God of War: Ragnarok releases tonight at midnight, thus making today a HUGE day for gamers everywhere.
This was a weird way to start a blog that’s going to be about the Jak and Daxter series, but it ties in, I promise.
Since I just played 2018’s God of War for the very first time last year, I didn’t feel like playing it again this year in preparation for Ragnarok. The story’s fresh on my mind and my body is ready for whatever happens next!
So, with time to kill before this HUGE release, I was looking for something to play to keep my mind occupied during these trying times. I didn’t want to truly start anything new, so I sought comfort in the past.
Available on PlayStation Plus is the entirety of the Jak and Daxter series including: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (2001), Jak II (2003), Jak III (2004), and Jak X: Combat Racing (2005).
Jak X is TRASH so I will not be focusing on that at all in this blog.
Alongside Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly Cooper, Jak is one of the heroes from my childhood that will always bring about nostalgia. Sly Cooper recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and with no new titles on the horizon, all fans can do is hope for his return.
With the Kingdom Hearts series alive and well in its 20th Anniversary and the Ratchet and Clank series still getting additions in 2021, one can’t help but get excited about who else is getting a revival soon.
Jak and Daxter‘s 20th Anniversary came and went with the same fanfare that Sly got: absolutely nothing.
While it’s fun that I can play the whole original Jak Trilogy on PS5, I can’t help but be sad about the fact that we’ve never gotten a legit Jak IV from Naughty Dog.
The entire gaming community is in concurrence that this weird offshoot game developed by High Impact Games in 2009 titled Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier is NOT a canon addition to the story of our characters.
Without the original development team and studio creating a game to expand upon the original trilogy, we can’t consider anything to be a true sequel to Jak III. While Jak X is a sequel to Jak III, it’s a racing game that doesn’t provide the fun platforming and combat that the original trilogy provided.
That’s what people want out of a Jak IV: New Story, Old Jak and Daxter. Meaning, Square is to punch, Circle is to Spin Kick, X is to Jump, and L1 is to roll…A LOT.
Also, I can’t get through this and not mention 2006’s Daxter. Daxter is a prequel game that tells the story of Daxter trying to find Jak in the two years between Jak and Daxter and Jak II.
I didn’t have a PSP and this game was a PSP exclusive. Only really rich kids had a PSP, but from what I gather, people enjoyed this game a lot more than Jak X and The Lost Frontier.
However, since Daxter is a prequel, it doesn’t matter what console it came out on. It didn’t expand upon the stories of our characters following Jak III and Jak X.
With Naughty Dog focusing on more realistic characters and gritty stories over the last decade with the beloved Uncharted and The Last of Us series’, it seems Jak and Daxter have been completely left behind.
I absolutely LOVE Uncharted and TLOU, but not more than Jak. I mentioned this point in my TLOU blog, but I’ll say it again: it’s kinda wild that The Last of Us: Part I has been remastered for two different consoles before Jak IV was even rumored to be in development.
Tom Holland, our favorite MCU Spider-Man and live-action Nathan Drake actor, has even said in interviews that he wants Jak and Daxter to return. WHY WON’T NAUGHTY DOG LISTEN TO SPIDER-MAN/NATHAN DRAKE?!?!
There used to be whispers of its development online. So much so that a former Naughty Dog employee even leaked a few concept art pieces of a Jak IV online.
These concept images are all people have had to go on for a few years as it pertains to Jak IV. The whispers and rumors have completely gone away. Every single time a PlayStation: State of Play (digital showcase of upcoming games) is announced, people don’t even bring up Jak any more because it’s so unlikely.
You can even tell how much it makes sense Naughty Dog wanted to move forward with the “realistic” vibes with Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Joel and Ellie from TLOU because Jak’s “realistic” look is kinda scary-looking and unnatural. However, I would absolutely get used to it if it was a real thing!
Replaying through the Jak series these last few weeks has just reminded me of the hurt of not having another entry on the horizon. (And also the hurt of the Mission Failed screen from Jak II and Jak III because I’ve seen them A LOT)
My hope hasn’t been completely snuffed out like others’ has. But this playthrough of the original trilogy has also reminded me just how amazing these games are. They’ve aged like wine and I still find them brilliant, just as I did as a kid.
Hell, I’d contribute my borderline OCD to collecting every Power Cell and Precursor Orb in Jak and Daxter.
I’m one to never say never. So, I can’t say and don’t want to say that Jak IV won’t happen. But I hope we can still generate the hype enough to let Naughty Dog know we want it.
And Sly too. I know this blog was about Jak, but shit, I just did to Sly what everyone did to Sly! We want Jak so bad that we’re not loud enough about Sly!
Please bring back Sly and Jak! Even the developers for Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart want these characters back!
While I was revisiting the Jak series, I also found this great video from an amazing content creator that I already linked to above.
SuperButterBuns on YouTube has this amazing retrospective on the Jak series and gets a little bit more in-depth on what I went over in this blog on a game-to-game basis. Here’s that video:
Please show Buns some love and keep the love of Jak (and Sly) alive!
As we all nestle in to play God of War tonight, let’s not forget that we could very well have the power to bring Jak back.
Don’t give up hope, ever.