Retro Ad Replay – Jak and Daxter’s 19th Anniversary

It’s time for another Retro Ad Replay article! This is the series where we head backwards in time to reminisce and celebrate the anniversary of some of the most significant moments in gaming. If you find yourself wanting more content like this, be sure to visit Mandatory.com.

In this December 3 edition of Retro Ad Replay, we’re taking a trip back 19 years to when Jak and Daxter first launched on PS2. That’s December 3, 2001. Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, this title sparked a trilogy of games that went down an unexpected and dark path. It later came to PS3 and PS Vita, with PS4 players eventually getting to play a remastered port.

jak and daxter 1 release date

The GameRevolution Jak and Daxter review awarded the game a score of 4.5/5, praising the “free environment,” “see there, go there” gameplay, “no loading,” that the game “looks great,” has “quality voice actors,” and the awesome “Eco system.”

Here’s a snippet from the GR review:

What’s different about Jak & Daxter is the colored Eco system that will imbue our hero with a special ability for a limited time. You have your basic Green Eco that will help heal Jak when he’s feeling down. There’s also Red Eco that provides super strength and Blue Eco that will help suck up precious Precursor Orbs and allow Jak to power mysterious Precursor artifacts. Last is the Yellow Eco, which will give Jak the power to hurl powerful balls of energy at enemies and allow him to smash his way through some tough spots. Legend speaks of another Eco with massive powers, but you’ll just have to play the game to find out more.

I love the little references to familiar games and pop-culture characters. One area has you jumping over barrels while going uphill a la Donkey Kong and another mini-game has you catching fish like in the same style as the classic game Kaboom!. There’s even a Lurker enemy that looks just like Master Blaster. The retro touches add some flair.

Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy certainly has set a new benchmark for the platformer genre with its huge environments and gaming freedom. Play this one through, and you’ll never look at platformers the same way again.

Check out The Jak and Daxter Collection launch trailer below, which includes the original game: