Where I left off from my last blog Happy 30 Years of Naughty Dog Part 1 we continue with the second part of Naughty Dog 30 years starting off with Crash Bandicoot, what did they work on next after finishing a trilogy for one franchise?
They move on to another franchise but working on a new project on the PlayStation 2 and of course Naughty Dog was owned by Sony Computer Entertainment after that time leaving Universal Interactive Studios which helped them when it came to Crash Bandicoot. Naughty Dog work began working on Jak and Daxter in January 1999 as "Project Y". As the rest of the Naughty Dog team were working on Crash Team Racing, only two programmers were allocated to the project. The rest of the team began work on Jak as well after the release of the PS2.
This was first shown at E3 2001 showing off the game on the PS2 most journalists, reviewers and game sites have claimed that this hold similarities with games like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie that have the objective is to gather items to progress through the levels, having access to abilities such as double-jumping, rapid spinning kick, glide punching, and sustaining only limited damage from falling down great heights. Injuries are accounted for by way of a life meter, which decreases as the player character gets hit by enemies; falls long distances, and makes contact with hazardous surfaces. With a basic story plot while exploring some ancient ruins on a forbidden island off the coast, Jak's best friend, Daxter, is knocked into a vat of Dark Eco a terrifying and deadly substance that could corrupt the world forever transforming him into a weasel-like rodent. The village sage Samos tells Jak that there may only be one person who holds the secrets to transforming Daxter back. Now the pair must set out on a quest in search of a wise old sage who has the power to restore Daxter to his former self.
The clever thing about the first game was that it never had any loading time screens throughout the whole game; it was very rare to see games that have had this idea back then when you compare this game to other games. Later in 2003 a sequel was released known as Jak II which took the sequel from a colourful world and then into a dark setting in a world unlike Jak and Daxter have ever seen but this was actually in fact the future of their world after finding a Precursor Ring warping them to the future and ending up Krimzon Guard. While Jak is imprisoned, he is subjected to experiments with Dark Eco; when exposed to Dark Eco, he turns into a mindless beast. These experiments also leave him angry and ruthless. Like the first Jak and Daxter game you can spin, punch and jump you can now use Dark Eco which can turn Jak into an angry looking hero wanting revenge but also Jak was now voiced by Mike Erwin, what made the game even more fun and creative for Naughty Dog when making a sequel was to add guns and some memorable characters with yet another good story plot.
Even its gameplay felt more of a freedom look meaning you could go anywhere in the game doing the main campaign or even just doing the odd side-quests this felt more of a Grand Theft Auto style game with some comedy and action mixed in. It actually won Editors Choice Award from both IGN and Gamespot is also known as best PS2 game as well around the year of 2003; the console itself and the game were selling like hot cakes.
Another year later Jak 3 was released in 2004 making it the final chapter in the Jak and Daxter series during the 3 years of developing the series for the PS2, it removed some of the more unnecessary diversions of Jak II to become a more enjoyably focused action adventure. The actual story follows on directly and sees Jak and Daxter banished to the Wastelands, a massive game world more than five times the size of Haven City from the last game. Although they are less prevalent than last time there are a dozen different vehicles to pilot and plenty of upgradeable weapons. Perhaps another most important new gameplay feature though is Jak's new light eco form, to balance out the dark eco powers from Jak II. In light eco form Jak grows a pair of angelic wings and gains the power to regain lost health and even freeze enemies in time. Like what they did with Crash Bandicoot 3 back in 1998 they left Jak 3 with a big bang on the ending for the story plot and finding out who were the Precursors all along.
After finishing another great trilogy a spin-off title was made and was released in 2005 called Jak X: Combat Racing which was a racing game product using the vehicles that were used in the last game turning it into a racing game like what they did with Crash Team Racing. Like all games there always has to be a plot for a racing game where Combat racing has filled the void left in Kras City after Jak defeated the Dark Maker in his last adventure which was Jak 3. Now, after being mysteriously summoned to Kras City to hear the reading of Krew's will, Jak, and Daxter are plunged headfirst into a dark and deadly plot. The will reveals that everyone present has been poisoned and will die unless the antidote is administered everyone's life hangs in the balance as the heroic duo race against time in the Kras City Grand Championship. As the plot unfolds through an adventure mode, players will be treated to almost an hour of classic Jak and Daxter animation. It might not have been a good game in the series but it did have online multiplayer where players could play this game online with other players if they got their PS2 hooked up online just like what gamers did with their Xbox when it came to Xbox Live when playing multiplayer games. However Jak X never got a HD treatment or didn't get released under the HD Collection which was released for both the PS3 in 2012 and the PS Vita in 2013, it would have been a nice idea if this came with the collection meaning that players could have still played this game online but in HD and possibly some DLC content if it went forward.
Not only the Jak and Daxter series was released for the PS2 two spin-off titles got released for the handheld which was the PSP. Daxter was released in 2006 where you play as Daxter as he tries to save his best-friend Jak who was imprisoned this was set between the events before Jak II on story plot seeing what Daxter was doing around that time. Not only it was an enjoyable platformer it even got positive reviews and sold millions of copies worldwide, this was not made by Naughty Dog but it was developed by Ready at Dawn which did worked close to Naughty Dog and they also made God of War: Chains of Olympus which was released in 2008 and both games that they made did look impressive for the PSP at that time. The other spin-off title that was also released for the PSP was Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier which was released in 2009 for the PSP from a studio called High Impact Games; fans thought that this could have been a Jak 4 but it turns out that this game wasn't the best in the series for either a spin-off title or a main story taking place the events of Jak 3 but set in the floating islands and giant airships in the clouds you fight off sky pirates and pretty much saving the world again and like the last game using weapon-cars you now use weapon-planes to fly to other missions and places you need to go next; this also got released for the PS2 as well.
Fans and Gamers still think that a Jak 4 could be made later in the future but the chances on that happening are a little slim as we speak unless something gets announced at E3 this year, so what did Naughty Dog do next after finishing another trilogy? They moved on to another on the PS3 which was the Uncharted series which I will mention on my 3rd part on 30 Years of Naughty Dog.
Do you have any favourite moments in the Jak and Daxter? Did you think a HD version of Jak X and Daxter be a cool idea if they got the HD treatment? Let us know in the comments-