My Ten Shows of Yesteryear

It wasn’t just games in 2012. There was a fair bit of time spent watching the old goggle box as well.

It was a year of shows I loved before and still love today (some in their second seasons, one in its eighth!), but two new shows did make it into my top ten; Awake and Girls. I feel bad for leaving Community and Doctor Who off this list, but sadly their seasons weren’t quite up to the standard they had set previously. Let’s not start off on on a sour note and instead enjoy my picks of 2012, because we all know I have the best taste, and the best hair, and… let’s just stop while we’re ahead.

American Horror Story

While the first (rather bizarre) season resided in Murder House, Asylum takes place in a mental institution in the ‘60s with some of the same actors playing new roles. Jessica Lange plays a larger role as Sister Judy, the head nun, Evan Peterson is a convicted serial killer, and Zachary Quinto is now a psychiatric doctor. There are no apparent ghosts in Asylum so the show feels a little more based in reality. That being said, I’m forgetting about mad scientist abominations and being possessed by the devil! Time doesn’t jump around as much so it’s more or less a linear narrative (with the odd flashback here or there). The cinematography is incredible for a TV show and although I wasn’t jumping out of my chair, it was hella creepy and I did have to look away from the screen more than once.

 

Awake

When Kyle Killen’s Awake got cancelled after its first season I have to admit I was a little sad and a tad angry. To me the show was just finding its stride. It started off like a police procedural set in two dimensions, but the more the show delved into Michael Britain’s psyche the more interesting the show got. It was emotional and didn’t mind screwing with your head a bit, especially when Michael starts to see things like computer generated penguins. The two worlds are lit differently to make it easier on the viewer (the one with the wife is warm and bright, while the one with the son is cold and blue), but even so I still had a hard time tracking which reality was which. The two shrinks offer good reasons why each world is real and even at the end I still wasn’t sure which was the real life — if there ever was one.  There’s a fair bit of detective work, but there’s also a lot of Jack-Baueresque running around with guns. If you want something different from your typical cop show, think Life On Mars, even for only one season, I would recommend you give this one a watch.

 

Breaking Bad

Surprise! Well if you’ve been paying attention to the Internet over the last. five years, not really. Breaking Bad is a fan favourite and resides on many a list. This epic meth making saga continues for one last time. Walt has near and truly gone all Scarface. It’s often nail biting and heart wrenching, but the writers don’t forget the comedy. I am reminded of the scene in which Jesse has dinner with Walt and Skyler; one of the most awkward and hilarious things to watch. Vince Gilligan’s mid-season finale left us in suspense for what’s around the corner. What will become of Walter White and his plucky sidekick Jesse Pinkman?

 

Game of Thrones

I read George R. R. Martin’s first book before watching the first season, but I found it rather dense. Fantasy isn’t my forte with all those made-up place names and characters that are impossible to spell. But I’ve stuck with this rendition and I’ve been rewarded for my efforts. When the show isn’t quick cutting away from the large ensemble and instead focuses on a set of characters (i.e. the episode Blackwater) the show really gets into the heart of its characters. I only hope the next season does more of this. It’s fantasy done right for the small screen. If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings and are interested in seeing something darker (a lot darker), you will have much to like here.

 

Girls

This isn’t quite your Sex and the City. Set in New York, Girls follows the lives of a group of young friends. Lena Dunham writes, directs and stars as the unlikable, but somehow endearing, Hannah Horvath. Girls is kinda hilarious, and it has its dramatic moments too. As an HBO show they do get to show a bit more than you’d find in a network comedy. Not that we wanted to see it in the first place! But they do discuss subjects like abortion and sex and all that good stuff in a realistic context. Even with all the deprave acts many of the characters on the show partake in, I still found myself invested in their lives by the end of the season. Adam was pretty much a dick at the start, and gradually I began to like him more and more. It all comes to an interesting conclusion when things flip-flop in the season finale.

 

Louie

Louie is in its third season and still going strong. Like Girls and Lena Dunham (but on a greater degree), Louis C.K. writes, directs, and stars in Louie. This eclectic comedy/drama/medley of a thing is about a fictional version of Louie living in New York, doing stand-up, and supporting his two kids. Each episode is unique and while some events don’t have continuity, other things do come back for future storylines. There’s the amazing three-parter where Louie is pegged as the replacement for a retiring David Letterman. He is trained up as a late night talk show host by David Lynch (Twin Peaks) playing as an eccentric tutor. Louie is great. You never know what to expect week from week. Only thing I’m not too happy with is the fact we have to wait until 2014 to get more of it.

 

Parks and Recreation

This season in particular came off to a rocky start, tying together events in Pawnee and Washington D.C. But once it pulled out the knots Parks and Rec turned back into the show we know and loved. Amy Poehler as the plucky Leslie Knope, deputy of the Parks Department, now city councillor, is endearing as always. Unlike The Office (I stopped watching after season eight), the jokes are funny and it feels like the show has a soul. This season has NZ’s own Lucy Lawless as Ron’s new romantic interest, and Mike from Breaking Bad even makes an appearance as Ben’s dad. Parks and Recreation is reliably funny and uplifting, and I hope the show’s writers learned their lesson from splitting up the cast at the start of the season.

 

Peep Show

Now entering season eight (I did a marathon of season one through seven in the same year). David Mitchell and Robert Webb play as flatmates who are complete opposites; Mark (Mitchell), the anal-retentive office worker and Jeremy (Webb), the unemployed stoner. Peep Show offers us a direct look into the minds of these two guys and their thoughts without filters (through voice over). It’s not always pretty, but it’s always ripe for a laugh. This season Mark is wanting to move things forward with Dobby and Jeremy is left without a home. Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain write the perfect voices for the comedic pairing of Mitchell and Webb. The show hasn’t changed much since it first aired in 2003. The unique POV shots are all but familiar now, but the comedy is always fresh, so it’s a good thing there’s lots of it.

 

Skins

I started to review this season episode by episode but I ended my write-ups abruptly due to… well, nothing but sheer laziness really. And it’s a shame because I care a great deal about Skins. It’s shot beautifully, and the images are placed perfectly to great selections of music. Unfortunately this season falls into the same trap of making two guys fall head over heels for a girl who is by the end of the season self-loathing, selfish, and completely unlikable. I’m looking at you Franky. The Alo as a pedo episode is the funniest, most awkward, hard to watch thing I’ve seen in a while. And the Rich episode still gives me goose bumps when I think about it. I guess I do tend to identify more with the young awkward males! But each episode does give an insight into each character and how and why they tick, which makes the Skins format of focusing on a particular character each episode really ideal.

 

Wilfred

I’ve yet to see the original Australian version of this show about a man who talks to a dog (well, a man in a dog costume). But this American version starring Elijah Wood (Ryan) and Jason Gann (playing as Wilfred, the dog from the original) is fun to watch. It doesn’t mind going for crude humour and the toilet jokes. The show often plays with the mystique surrounding Ryan’s ability to see and talk with Wilfred to hilarious meta effect (just see the first episode with guest star Robin Williams!). Like the Peep Show pairing, Ryan is the serious type while Wilfred is always getting into mischief. It’s a tried and true combo that still works here.

Here’s a Bunch of Games I Kinda Liked Last Year

It wouldn’t be the start of a new year without an end of year top ten list. It brings completion — a resolution of sorts even if I didn’t play every game released last year (or finish half the games I bought).

What follows is my completely objective and unbiased whatsoever list of a bunch of games I kinda liked from 2012.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

I’ve barely touched the main campaign, but who plays Call of Duty these days for the campaign — am I right? The online games are quick and you always feel like you’re making some kind of progress thanks to the addictive leveling system. The new setup for customizing classes is neat and lets you finely tweak your load-outs. That said it’s still a Call of Duty game.  Sure I’ve never spent enough time to make Prestige (and I still can’t aim a sniper rifle) but it’s something I keep coming back to, even with three mates huddled around a single TV set.

 


Far Cry 3

So we all know the animals are the real stars of this particular game. Go away you damn pirates, I want me some antelope. Because the skins are used for crafting pouches and other things it makes hunting a worthwhile activity. Oh and I guess exploring the enormous pacific island by hang glider or quad bike wasn’t so bad either. The antagonist Vaas caught my attention ever since the first trailer and while he does play a brilliant and scary psychopath unfortunately the story just doesn’t cater for him too well. And too bad the friends you’re trying to save are as plain as sticks. No wonder you’re always ditching them to go punch some sharks.

 


Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is Super Meat Boy all over again. You’re start a level only to be stuck on the same screen half an hour later. And that’s the real beauty of Hotline Miami; perfecting one’s kill route. It’s a game about precision and patience (and the odd crazy rampage). But if there’s one troubling thing about this game it’s the pure bloodlust you get from trying to kill those guys that just don’t know when to die. At least it has something to say about violence. After each level that damn catchy music stops and the game makes you do the walk of shame past the trail of corpses you disposed of *shudders*. The masks you unlock offer different abilities that may give you a slight upper hand in future levels. Personally my favourite was the lethal doors mask. I think that one is the horse.

 

Mark of the Ninja

I’m not a stealth guy. I get twitchy. I hate restarting levels for some guard spotting my nose stick out from behind a pillar. But Mark of the Ninja gives you all the tools to put you in control. At all times you can see your visibility and how much sound you’re making with each movement or action. To me it felt a little like a 2D version of the challenge room levels in Batman: Arkham Asylum. You can see clearly (for the most part) where the guards are located, and you have multiple methods to “dispatch” of them. It gets quite challenging later on and I have to admit I did a few not-so-sneaky runs, ringing a few alarm bells in the process. So thank god it’s easy to get back into hiding.

 

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition

So thanks to my high performing laptop *cough* (you’d be surprised at how much memory blocky polygons take up!) I never had the chance to really get into Minecraft even when I purchased the Alpha all that time ago. But Minecraft on XBLA gave me that second chance, and what’s more I could even experience it like everyone else did with the game updating as I played. I found this version immediately accessible. You didn’t need to have a wiki page loaded up with crafting table recipes. It was all available from the get go. I made wooden and brick houses, mines, underground railroads, a waterfall elevator that takes you to the sky, and all of these paled in comparison to the unbelievable creations I witnessed online. Multiplayer was fun too, provided no griefing went on. Even with all the new additions in the updates I loved the game the most at its barebones when I created for creation’s sake and explored the landscape for no other reason than satisfying my curiosity.

 

Rayman Jungle Run

This is the best game I’ve played on the iPhone all year (and I’ve played a few). It brings the gorgeous graphics of Rayman Origins with auto-run controls for touch screen accessibility. No onscreen d-pad required! This doesn’t make it a walk in the park either. Far from it. While the levels are fairly easy to complete it’s still mighty challenging to collect all of the yellow thingy’s… lum’s, whatever they’re called. Forget Temple Run (geez, seriously it’s not that good!), Rayman Jungle Run proves that 2D platformers are alive and well, and as fun as ever.

 


Rockband Blitz

Ever wanted to play Rockband without the instruments? No, well neither did I until I came across this gem. It makes playing Rockband by yourself feel okay. There’s even an element of strategy to it, more so than Rock Band, with the addition of power-ups which you can select before the song begins. And while you do need to switch between all of the tracks (i.e. musical instruments) you can do so in any order you wish. The ever elusive friend high scores will drag you back in, and if there was ever a reason to go back and play all those Rock Band songs you downloaded or imported, this is it.

 


Spelunky

There are many emotions that come to mind when I hear this game’s title spoken aloud; Hope, defeat, dread. Even with all the times I’ve played it Spelunky never got any easier. Just unlocking the shortcuts was hard enough, then they wanted us to go through an unforgiving series of levels with mummies that spitfire bugs, lava pits, and cubes that will squash you flat. Then it’s time to fight (if that’s even the right word for it) the boss at the end, which is almost impossible if you used all your bombs and ropes previously. And the secret Hell level? Just forget about it. The randomly generating dungeons (yes, this is a platformer) means a fresh experience each time, although those experiences are guaranteed to end in heartbreak. I loved the mystery of discovering the game, learning about the world, its treasures, and its inhabitants (the things that want to kill you). And although some of the secrets are impossible to find without the aid of the Internet, it made the game feel larger than it was; a mystery to be uncovered.

 

The Walking Dead

Quite a lot has already been said about this game. First and foremost I am an adventure game fan. I have played many a point and click adventure and a few of Telltale’s games, and this is by far the most differentest, interestingest thing I’ve laid my eyes on. The puzzles take a back seat and it’s the characters that are at the forefront. This is not your daddy’s Monkey Island. While there is still the odd bit of humour The Walking Dead is a depressing affair (in a good way). It is no holds barred on the cussing, or the gore, or the emotional torment. And the thing I love the most is there really is no good or evil. It’s just you in that moment, in those few seconds to decide how you would act in that situation. Regardless of how linear the story turned out in the end, it made me feel powerful and at the same time helpless. It made me live those decisions, and that’s what mattered.

 


Trials Evolution

While it’s more of the same Trials you know and love (it’s still great and it’s back with a nicer difficulty curve), it’s the four player Supercross levels I was in there for. With the seemingly unlimited user marketplace of tracks available, many a fun time was had (excusing the odd glitchy level, but even those were amusing) . The multiplayer is a different beast; it’s less about making the perfectly timed jump and more about firing through to the finish. This is a great party game that isn’t just another kart racer.

The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy Review (PS3)

As posted on Koru Cottage.

Disappointed by Insomniac’s foray into four player co-op it’s good to see a return to the ‘classics’. Yes you may have played a gazillion and one Ratchet & Clank games by now, but these are the three PlayStation 2 games that started it all.

Ratchet & Clank

The game that kicked off the series (the idea originates from Insomniac’s cancelled project: Girl with a Stick). I first played Ratchet & Clank as a demo that came with our family’s PS2. As with Insomniac’s Spyro series, I was more a Naughty Dog fan and stuck with the Crash Bandicoots and the Jak and Daxters. Eventually I realised I was being biased for no apparent reason and so I picked up R&C. If I recall correctly it became my first game review. A review where I noted the ‘delicious environments’ and ‘loveable tones’. I hope my use of hyperbole has diminished since then.

Ratchet & Clank introduced us to the Lombax mechanic and the robot backpack — a duo that might remind you of Nintendo 64 favourite, Banjo-Kazooie — as well as the aloof super hero Captain Qwark. The main villain is completely unmemorable and upon playing it again I was expecting to bump into Dr. Nefarious but he doesn’t crop up until the third game.

 

Ratchet & Clank 2

On my travels to and from uni I picked up the last two games at The Gamesman on Lambton Quay in Wellington. RIP Gamesman.

As well as sporting new duds R&C2 was a lot more polished than its predecessor. Insomniac figured out what worked and made it better. Which most importantly meant the guns. Now the guns gather experience and level up. The more you use a weapon the faster it’ll level.

If I forgot to mention it earlier I’ll say it now, the guns are what makes Ratchet & Clank different to other platformers. And it really does work pretty well. There might be too many guns to choose from as you get later into it, but you’ll have your go-to’s and your only-for-special-occasions’.

 

Ratchet & Clank 3

I mostly recall this game for its multiplayer. Oh fun times were had between my siblings and I in three-player split-screen. Such a contrast to All 4 One today. The multiplayer was a mish mash of capturing bases and piloting vehicles, not too unlike Battlefield. I’m happy to say the online is functioning in the trilogy pack. Whether or not people play it is another question. Right now there seems to be a good crowd of people present.

Three also marks the first appearance of Secret Agent Clank (really just a fictional James Bond version of Clank) and Dr. Nefarious, a creepy yet loveable alien/robot with gears in his head.

 

The Trilogy Re-Release

The three Ratchet games each have Trophy collections if you’re into that sort of thing. 3D support is there for the folks that like to look a little crazy in front of their TVs.

Again like The Jak and Daxter trilogy, objects and characters do look a lot smoother. But the HDifying doesn’t really fix blurry HUDs or menus. The cut-scenes are only 4:3, no widescreen. And the occasional ground or character texture might be jarring. It doesn’t make it unplayable, just a little unsightly.

If you managed to catch all the PS3 Ratchet games and you still can’t get enough, here’s one more for the collection. Just be wary that the games have come a long way. The first Ratchet & Clank came out about ten years ago!

As for myself I enjoyed the games late in the PS2’s life cycle, so not enough time has passed for me to warrant a thorough replay. But it’s great to see how the series develops as Insomniac gets more comfortable with its world and characters.

 

Twisted Metal Review (PS3)

As posted on Koru Cottage.

David Jaffe’s Twisted Metal first made its way onto the Sony PlayStation in ‘95. For those new to the series Twisted Metal is essentially a car combat game with a few darker tendencies. This Twisted Metal reboot marks the first time the series makes an appearance on the PlayStation 3. It’s developed by Eat Sleep Play and a team lead by David Jaffe, many of whom worked on the original series.

The basic premise of Twisted Metal is there’s this guy called Calypso who organises a vehicle combat tournament — a fight to the death if you will. Calypso will grant the winner a wish, their greatest dream. When playing the campaign you start off as the lovable Sweet Tooth (the cheery flaming clown on the front of the box). Among playing the missions you get to watch some rather dark, albeit cheesy B movie sequences. As you complete a character’s story, another is open for you to play; that’s Mr. Grimm and Dollface respectively. The missions for each character range from standard deathmatches to races, to even boss battles.

While I kinda knew what I was in for when booting up the game I didn’t know I’d be thrust into the thick of it. I’d recommend starting the tutorial before jumping in. Getting used to the controls is a pretty steep learning curve. Every button has a use. Heck, to even jump you have to press two buttons simultaneously. A boost requires a double tap of acceleration, while a second boost is triggered by flicking the Sixaxis controller. Some of the powers are tied to the D-pad which requires some quick finger manoeuvring. Rather than use the default controls I switched to the racing control option, because who wants to accelerate without a trigger these days? Eventually though, through much trial and error you do get used to it. The handbrake is a lifesaver.

This is no Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing where you can only hold a single power-up. In Twisted Metal there are a bazillion power-ups you can pick up and switch between. What happens, to me anyway, is you just end up rapidly hitting fire, and watching your opponent’s health bar drain bit by bit as they’re pounded by missiles, lasers, and RC cars. It’s great, but then again the same can also happen to you.

Each vehicle has its strengths and weaknesses, and its own special abilities. One car has a flame thrower while another can throw taxis. Sweet Tooth’s ice cream van is practically a Transformer and can change into a mech. The Juggernaut on the other hand is a beast of a vehicle which is nigh impossible to turn corners in, but can knock your opponents senseless, racking up some nice easy kills. The helicopter can well… fly. The novelty soon wears off however. It’s hard enough dealing with all the freedom the ground entails. You are less of a target, but on the other side of things scoring kills ain’t as easy.

Besides the standard Deathmatch you can play various team objectives. In Nuke teams take turns between offense and defence. When attacking you need to grab the team leader, who is manning a turret somewhere in the map, and keelhaul him behind your vehicle. You then need to locate one of the missile launchers. One is usually off roaming about, while another is stationary. Both of which are pretty hard to use when you’re being shot at from every which direction. You have to stay confined to a small area until you die, or lady luck gets on your side and the missile launches, crashing into the opposing team’s giant statue.

While yes there is online, and it works pretty well too — provided you can find a game — Splitscreen is back once again. Yes that feature you thought was dead and gone. A flashback to the days of the Multitap. Though these days it’s a littler harder squeezing you and three buddies onto a couch. Playing with two people allows you the full use of each map. Four on the other hand leaves you with smaller sections of the wider map. Mind you when I say ‘smaller’ it’s actually still rather big. For four it’s perfect. 16 might be another story.

As for the maps there’s a decent selection. My least favourite being the one on top of skyscrapers. And I think my buddies agreed after a round of us committing mass suicide.  For some reason I remember Twisted Metal: Black being a lot more fun on rooftops. Either that or I’m repressing some haunting memories. As a general rule the levels have great verticality, lots of nooks and crannies to explore, tons of traps and environmental hazards.

Closing Comments

Twisted Metal does look newer and nicer in its reincarnation on the PS3. But ignoring that new coat of paint it’s essentially the same game played across the span of PlayStation consoles before it. The campaign didn’t interest me at all. Thankfully you can play it co-op which makes it at least bearable.

But really Twisted Metal was meant for the multiplayer. It’s a flashback to the days before Call of Duty unlocks, where the focus was on the fun, not on what you could earn. But I think some sort of perks system would have extended the life of the game. There is a tight knit community if you’re dead keen on online (mind that pesky PSN pass) and are in it for the long haul.

Jaffe is gonna set my head on fire for saying this, but my one recommendation (unless you’re a diehard fan) is to rent this puppy out, nab a couch or two and a big TV, grab a few mates and enjoy a night of ‘old school’ gaming.

The Jak and Daxter Trilogy Review (PS3)

As posted on ButtonMasher.

Before Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan there was another duo in town; Jak and Daxter. Naughty Dog’s last series of games took place on the PlayStation 2.

And I was smitten. I played all three games as well as the spinoff Jax X: Combat Racing. Which wasn’t such a bad game guys. Really.

Instead of treating this as a new release (it clearly isn’t) I will briefly go over each of the games and discuss some pointers about the HD release.

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

Jak and Daxter was my first PS2 game. Now there’s a bit of a backstory to this. For Christmas one year our family received a PS2. As it was a big ticket item it was meant for us all to share. But really it was my brother and I who became the guardians of the black box.

We went away to Christchurch for the holidays. As we got home my Mum and stepdad forewarned us that we were robbed while we were away. Some filthy lowlife had nicked our PS2 along with a bunch of other high-tech items. We were devastated.

A month or so into the next year my siblings and I visited Australia for the first time with our Dad. I walked into an electronics shop and picked up Jak and Daxter off the shelf. I was new to the Australian dollar and it seemed a bargain even though I used up all my spending money in one hit. We no longer had a PS2 but for some reason I just knew I would get the chance to play it. I would make it happen.

And wouldn’t you know it, later in the year our PS2 was returned by the police, found along with most of the other stolen gear. The controllers had fingerprinting dust stuck inside the analog sticks but they still worked. We had our PS2 back and I could finally play Jak and Daxter. Goodbye study time.

Having played the Crash Bandicoot series back on the PlayStation I knew what kind of platforming goodness I was in for. If you hadn’t guessed Naughty Dog was my favourite developer in this time of my life. Later Valve took the mantle. Sorry guys.

Naughty Dog stayed close to its roots with Jak and Daxter. The biggest change in their design would have to be going open world and giving the player full camera control. No more bandicoot backside.

Jak had a spin attack just like Crash, was a mute just like Crash – in the first game Jak was merely another skin for Crash Bandicoot. Luckily we have Daxter, the adorable, hilarious – and very orange – little ottsel. Although he didn’t end up helping, with anything really, at least he provided us with companionship.

Like all platforming games it’s a bit of a collect-athon. Power cells are like the stars in Super Mario 64. And the precursor orbs are scattered everywhere like the yellow coins. You have your boss fights and your vastly varying environments.

Jak II: Renegade

This one doesn’t have much of a story but I did buy it from Dick Smith soon after it came out with its $110 price tag. I don’t remember ever spending that much money on a single game before that. Crossing the $100 threshold let me in on the Dick Smith VIP club. The card that I still hold in my wallet today.

If you ever wanted to see a game reboot itself – drastically – this one’s a pretty decent example. Jak probably undergoes the most transformation of any videogame character in just the first five minutes of the game. I guess to be fair there is a “two years later” title card.

No longer an innocent, silent elf, Jak is seen with a new hairdo and a gruff demeanour. He’s even sporting a goatee. As we all know goatees can make anyone into a badass. Being pumped with “Dark Eco” is the reason behind this drastic transformation. While I never found the first game wanting, I guess Naughty Dog needed a kick in the pants to stray further from its safe zone.

Gone is the lovely themed ice, lava, and grass worlds. Here is the dirty metropolis of the future; Haven City. Featuring flying cars and Orwellian cameras and city security. Jak now wields guns and the powers of Dark Eco. Stealing the GTA city and mission structure Jak II is a radical departure from the first game. And it was worth the risk. I loved it. Did I mention hoverboards?

Jak 3: No Subtitle Necessary

My stories are getting less and less romantic. I waited for this one to come down in price. Probably after spending so much on Jak II I thought I’d play the game stock market and wait for the eventual decline.

While not quite the departure from the first to the second game Jak 3 took a big focus on vehicles and racing across a Wasteland that surrounds Haven City. You will return to Haven City but it’s not the same bustling city you left behind.

You want more? You got it. The yang to his yin, literally, Jak earns the powers of Light Eco enabling powers of flight and time. Did I mention hanggliders?

All and all it’s a satisfying conclusion to the series.

The Trilogy Re-Release

So you want to know about the differences in this re-release do you? They say it’s in 720p and I may as well believe them, it looks pretty good. All besides the HUD which does look a little blurry on a modern display. Unlike Beyond Good and Evil HD the HUD has not been remade which is a little unfortunate. On the upside the character models aren’t as jaggy as you’d think. Lovely curves and lines. Lots of solid colour. It doesn’t look like a PS3 game at any stretch but it won’t burn out your eyeballs either.

There’s even 3D support. As I’m but a lowly temp and can’t afford a 3D setup, you flash guys will have to test that one out yourselves.

I was confused at first but there is Trophy support for each game. You’ll have to start each game from the disc menu for the trophy collection to load for each game. It truly is three games in one.

Verdict? If you played these games as much as I have you might find it a bit difficult completing each game for the umpteenth time. But for those still into their platforming, especially the young’ns out there, I’d recommend this epic trilogy wholeheartedly. Jak and Daxter is my Sony duo of choice. Sorry Ratchet and Clank.

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