The Platinum Log: The Jak Series

Oh wow, it's been YEARS since I've last done one of these. The "Platinum Log" is a series I started to discuss games I actually took the time to do everything in -- or at least enough to get the game's Platinum Trophy. I was hoping to get through all of my games, and then start making new posts as I earned new ones; however, I slacked off... A lot... Life got busy, and I never got back to it. That is, until today!

For the first time in 6 years, I'm here today to talk about the next entries in my log book. This entry isn't just one game however; it's actually three. Platinums # 4, 5, and 6.

As previous posts mentioned, Gravity Rush for the Vita was my first platinum. I went on to buy Resistance Burning Skies for Vita because I wanted more games, and it too was an easy platinum to get. This lit a fire in me that urged me to finish off some of my other games, and actually start hunting for trophies -- which lead me to go back to Rune Factory Tides of Destiny to finish it off. Instead of jumping to my next backlogged game though, I changed directions and once again went for something new: The Jak series.

Jak is something I never got to play as a kid. I didn't have a PS2, and by the time I did I didn't feel like trying these games out. I thought they were "kids" games and I had better things to do/play. (I was a dumb teenager.) Well, one day as I sat there at college I discovered something. The Jak and Sly collection were on sale on Amazon, and I had the extra money to buy them! In reality, the only reason I even bothered buying them was simply because I had missed out on them. I now had a PS3 that was lacking on exclusive games, and these two PlayStation exclusive series just seemed perfect for it. Plus I liked Naughty Dog, so of course I decided I'd play Jak first once they came. (I found the cringy post I made back then also... Ouch me... And seriously? I didn't like DMC? What was wrong with me?)

I still remember sitting there on one of the final days of college, as I talked to my friend Ryan as I ordered them. We were sitting in one of our usual spots in the math building, while also talking to another friend through my laptop. Nothing crazy happened that day, but it's the memory I always think of when I go back to these games. The other memory that comes to mind relates to Pokemon Black 2, and our home getting new windows put in. During that time I was dealing with health issues related to my wisdom teeth, and games like Pokemon Black 2 were helping me keep my mind off of it. While I also didn't have access to my room (thanks to all the furniture being moved around) it gave me something to do anywhere. But once I was able to get back in there, it was all Jak and Daxter.

Although it was a simple game, the first Jak had me hooked right away. I actually enjoyed collecting every little thing, and exploring it's world. My dad was home from work so I remember him walking in and watching me play once in awhile, but I mostly went through it on my own. Then at night while I was getting close to the end, we suddenly heard a crash, and looked out the window to see my old picture window shattered into millions of pieces -- the wind had blown it over and it had fallen just right to bust it. Originally we were going to donate it to a family friend, but that didn't happen! I know it's random, but it's yet again another memory of mine from Jak 1. Of course the game isn't that long, so it was shortly after the thing broke that I finished off Jak 1, and got the platinum. The game was just flat out fun. It didn't do anything too crazy platforming wise, but it was one of those games I felt like I had to do everything to actually beat the game. Anything less felt like I was cheating. And if you're wondering what type of game Jak 1 exactly was? Well of course I had to write a review over it once I finished it! 

The moment I finished Jak 1, I went right for Jak 2. I had always heard this was the point in the series that it became aimed at teens, and apparently people weren't kidding. Jak started cussing, the world was a lot darker and more bleak, you could hijack cars and drive them around a hub city, and guns became the new way to fight. It was a clear evolution of the series, but it also felt like something new all at the same time. Those who liked the happy go lucky adventure in 1 may not enjoy what 2 became, but once again I actually loved it. In fact, I liked it more than 1, and enjoyed the story it had to tell! It wasn't anything too crazy either, but the way it played out kept me invested. (Also quite a few of the "adult" jokes made me laugh!) But anyway... It continued to keep me hooked just as the previous game did, but this time I wasn't able to do it all in one go. While Jak and Daxter took me roughly two days, Jak 2 took me two weeks. I had a bit more going on in my life at this moment, and I also mainly just played the game at night. Eventually I did finish it off though, and then went back to get everything I missed for the platinum. This time around the game had side quests/side stories you needed to complete also (as it had that open world hub area with NPCs), so it was quite a bit more work than the original. (And of course you still had to collect things to.) But ultimately, getting the platinum for 2 never felt like a chore either, and it left me wanting more. (Yes I reviewed this one also.)

Jak 3... I'm actually mixed on this one. It was a continuation of what 2 had done, but with a much larger focus on the vehicles. It wasn't bad by any means, but at this point maybe I was starting to feel the burn of playing the games back to back. That didn't stop me from finishing it in a day though! Overall the game did feel smaller/shorter though, and it seemed to have an even bigger focus on the side content compared to the main game. Even this isn't exactly a bad thing, but it left me feeling like 2 was the main game in the series, while 3 felt like a post game after story/conclusion for it all. For the platinum I actually didn't even get one of the trophies the legit way however, because a glitch caused me to pick up and respawn a collectible -- so I unlocked it before I had actually done it myself. But while I didn't enjoy 3 as much as 2, I still felt it was worth a playthrough, and would like to go back to it again sometime. Heck, might even go back and play through all of the PS4 releases for 3 more platinums!

So overall, I do really like the series. It's been 10 years since I've actually gone through them, but sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. They were great platforming games, and a part of the golden age of PS2 platformers -- one that I missed out on as a kid. So getting to experience it years later on PS3 was a pretty great feeling, and something I do want to return to whenever I get the time. All three were well worth the platinum.

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