knew that they would be so small, fluffy and orange! Watching one of the most big headed villains I have ever encountered get turned into an ottsel was one of my favourite moments. Looking at Jak as a wastelander truly makes you see just how far the character has come since leaving sandover village in his first adventure, Naughty Dog continued to develop not only Jak but the various characters that we met in Jak 2 have grown in Jak 3. The story carried on nicely from the second game, which was nice, I can remember several sequels to video games that share very little with the first game and to me it stops the series from flowing if all the games in a series are unrelated, so for me having Naughty Dog keep the story flowing to that standard was great. Then again if there is something Naughty Dog are great at it is creating universes with amazing characters and immersive stories.
The vast and open wasteland was so fun to drive around in, taking down marauders and metal heads with whatever vehicle you wanted to speed through the desert in. there were several different vehicles, all of which had elements that were unique to them. My favourite vehicle was the Dune Hopper, being able to jump high in the air and shoot a form of grenade at my enemies, I also found that for some reason I could control the Dune Hopper better, the sand shark is probably a favourite for most people but I found that I would keep skidding and flipping over. The missions that take part in the wasteland are a lot fun and give something different, I think it was a great idea to give the players a second map, it kept things from getting too samey, the idea of spending a second game in only Haven City definitely wouldn’t have appealed as much as switching between a now ruined Haven City and the unforgiving wasteland. The changes in Haven were interesting to see upon returning after being kicked out, seeing some of the areas from the first game in ruins now added to me wanting tear apart the krimzon guards and all the metal heads.
The introduction of light Jak was a much loved addition to the series, Dark Jak was huge hit in Jak 2 and of course we still had access to that dark beast in this game, but Jak 3 saw the addition of light eco coursing through Jaks veins, turning him into a blue angel of sorts. The abilites that you unlocked for light Jak throughout the game were brilliant, being able to slow down time, use a shield and have wings for longer and higher jumps was excellent. It made Jak more balanced as a character, he now has a way to balance out the darkness within him, while looking amazing, angelic.
Much like Jak 2 I did find some of the missions to be challenging, more challenging than I had originally anticipated (stupid considering my experience from Jak2!) but as with Jak 2 it added more to it, my completion time for Jak 3 was quicker however with a final time of 8hr40 though trust me when I say that I was expecting it to be longer than that. The missions were diverse, driving through the wasteland, flying to a volcano and fighting the war Haven city. The final boss I thought was more of a challenge in Jak 3, having to drive through the wasteland shooting at the legs of the machine Erol sat upon was quite tricky for me, especially since I had a habit of skidding out of control in the sand shark when I was having a casual drive never mind a mad rush to save the world! Then having to face Erol himself with tentacles, enemies and a moving spinning blade with Erol shooting beams at you, it was certainly a hectic encounter.
As I carry on with my trip down memory lane, next up for me is Jak X! I am currently 53% through so I’m hoping to have it done in the next day or so. It is one of my favourite ever racing games and I can’t wait to share the reasons for it’s place in my heart with all of you!