Sony's HD collections have been the gold standard of HD collections. God of War, Sly, and Ico have all received impressive HD facelifts--and they certain fare much better than offerings made by Ubisoft and Capcom. So, how does Jak and Daxter's foray into the world of 720p fare? It looks pretty good.
I was unimpressed at first, watching a cutscene rendered in Jak 1's engine. While the visuals have been spruced up, the close-ups featured in the movies only highlighted the low-res texture work and low polygon count of the models. However, when the camera zoomed out during regular gameplay, I was impressed by how clean and bright everything looked.
The gameplay remains unchanged from the PS2 originals. Jak was a fairly standard platformer, even for its time, and it was easy to jump back in.
Jak 1 does look good, but Jak 3 definitely looks the best in Mass Media's spruced up engine. The jump in graphics detail from the first to last game becomes even more noticeable in high-definition. While I was unimpressed by the cutscenes from the first game, the last game was very easy on the eyes. (Arguably, this HD remake looks better than some of the less-polished efforts of this generation.)
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The Jak collection doesn't feel as comprehensive as the others Sony has released. Jak's odd racing spin-off game is omitted from the collection, as is Daxter, and The Lost Frontier. There are no bonuses to be found. Also, don't expect a Jak & Daxter game for the PS3 either. The Sly Cooper Collection featured an incredible Sly 4 tease through its trophy collection. The Platinum in Sly 3 reads like this: "Unlock all trophies in Sly Cooper's final outing... Final? Really?" Unfortunately, the Jak collection features no such tease in its trophy list.
The Jak & Daxter Collection will be available on PS3 in February.