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In a recent interview Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells hinted at a possible resurrection of the developer's PS2 platformer Jak & Daxter:
"Maybe we could go to Jak and Daxter as the next project. Maybe we stick with Uncharted [laughs]. Maybe we come up with a new IP. It's tricky to be able to tackle all of those at once. Right?"
Game developers have a habit of doing this. They say something without thinking about the ramifications of teasing us with words. Words that we ponder over. Like why we think there most definitely should be a new Jak & Daxter game on PS3. Here are six reasons why...
And before you start reminding us about Ratchet & Clank - we know we've already got a brilliant first party plaformer on PS3. But it's a very different game; Ratchet is heavily focused on weapon combat and draws on space science-fiction references.
Above: Looking at old screens of The Precursor Legacy. Ah, nostalgia
Our best memories of Jak & Daxter were the pastoral charms of the original Precursor Legacy; herding runaway animals, the lush sunny, island environments and the sense of exploration afforded by the open-world locations. By contemporary PS2 standards it was pretty exciting when you boarded a boat and seamlessly sailed across the sea to another island.
With the technology afforded by the PS3, Naughty Dog should be able to surprise us all over again and provide an alternative to Ratchet & Clank - jut like it did on PS2.
There's nothing to say Naughty Dog has to keep pushing out new Uncharted games. In fact, the difficult third game in a series syndrome could be avoided entirely if Naughty Dog was given longer to think how to move the series on, and in the meantime work on something fresh and new - like Jak & Daxter.
Above: Uncharted - we can wait a bit longer for a new one surely?
Look at Metal Gear Solid for example - Kojima Productions don't exactly see the need to squeeze one of them out every couple of years, but the fanbase is loyal enough to keep buying the games.
There was a reason why Sony didn't make a big thing out of the most recent instalment of Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier - it wasn't that great. Plus it was on a dated platform. Part of this reason was it wasn't created by the team at Naughty Dog and instead produced by another devleoper, High Impact Games.
Above: The Lost Frontier, not a true Jak & Daxter game in our book
If we're to get a true Jak & Daxter game it needs to be done by Naughty Dog and it needs to be their premier project with as many people who worked on the original involved. So we say get Jason Rubin back - he's free at the moment, right?
Jak & Daxter was launched very much as Sony's attempt at a Mario, Sonic or Banjo (and) Kazooie. In all of the former cases, their respective owners have attempted to breathe new life into them as new hardware has come along. Why not Sony?
At the moment there is still a fanbase who would buy the game, plus a new audience of 'family gamers' who would jump at the opportunity of a game that 'everyone' could enjoy. J&D is one of the few series that manages to satisfy both young and old audiences and remain challenging to both.
In the same interview as we quoted above, Evan Wells also says: "I think it would be a shame if there weren't a Jak & Daxter for the PS3 generation." We agree, obviously, but his implication is that even if there isn't one on PS3, they can always do one for a later generation.
Above: Remember this dude? Want to see him again? Exactly
Thing is, it'll be too late by then. If we guesstimate that the PS4 will hit some time in 2016 that means no activity from the series for nearly eight years. You'd be hard pushed to make a revival that late on. But bring a Jak game out in the next few years and PS4 Jak becomes more feasible. To use a Mario/Sonic analogy again, when has Sega or Nintendo ever allowed one of their mascots to skip a generation of consoles?
For the record the Jak series sold nearly nearly 12 million units so it's hardly insignificant.
This one's a no-brainer. At the moment Naughty Dog is something of an elite studio with Uncharted 2 ranking number two in the all-time high scores chart for PS3 on Metacritic. If there was ever a time to roll out the old - 'from the makers off...' tagline it's now.
What do you think? Would releasing a new Jak & Daxter be a bad idea? Would you rather Naughty Dog focused on Uncharted 3 instead? Let us know in the usual forums of discussion and flaming Facebook, Twitter and below in the comments.
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