I recently beat “Jak 3” for the third time, which took a little over 2 weeks (17 hours and 15 minutes, to be exact). I got 452 Orbs out of 600. In this game, Jak is banished to the Wasteland because the people of Haven City think he’s responsible for the Metal Heads getting into the city because of his association with a bad dude named Krew in the last game. He, along with Daxter and Pecker (Pecker is the horribly named monkaw, monkey macaw, from the last game, and I’m not sure why he’s here), are found by the Wastelanders and brought to the city ofSpargus, led by Damas. Throughout the course of the game, Jak reluctantly helps the city that banished him fight off the forces attacking it while also learning about a new threat, the Dark Makers. (Errol, a bad guy from “Jak II”, also appears in this game. He’s now a cyborg because he got horribly injured in the last game. While he lost much of his body, he did gain an R in his name for some reason, so it wasn’t a complete loss for him.)
While we had Haven City to explore last time, there is now an enormous Wasteland to explore. Luckily, to get around this place faster and avoid tiring out Jak’s footsies, there are vehicles you can drive around. These vehicles, unlike the zoomers, have wheels and most have weapons. (You can also drive around in first-person, which is fun.) One vehicle, the Dune Hopper, can even jump quite well.
This game now has 3 versions of each of the 4 gun mods, so you now have 8 more reasons not to mess with Jak. The Beam Reflexor’s one of my favorites because the bullets bounce around and hit a bunch of enemies. You don’t even really need to aim. Just shoot a few times and let the bullets do their thing. I also like the Arc Wielder, which shoots a beam of electricity at enemies. There’s also a Mass Inverter that makes enemies float helplessly in the air and a Super Nova, which is a powerful bomb of death.
You also learn new moves, such as being able to sometimes turn invisible as Dark Jak, and you also now can break through certain walls. Better yet, you can now turn into Light Jak and use Jak’s new Light Eco powers, which allows him to slow down time, heal himself, create a barrier around himself, and fly. Light Jak is pretty awesome.
One thing I am disappointed by is the ending. You find out who the Precursors are, and it is rather lame. I wish now that we had never found out who they were. Not only are they not as neat as I would expect, it takes away a lot of the mystery.
Due to complaints in the last game that Haven City was too big, Naughty Dog decided to have the Palace get attacked, causing it to fall and destroy much of the city. Problem solved. I don’t think the people ofHavenCityare too happy, though. People also thought “Jak II” was too hard, so they attempted to make this game easier by decreasing the difficulty level when you fail too many times. A good idea, and maybe the game is a bit easier, but there are times I think the game is actually much harder. There is one mission I hate more than any other. You are driving, and about 6 or 7 missiles are following you, and it starts out easy, but then at the port, you must shoot and drive by decoys so the missiles will hit the decoys instead of you, and it’s really, really hard. Sometimes, the missiles destroy you within seconds. You must really hold the acceleration button down, and if you loosen your death grip on it at all, you die. If you turn too fast, you die. Heck, sometimes you don’t even know why you died. It was completely absurd. That one mission was harder than all the required missions of Jak II combined. And their plan to make the game easier didn’t work. They kept adding time. I don’t need time! I need the missiles to stop getting so close! (Based on the dialogue, it sounds like Daxter may have wet himself when he mentioned to Jak “that warm trickle down your neck”. Eww. Poor Jak.)
One improvement is that the extra challenges for getting Orbs are much more fun and easy now. Sometimes, an Orb appears somewhere, and you have a short time to reach that location. I enjoyed finding the places. Sometimes, you have to get through rings within a certain time. There are races, which aren’t so fun, and you can also shoot targets from the turret in Spargus City, which was fun, and I got the gold score. The JET-Board challenge is much easier. I just pressed buttons like crazy and got 100,000 points, beating the gold score of 75,000. There’s also the Eco Grid game, which is like “Pacman”, where Daxter’s head goes along the thing and eats the orange dots while avoiding the red thing. I got gold in that. It was fun. The gun course, however, isn’t as fun as it used to be. Now the targets can shoot at you and explode. I can’t focus as much on shooting if I have to dodge. Maybe that’s the point. But, I don’t like it.
Another thing I am quite bothered by is Kleiver’s lack of pants. He just has this insufficient skirt, and you can see much of his beefy legs. To make matters worse, there’s a secret you can buy called Kleiver’s Diaper, where he doesn’t even have a skirt, and you get a nice horrifying view of his undies. (Other secrets include Jak with a big head or a small head, clean-shaven Jak, concept art, hard mode, redoing cut scenes and missions, and also fast and slow cut scenes.)
My favorite of the secrets are the model viewers, which has models of every character from the trilogy. Some of the characters from “Jak II” and “Jak 3” also have dialogue, where they talk about the game as if they were actors, and it is very entertaining. Krew, for example, says that he had to lose weight for his part and is now down to a “lean, mean 520”. It also sounds like he ate his personal trainer, but not before he lost a good amount of weight, of course. He’s also not good at video games and could “play for years on the same level and never win”. My favorite dialogue is Vin’s, of course (he’s my favorite character, after all), where he goes on a couple of rants, in one complaining that what he does is never good enough, that he won’t shake hands because he’s afraid of germs, and his throat gets dry if he doesn’t drink enough water, which is really random, but okay.
In Pecker’s dialogue, he threatens to hit you. Jerk. Baron Praxis’s dialogue is quite fun. It makes me dislike him less. He did the game for the money and also talks about his death scene, where he is shocked that they had him “fly 50 feet through the air and have 20 tons of 50 gallon drums” land on top of him, without a stunt double. “Are they crazy?” he asks. Maybe, or maybe they just don’t like you, Baron.
Anyway, nothing much cute to report, except the Leaper Lizards, which you get to ride around in Spargus. They are like Flut-Fluts from the first game, except they are lizards. And they eat kangarats. Just so you know. (I felt really terrible when I hit one with my car….) Still no mini sheep, though. How absurd.
I end this post with two things that amuse me. One is a quote from Pecker, when they are taken out to the Wasteland at the start of the game, “This is an outrage! I am outraged beyond words! Although I do have something to say.”
The second thing is when Daxter calls Count Veger the wrong name. He’s gone with Count Vulgar and Count Vegan. I find it funny; Veger, however, does not.