Posts Tagged ‘Jak & Daxter’

Of the last generation, out of all the platformers on the main three consoles, the Sly Cooper trilogy was probably the least well known. You had your big dogs up front in all their glitz and glamour (Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Mario) and then you had your underdogs. The games that were a bit rough around the edges, but gosh darn if they weren’t a ton of fun to play! Titles such as Maximo and Psychonauts spring to mind. Now it’s hard to decide which category the Sly Raccoon games fall in to. On the one hand they were gorgeous looking cell shaded platformers with a great cast and fantastic varied open world gameplay. And who knows, if we lived in a world in which J&D and R&C didn’t exist maybe they would have become timeless classics. However when stood next to the aforementioned games, it was difficult to see Sly through the shiny breath-taking environments of Ratchet or the gritty yet hilarious worlds of Jak. And even though the Sly games never sold gang busters, someone at Sony must have loved those titles enough to give Sanzaru Games the reigns of this terrific franchise.


Now those fine peeps at Sanzaru aren’t entirely new to the Sly family. They were the people in charge of porting the original three games to the PlayStation 3 in glorious HD. And in my opinion they are the three best games to see the light in HD. And yes I’m including God of War and the Ratchet and Clank games in that statement. Apart from having timeless and solid gameplay the main reason for this is this, cell shading. All the other HD collections and re-releases look like sharp last gen games. The PlayStation 2 Sly games look like a current gen titles. Purely because cell shaded graphics don’t age. And I’m pleased as punch to announce that nothing has changed for the fourth outing.

Hell if it aint broke don’t fix it! Seriously, usually a game would get criticised for pretty much no innovation from a previous title. But, like DQVIII, all that has come before has been so good why change it? The gameplay remains exactly the same as older iterations. I didn’t need to read any of the tutorials at the beginning of the game as it pretty much all came flooding back instantly. And the platforming, jumping and climbing is still as tight as ever.


The layout of each ‘world’ is still the same as what we have seen before in Sly 2 and 3. You have your open world map (Medieval England for instance) and you choose your character at the hideout to go around doing missions and picking up collectables. You then do the final boss of the area watch a cut scene and then move onto the next location. Even with all the power of the PS3 the maps remain pretty much the same size as in Sly 3 (albeit with a tad more detail) and this is all ok.

That’s not to say that this game isn’t ENTIRLEY without innovation. With the time travel story we get to play as lots of Sly’s ancestors and collect different costumes as Sly. Both of which add lots of new elements to the gameplay and make the backtracking more bearable. Also if you are the proud owner of a Vita you can use the Vita screen to locate collectables whilst you play on the PS3 version (a la WiiU). The game also comes with cross buy and cross save features. So if you buy it on either PS3 or Vita you get the other version for FREE! So this means you can transfer your save and play on the go. Finally, and of course most importantly, two full trophy lists! That means TWO PLATINUMS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!!!


So why is this game so important? Well so far the sales of Sly TIT (lol) have sold pretty well. Again not ground-breaking numbers but it’s sold enough. So why has this tiny little platformer financially performed better for its developers than big AAA games like Tomb Raider and Dead Space 3? Because it was cheap to make. The developers changed nothing from previous games, so could work with a smaller team and put out a game that was £10 less than other retail games at launch (£15 less if you went the digital route), and because of this Sly didn’t need to sell bucket loads. And because of this it looks like we already have another sequel in the works. Although this has been slightly hidden in the news by reports of Tomb Raider only selling 3.5 million which isn’t enough and with the fate of Visceral Games hanging in the balance after Dead Space ‘flopped’. So proving that sometimes it pays to stay in the shadows and remain quiet, Sly skulks off into the ether once more. Until we see him again for Sly 5 that is!

Don’t ever change
Don’t ever change, I’d be sad
And I would cry if you leave me
Don’t ever leave me

Don’t ever change
Don’t ever change from the way that you are now
If you ever change
I would be sad ’cause I wanted you just as you are

The Kinks, Don’t Ever Change



Hi everybody! Seeing as we are closing in on the end days of this generation I started thinking about doing a top 10 list of games for it. Then I realised there are still a load of games coming out this year that could easily shake said list up (GTAV, Last Of Us, Saints Row 4 etc.) So in the end I decided to do a top 10 list of console games from the last generation. So for your pleasure, and in order of best to abso-fucking-insane-omg-mega-hell-yeah, I present the top 10 console games of the last generation!

10.  Knights of the old Republic


I only recently played through this for the first time, and I will admit it took me a good few hours and a good few restarts until I finally got in the swing of things and started to properly appreciate this game. I had always heard very good things about this game and being a huge Star Wars and Mass Effect fan I have no idea how I didn’t get around to playing it sooner.

As I mentioned it did take me a while to get into it. This is because, from a technical standpoint, the game does not hold up well. I encountered many many glitches on my journey throughout the galaxy. From screen tearing to texture pop in to audio glitching and interference. So why is this game on the list you ask? One reason my friends. The story. Probably the best story set in the Star Wars universe and the GREATEST twist in a videogame EVER that left my jaw firmly set on the floor! Yeah, Bioshock, Half Life Episode 2, Heavy Rain, y’all aint got shit!

9. Jak 3


This was one of those games that tried pretty much everything and pretty much succeeded. Jak & Daxter started off as a traditional 3D platformer. Then Jak 2 turned things upside-down putting a larger emphasis on free roaming action and a darker story. Then Jak 3 came along and turned all the aspects of those two games up to 11. With huge sprawling and varied environments. A much better realised vehicle system. Satisfying if slightly flawed combat. An incredibly written, performed and animated story. The humour that fans had come to expect from the series. And an epic sense scale rarely seen in games at this point. Naughty Dog delivered the goods tenfold! Jak 4 now please?!

8. Ssx 3


Oh my damn! No game I have ever EVER played empowers you and makes you feel as awesome as this game does! In fact this is one of two games that I would describe as being perfect. Everything about this slice of snowy heaven reeks of amazing. The huge free roaming mountain that you unlock bit by bit (culminating in a 30 minute race from the top to the bottom) the cool colourful characters (personal favourite being Kaori) all of whom are fully upgradable and customisable. The booming bass filled soundtrack, with songs to fill everyone’s tastes. The tracks themselves are a delight to play around with. Filled with alternate routes and littered with unlockables. And finally the GameCube controller. This pad was made for this game and they complement each other like nothing before or anything that has come after!

7. Resident Evil 4


Holy balls this game sure as hell shook things up. Doing away with the old mechanics, I remember being so sceptical the first time I saw gameplay footage of this. You need to remember that before Resi 4 came out, over the shoulder shooters were pretty much non-existent. However when my friend bought an imported copy to my house on his GameCube, within minutes all my fears vanished. Only to be replaced by the genuine terror at just how intense this game was. After buying my own copy I remained firmly on the edge of my seat, and my anus tightly clenched, for the entire experience! Never before had a game effected me like this game did, and it wouldn’t happen again until Dead Space years later. Still the original and best, Resident Evil 4 is a must play.

6. Shadows of the Colossus


This is a tough one. As anyone who has played this game can attest it’s very hard to describe and make it sound appealing. The best way for anyone to experience this game would be in a cinema. No screw that! An IMAX cinema!!! This game is big, epic, beautiful, heart wrenching and totally unique. The game is essentially made up of boss battles. That is it. No towns. No NPC’s. Dialogue and story is kept to a minimum whilst the soundtrack, for the most part, is quiet, sombre and unobtrusive. See I told you it was a hard sell. But what if I was to tell you that these were possibly the greatest most action packed, screen filling, amazing boss battles ever conceived? And that after winning each one, you the player, felt like a complete and utter bastard?! Ah interested now yeah? Well don’t take my word for it. Download it from the psn now and do yourself a favour!

5. Dragon quest VIII


Ah, the last truly great traditional JRPG ever made (that is at least until Ni No Kuni was released earlier this year) DQVIII knew what it was and made no qualms about it. Going the opposite route of the Final Fantasy franchise (whom at this point had fucked everything up with Final Fantasy X and have continued fucking it up ever since) decided to release the game that the fans wanted. A brass tacks, hard-core challenging JRPG. Everything in this game was exactly what I had wanted from the next gen FF. interesting and likable characters WITH GOOD VOICE ACTORS! A simple yet satisfying battle system. A WORLD MAP! Many many many sidequets. A beautifully performed musical score. An interesting and well written story. And some of the best graphics seen on any system last generation. Thank you Level 5! Thank you for Rogue Galaxy, thank you for Dark Cloud, thank you for Dark chronicle and thank you for Dragon Quest VIII. But most of all, thank you for not trying to be Final Fantasy.

4. Okami


Yo! Like Zelda? Loved Windwaker? (yeah I know it should have been on the list!) But you haven’t got a GameCube?! Well fear not! Those awesome guys at Clover have got you covered! If you watched a trailer for Okami back in the day it was very easy to just class it as a Zelda clone and think nothing more about it. Nothin’ wrong with that I guess. The Zelda franchise has put out some of the best games ever made. But it wasn’t until you actually sat down with Okami and got lost in its world that you realised that this game was so so much more than any Zelda game could ever aspire to be. Taking many pointers from the aforementioned franchise, Okami even played very much like a Zelda game, BUT it took all those ideas and made them its own. Giving everything a very traditional quirky and Japanese twist, Okami was an entirely different beast. More story focused than a Zelda game and with more unique and interesting characters, dungeons and music than any Zelda game, PlayStation owners finally had some serious bragging rights…until it was later released on the Wii that is!

3. Psychonauts


Oh Psychonauts! You bloody beautiful bastard you! From the incredible mind of Tim Schaffer, Psychonauts was an adventure/platformer that just didn’t play by the rules. Playing as a young boy called Raz, you run away to a psychic summer camp so you can learn to properly harness your powers and become a Psychonaut. During your time here you will engage in fights to save a milkman’s sanity. Take on the role of a Godzilla movie type monster terrorising a city of Lump Fish. Play your part in a life sized living game of Risk, and traverse a circus made of meat! Yes all of this is as goddamn amazing as it sounds! Just as important as all this though is that the geniuses at Double Fine created a world that you want to live in. the camp and its surrounding areas are an utter joy to explore. It is one of the best most charming game world to explore and I can only implore you to take a chance and dive right in!

2. Beyond Good & Evil


Now it was a very close call between BG&E and Psychonauts as to what would take the number 2 spot as they are both very similar games. A big emphasis on exploring. Brilliantly written and charming characters and well put together soundtracks. However BG&E just slightly came out on top. I’m not even entirely sure why. I think the main reason is this. Even though the BG&E world is very cartoonish, it feels real. I mean really REAL. I always felt that after I turned the PS2 off that all the characters, main and NPC alike, carried on with their daily lives. And for a developer to achieve this amount of immersion is no mean feat. Furthermore I’ve played through this game god knows how many times and yet I always discover something new. Even if it’s just a batch of Pearls or a hidden room I had overlooked before. This game always feels fresh. Who knows, maybe the inhabitants keep building new things and moving stuff around for the next time I boot up the game. 🙂

1. Metroid Prime


Remember when I said that there were only two games I would ever describe as perfect? Well this is the other one! And what can be said about MP that hasn’t already been said? The graphics? The best of a generation. Slick, shiny and so realistic that they just sucked you right in to the world of Tallon IV. The music? Again some of the greatest most atmospheric music ever created! Tunes you will be humming and scouring the internet for for days on end. A standout point for me would be the wonderful calming score for the Phendrana Drifts. A perfect contrast to the Space Pirate theme that you come to fear and dread. The level design? The best in any game. Ever. PERIOD. This is a living breathing functioning world. Everything here has a purpose. From the flora and fauna to the sometimes sedate and sometimes predatory wildlife. Everything works. The backtracking to previously inaccessible areas and the sense of accomplishment that brings. The gameplay? Again. So perfect. Only improved on when it was ported to the Wii (how often do you hear that?!) not quite an FPS and yet at the same time not quite a platformer. Metroid Prime pioneered a genre that they can still to this day say they own! There is not a single aspect of this game that is lacking. Everything about it, down to the smallest detail, screams at the amount of time, love and effort that has gone into making this possibly the greatest game ever made. If you won a Wii or a GameCube book a couple of days off from work, turn the lights down low and get lost in a world unlike any other.

‘The cosmos. In the vast universe, the history of humanity is but a flash of light from a lone star. The light of a single person should be lost in space and time. But among the stars, there is one light that burns brighter than all others: the light of Samus Aran. Her battles extend beyond her life and etch themselves into history. Here, another chapter of that history will be written.’


Holy Precursor Orbs Batman!! It has recently come to light that the ESRB have released a rating for the Jak and Daxter collection on the PS Vita! As a HUGE J&D fan, and proud Vita owner, the amount of hype filling me is currently leaking out of my eyeballs!


Although this isn’t official confirmation of the game getting released, and there is no release date, it looks like we’ll be getting to play through the classic ps3 trilogy yet again!

Other information that we are left only to speculate on is information on cross save/buy. What would make sense would be for Sony to release a patch that would sync up with both versions of the game allowing you to transfer trophies and saves between the two formats.

The other exciting thing is thinking about what this will hopefully bring in the future. Is there a new J&D game in the works? Is this re re release a tool for building some hype? Are we going to see more HD remakes released for the Vita? God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Racoon? The mind boggles and the nerd glands pulsate!


Hopefully Sony will give us some more info soon and I promise to update the blog as soon as that happens! Well after I’ve mopped up after myself anyway J