Game Comment: "Jak 3" (PS2)

9 Aug

One comment comes to my mind when I think about Jak 3: “meh” – which means it left me kind of cold. I don’t know how else to describe it and I’m not sure why I had this kind of reaction, because Jak 3 was fun to play.

Jak 3 is a good game: impressive graphics; different locations (two cities, a vast desert, some smaller areas); a balanced difficulty level (no “spikes” like Jak 2) and sometimes even save points during missions (which made for an easier difficulty level); good gameplay overall; some funny scenes with Daxter; and it concludes the storyline of the two previous games, which should generate some interest in itself to play the game.

It starts interesting: In the opening cut scene, Jak and Daxter are left in a desert after Jak was banished from Haven City. The question is, can they get back? With such a start and the factors listed above, a game should reasonably produce another response than a mere okay. So what’s the matter?

There’s smaller and bigger stuff that bugged me. Some of the smaller things I didn’t like was that I sometimes had to do a mission when I rather wanted to do some of the challenges. I can’t remember if it was like that in Jak 2, but I think in Jak 2 I could choose when I wanted to do/start a mission. Another thing are the vehicles. They seemed to lose their grip a bit too easily, which lead to some frustrating moments during vehicle missions (at least for me). But although I found myself more often than not repeating a mission because of this, I think in comparison to the vehicle missions in Jak 2 I really can’t complain.

The biggest complaint I have about the game is the rushed feeling I got from several things. There were slowdowns, I had rather frequently some kind of graphical error (a line running from the bottom of the screen to the top), and the games crashed three times (PAL version). Also, I sometimes wondered what I had to do or why I had to do it – I had the feeling that there were some scenes missing which would explain it more. This is connected to my complaint about sometimes having to do a mission without me actively choosing it. Some elements, like Jak’s special powers, were introduced but rarely needed. This seems like lost potential to me. The story line was a bit contrived, and most of the characters were a bit undeveloped with Keira being nearly non-existent. To round this “there-are-some-things-missing”- feeling up, the last boss came out of the blue, sort of like the developers said:

– “It’s time to end this game.”
– “Well, we need a boss for the end fight.”
– “We could use ….”
– “Oh yes, saves time and all, and comes as a real surprise. Great!”

I think it’s this rushed feeling – the feeling that the game could have been better with a bit more time for developing – why Jak 3 left me kind of “meh”.

Did I enjoy playing this game? More yes than no.

Would I recommend this game? Probably yes.

Grade: 3,5 / 5


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