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on 29 August 2014
Having grown up in the 90s but having been a Nintendo-only kid meant that I would miss out on a lot of quality games. Back then the rules of the house meant that me and brother could only have one game console (so we went for Nintendo). So sadly I missed out on such classics including Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank. Now, no longer constricted by the rules of my childhood I finally got around to getting a PS3 and Vita and decided to see these classic games I had sadly missed out on. When I was presented with a choice of getting it for either one of those consoles the choice was easy seeing as I was always more of a handheld guy anyway. That said, I cant help but feel a little dissapointed about this trilogys quality when compared to its PS3 counterpart.

The Good:

Its three, fundamentally well designed games in one package, developed by one of the greatest developers in recent gaming history. Jak 1 (Jak and Daxter the Precursor Legacy) reminds me of the earlier 3D platformers, similar to the likes of Super Mario 64. Its a phenomenal game that has a lot of charm and made my heart beat with nostalgic joy. Jak 2 decided to go for a more dark aspect. The gameplay shifted and the game got a lot harder. And the third tied up all the loose strings nicely and elegantly; it was truly a great finish to a great trilogy.

The games and their stories have been discussed at various points and there is enough information throughout the internet to fill books and since I would never be able to do these games' story justice by writting about it here I suggest, if you have any more questions, you look up the Jak and Daxter wiki.

The bad:

Where to begin? Right off the bat, when you start playing Jak 1, you will notice some framerate issues. Now, I am by no means a framerate expert but I can tell when a game doesnt run at 30 FPS. For those that dont know, most Vita games run at 30 FPS, which is what most people percieve as smooth gameplay. Sadly, Jak 1 runs at what I can only guess is about 20 FPS during the entire course of the game. Considering how much weaker the PS2 was in comparison to the Vita it seems ludicrous that a game that ran at 60 FPS on the PS2 cannot manage more than 20-ish frames on a 2012 Handheld device (mind you, games like Killzone, Uncharted and Persona 4 run beautifully on the system). In all fairness, this is a disgrace. The saving grace in Jak 1s case is that the game at least runs consistently at 20 FPS. This gives the player the opportunity to get used to this issue and develop their play-style to accommodate for that. After about an hour of solid playing I barely noticed these issues anymore and I was able to enjoy the game to its fullest.

Jak 2 on the other hand may run at a higher FPS, on average, but its inconsitency makes it difficult to play well. See, when you are inside buildings or narrow corridors the game actually manages to pull off 30 FPS without an issue, its only when you head outside to the giant world of Haven City that the framerate crashes down to Jak 1s level. This is especially infuriating because of Jak 2s difficulty. Mind you this is one tough game. And the new gameplay features require a lot of precise platforming and aiming. Without a consistent framerate this makes the game very difficult to enjoy thoroughly. Especially around the 60% mark, when the missions become increasingly difficult the framerate tends to be all over the place making the already difficult to control Jak. The JET-Board (a type of skate board you can use at your will) is especially infuriating in this regard. Oh and speaking of controls: they are horrible. But more about that after my impressions on Jak 3.

Jak 3 is my favorite game of the series. It has a much more balanced feel to it, with tighter vehicle controls, better weapons and much more intriguing campaign (at least story wise), and it didn't drag on like Jak 2 did. In this game the framerate is somewhat of a mix of Jak 2s best parts and Jak 1s consistency. Where Jak 2 runs at 30FPS at maybe 30% of the game, this game runs at a solid 30FPS at roughly 70% (with only some of the later levels truly affecting the framerate). The very few sections of slowdown (Haven City and Spargus) are places you don't have to spend much time at, especially when compared to Jak 2. Overall, from a technical perspective this game is the best of the three but not by a long shot. The entire Trilogy is, from a technical perspective, in pretty bad shape.

The controls:

I have already said the controls are horrible and I stand by that. It is important to note that Jak 1 is left out of this statement. Jak 1s controls were tight and well thought out. Jak 2 and 3 however have one common enemy: the rear touch pad. See, when Jak 2 and 3 came out on the PS2 a lot of their gameplay functions were tied to the L2/3 and R2/3 triggers/sticks. That worked fine in the case of the PS2 (and im guessing the PS3) but the Vita simply doesn't have so many buttons/triggers. Since these triggers had very important tasks assigned to them (such as getting out your JET-Board or transforming into Dark/Light Jak) they couldn't just be left out of the game, so for each game four different inputs have been assigned to the rear touch pad AT ONCE.

Picture yourself holding the Vita. Now put your middle finger on the rear touch pad (or whichever one you would use during gameplay). While you are NOT in a vehicle the top left section of the touch pad is responsible for switching to Dark/Light Jak. Right beneath that is a section which brings up the HUD (which shows the health you have etc). On the top right side you can take out your board and on the bottom right side you switch to first person mode (in which you cant move nor shoot). This may sound good on paper but requires a lot of practice and precision. And as every Vita owner can attest: the rear touch pads sensitivity is wonky at best. Couple that with different rear touchpad commands when in a vehicle, the difficulty of Jak 2, and the game being incapable of actually telling you which section does what (it shows a rear touch pad icon but doesn't really specify where) and you can quickly see what a mess these games are.

Granted, with enough practice these things can be learned but they are by no means intuitive or optimal solutions.


This was my first ever experience with Jak and Daxter and the storyline alone made this a worthwhile purchase. Looking back on it I may have been better off getting the PS3 version. Overall however, I really enjoyed all three of these games (even the infuriating Jak 2) despite their issues. It should also be noted that the ones responsible for the quality of this port are not Naughty Dog but a small studio named Mass Media (which are also responsible for the Ratchet and Clank Trilogy and the crashing issue of R&C2). Sadly, Mass Media has not decided to patch this game yet and it is doubtful that they will ever. I am hoping that they either clean up their act (which, looking at the state of the aforementioned R&C2 is doubtful) or Sony doesn't hire them anymore.

PS: This review is based on the physical US release, according to various internet sources/forums there are no reported differences, be it content or performance, between the versions.
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on 27 December 2013
game state: terrible

reason why: awful screen resolution and chronic lag.

game itself: one of the best platformer trilogies ever made.

should you buy this: no. buy it for the PS3 via the PSN store and you will get the trilogy for the Vita (this version but digital on PSN) free of charge. You can then play it properly on the PS3 with no lag, excellent full HD, and fast loading times. Then you can download any of them / all of them on your Vita as the full versions for the Vita, as i said, if you buy the PS3 trilogy it unlocks this version i am reviewing for the vita for free on your account, and you will see what i am talking about. then you will thank me for not throwing money away on x3 games just for the Vita that don't work and have not been patched by Sony or Naughty Dog, but you will at least get 6 games of which the trilogy for the PS3 does work properly.

but what if i don't have a PS3 and / or don't want to play it on the big TV, i just wanted to experience it on my Vita: go ahead. if you like 20fps and like being robbed of your money, by all means, go right ahead and buy it and may you have many hours of enjoyment with it. /sarcasm off.
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on 12 July 2013
I'd delayed getting this game due to the mixed reviews. However having all 3 Jak and Daxter games on the PS Vita was too much of a temptation.

In terms of The first Jak and Daxter game, I've only progressed to 21%, but have experienced the fishing mini-game and flying section. Based on these facts, I can say it's a colourful fun game, and I haven't experienced any noticable slow-downs etc. However, the minor issue with the game I've noticed is more due to the PS Vita controls. Having so small a set of thumbsticks, means I find controlling the game a little more difficult, making the game overall harder compared with it's console version. It's the same with other PS Vita games (the worst for me being Wipeout 2048), but this could just be my age and chubby fingers!! In terms of other minor issues, not all springboards seem to work like they should, and the camera moves in certain sequences, making me fall off platforms (but this happens in the console versions of the game).

I've played Jak 2 less (only 4%) but the platform and flying sections all work well with no issues I've noticed.

Jak 3, I'll have to play that later, as I'm enjoying the first game too much.

On a final note, when viewing the start animations on all games, the screen on my PS Vita goes dull after a few minutes, due to the power saving option on the console, so I have to tap the screen to return to full brightness. Plus the manual available with the game gives basic controls, but misses some of the vehicle controls on the first Jak game.
Overall This is an excellent collection of games. I loved Jak and daxter when it came out on the PS2, and I'm loving it even more on the PS Vita.
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on 3 May 2016
Works incredibly well on the Vita. Far better than I was expecting it to. The control re-mapping is very easy to get used to, and the gameplay hasn't changed since I last played them. Would definitely recommend them for people that want Jak and Daxter games with graphical updates and trophies.
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on 18 December 2013
It's very rare that I stop playing a game and delete it in disgust but that's what happened here. For a studio like Naughty Dog to release such a broken game is quite shocking really. The constant framerate issues, poor textures and low resolution I can cope with but the controls are incredibly floaty and imprecise, something that is gamebreaking in a platformer that relies on precise controls. Just to give an idea at how bad it is, online guides estimate 7-8 hour to platinum for Jak 1. I'm normally slightly under time with such estimates, but I'm 6 hours in and haven't left misty island. The crap controls are the reason for this - I can't see what I'm doing or where I'm going, and half the time the game either doesn't do what I want, controls kick in with far too much lag or he just slides around like it's an ice rink.

If you want to experience this game get it on PS3. It's the best version and is cheaper. This is just a horrendous port and as a result, one of the worst games I've ever played. Second star goes for the humour, the one thing the clowns working on this port couldn't ruin.
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Firstly, let me start by saying I love the Jak and Daxter series, even Jak X and Daxter. Okay, Lost Frontier was obviously another game entirely that they slapped the J&D characters onto, but even some of that was pretty enjoyable, so it's pretty heartbreaking to have to admit that this port is almost terminally broken.

Jak and Daxter - serious frame rate issues affect both the game controls and the collision detection, with button-presses getting lost between skipped frames and character animations being glitched occasionally. There's also some kind of bizarre camera setup for the right stick where the controls are inverted between the third and first person views: in other words, push right and the camera goes right if you're in third person, but left if you're in first person (or vice versa if you choose to flip the controls) though there's only one setting affecting both views in the control options so you will have to choose between having the third or first person camera controls to be backwards. The problem also extends to the vertical camera controls.
Despite this, I'd say this was the least broken of the three games - glitching animation derived from the low frame rate aside (trampolines not working when you jump on them if they're located in a room or area with a lot of activity being a particular bugbear, especially in the "Lurker Infested Cave" area where precise trampolining is essential) - though the frame rate/imprecise controls may utterly break your playing experience when you get to the fisherman sub-game which occurs relatively early in the game and which requires you pass it before you can proceed past a certain point, so I highly recommend - and the game does not inform you that you can actually do this - that you use the front touchscreen to play this minigame by tapping the fish instead of swinging your net with the left control stick as you are instructed to do by the game itself (and may do by impulse if you've played the game before), as the control sensitivity may be frustratingly imprecise for you otherwise.

Jak 2 - muddy visuals, compounded by low-res textures and fuzzy edges like you're looking at a picture on a cathode ray television. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that you would actually have to put in some effort to get a picture this terrible on a Vita screen, I'm just baffled why they would feel the need to do so - possibly to hide the lower resolution textures needed to keep the game running at a decent speed, and fair play it's not as laggy as the first J&D. It does, however, have a seriously terrible touchpad control setup where even the slightest breeze seems to change into first person view, but it's not as easy to get out of it as repeatedly tapping the touchpad often does nothing because your presses get lost in the poor frame rate. Often - and I do mean OFTEN - you will be playing and suddenly the game will go into first person mode and tapping at the first person button doesn't get you out of it - as you can imagine, this is incredibly annoying in an action game and will get your character killed quite a lot. Also, the first person controls are the same annoying "inverse of the third person controls" setup as in J&D. Despite all this, I'd say the biggest problem was still the eye-straining fuzzy edges of the graphics.

Jak 3 - utterly broken. Apart from the game seeming to have been ported from a 4:3 ratio copy of the game so a lot gets lost off the top and bottom of the screen, controls have again been assigned to the rear touchpad of the Vita and are so sensitive that even a molecule of air passing across it will flip you into first person mode, which is a bit mad considering the frantic pace of button-pushing required in some of the later platform and racing levels of the game - oh, and for some reason in order to get a rear view in the racing modes, you have to touch the very center of both the screen and the touchpad at the same time, effectively taking your hands off ALL of the controls while you're supposed to be driving in a race, and there's no way to phrase this diplomatically: that transcends poor design and is outright idiotic, compounded by the game forcing you through a control tutorial that gives you incorrect instructions what to do next (the game instructs you to hold down the rear touchpad, but you have to hold it down in the center while ALSO holding down the center of the front screen) and which can't be skipped. Would it have killed the people porting this to have at least given the option to have the first person controls assigned to the front screen where your hands are much less likely to accidentally brush across it? There's also some really poor oversight on the sound transfer for the Vita as the ambient wind sound drowns out the character voices during cut scenes (so turn on the subtitles by pressing circle if this is your first time playing), and it remains similarly overpowering during free-roaming.

As much as I love these games, I couldn't possibly recommend this Vita collection to anyone, as the poor ports give an entirely erroneous impression of frustrating and imprecise gaming, poor controls, bad sound design and a general all-round air of half-assedness not found on the PS2 or PS3 versions. These games were easily some of the finest in sixth-generation console platforming, but if all you had to judge them was this collection, you'd be pretty confused as to why.
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on 21 June 2013
I don't know how they've done it, but they've managed to cram three of my favourite games ever onto a teeny tiny cartridge! And even after all this time, they're still better than most games released today.
Yes there are some frame-rate issues and yes the visuals aren't HD. But does anybody really remember how these games were or are we recalling them with rose-tinted nostalgia? To check I booted up Jak and Daxter Precursor Legacy on my dusty PS2 and, guess what, there were frame rate issues back then too! Probably due to the immense processing energy required to maintain a game world where there are ZERO LOADING TIMES after the initial start-up. Consider that for a many games achieve that these days?
The game doesn't pretend to be a mobile version of the HD Collection ('HD' is nowhere in the title) and instead is satisfied to present us with a faithful port of PS2 classics as they originally were, warts and all. But the few warts are more than made-up for by the stunning gameplay, voice-acting and pure, unbridled sense of fun on display. Jak II is the best in my opinion, but I can't wait to finish replaying all of them. I hear some of the mini-games now have touch-support too, which will be nice I'm sure.
That'll do, I'm too busy enjoying this brilliant title to write anymore. If you have a Vita and don't get this, you're seriously missing out!
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on 21 December 2014
I love this series so my disappointment with this port is unbelievable. The frame rate constantly drops and never goes to 30 from what I can tell and the controls are very clunky, you can also tell no work went into jak and daxter as lines keep appearing on daxters face ever cutscene. The games are great but the port for vita is so bad that I would either recommend getting it for ps3 or just play them on ps2, some how the ps2 version is higher quality then the vitas.
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on 23 June 2013
3 great titles for the price of a round down the pub.

I haven't experienced anything nearly as bad as some reviewers are making out. I just changed the camera settings and the controls work fine, Yeah the fame rate is very occasionally choppy but in no way does it stop enjoyment of the game.

Old school open world platforming action at its best from the guys and gals who have brought us Uncharted and the awesome the Last of Us makes this a must play especially to those who have never experienced the trilogy.
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on 19 September 2014
Glad this has been put on the Vita now I can play this game wherever I go, mainly bought the Vita for plane and train journeys this game is the prefect addition you won't get bored.
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