It's hard to believe that this year marks the 13th anniversary of the launch of the PlayStation 2. But what's even more mind-boggling is that, despite more than 150 million consoles sold, there are people who have never had a chance to experience many of the great games available on the PS2.
Sony has been doing its part to rectify this unfortunate situation by releasing re-mastered, high-def versions of some of the PS2's most iconic first-party titles on the PlayStation 3. Last year, gamers were treated to "The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection" and "The Sly Collection." Now Sony is kicking off 2012 by reviving another timeless PS2 franchise -- "Jak and Daxter."
The "Jak and Daxter Collection" is a wonderful reminder of just how fantastic the PlayStation 2 really was. Featuring "Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy," "Jak II" and "Jak 3," the "Jak and Daxter Collection" combines three of the best action-platformers of the last console generation onto one Blu-ray disc. While the graphics have received a bump up to HD quality, the colorful visuals and animations have held up well over time.
So, too, has the game play. All three games are virtually identical to the source material, which is a good thing considering developer Naughty Dog -- the people who went on to create a little game called "Uncharted" -- got much of it right the first time. I still encountered the occasional camera issue, but considering many developers are still struggling with that aspect of design today, I can give a decade-old "Jak and Daxter" a pass.
Most of all, I had forgotten just how funny Jak and his sidekick, Daxter, could be. The opening cinematic for "The Precursor Legacy" was like a trip down memory lane, and I loved being able to share that moment with my kids, who hadn't been born when I encountered the lively duo for the first time all those years ago.
The "Jak and Daxter Collection" is more than just a chance to experience three great games in one neat package, it's an opportunity to relive a bit of gaming history. So whether you're playing "Jak" for the first time, or just the first time in a long time, this one shouldn't be missed.
"Jak and Daxter Collection"
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Available for: PlayStation 3 ($39.99)
Rating: T for teen