Well, after the hell
that was working the Daytona 500 yesterday, including standing in 4 hours of pounding rain & wind, I'm pretty exhausted so I might as well finally talk about these games:Jak 2 HD (Platinum #53) -
It takes a lot for a game to actually make me angry. In previous impressions, I've been everything from enthusiastic to disappointed to bored, but no game has previously made me incensed
with utter hatred like Jak 2 did. This game is horrible on its own (and abysmal
as a sequel to Jak 1), as well as easily one of the most frustrating games I've ever played. What's really frustrating, though, is that with some tweaks here and there I could actually have enjoyed this game.
Easily the high point of the game is its story, which is interesting and has some nice twists on time-travel. The animation is excellent and expressive, and the voice acting is generally acceptable. It's a pity that the 20+ hours I spent on this game wasn't just watching cutscenes, because I despised
every single moment
I spent playing this game.Why
did I hate playing this game so much, you ask? Because there isn't a single moment in this game that was actually play-tested
. There wasn't a single element of the gameplay that wasn't designed to piss me off
. This was one of the first games made in the wake of GTA 3, and as such the series needlessly
went Open World...which accomplished nothing. The city of New Haven is impressively large for its time, but there's nothing of interest to do
in it, and crossing from one end of it to another to start or complete a quest is an exercise in tedium and frustration. This is because every civilian and enemy soldier in this game is designed
to kill you...repeatedly.
You hijack a hover vehicle and within 30 seconds one of two things will
1. You will run into an enemy soldier on the ground, triggering a city-wide alert that sends squad upon squad of enemy soldiers and hovercraft after you until you either die or you manage to last long enough to wait it out (during which, you cannot accept any sidequests).
2. You attempt to avoid the soldiers by rising up to the upper hovering level where all the CPU vehicles are floating around, at which time they all
attempt to ram you until your vehicle exploads
It's also worth noting that the vehicles in this game have some of the floaty-est, imprecise, and unreliable controls I've ever seen in a game that prominently features driving. Eventually, you receive the obligatory Back to the Future-style Hoverboard that gives you more mobility on the ground, but at this same time the game adds more
soldiers on the ground for you to collide with. These soldiers have huge hit boxes so they're extremely easy to hit by accident, and colliding with these characters not only
deals damage to the player but also knocks them off the hoverboard.
time you have to cross the city, be it between or during
missions, you have to contend with this B.S. But I'm not even at the worst
part of this game yet. No, even worse than the extremely emo tone and drab color environmental color palettes is the game's checkpointing, to be more precise the total lack thereof
. Most missions in the game have one
checkpoint about halfway through the 10-30 minute missions, if they even have one at all. You make it through 5 waves of enemy attacks, jump past several death-trap gauntlets, but bungle the last tough jump or have your last (of 4) hit points lost to a lucky enemy hit (btw, health packs are absurdly rare
in this game)? That's 30 minutes of progress gone
and you're back to the beginning of the mission. Add just some plain brutal
mission scenarios (especially one where you have to fend off literally
at least a 100 respawning enemies on the docks at once without benefit of health packs), and this is just an incredibly cheap
game that revels in how much pain and frustration it inflicts on the player.
reason I played this game to completion was because I knew that its story and characters would be important for Jak 3. And speaking of which...