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Jak 2

The European cover.

Jak II, subtitled Jak II: Renegade in Europe, is a science fiction platform game developed by Naughty Dog. Released for the PlayStation 2 game console on October 14, 2003, the game is the sequel to Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and the second game in the Jak and Daxter series. It was followed by Jak 3 a year later.

The game features new weapons and devices, new playable areas, and a storyline that picks up after the events of The Precursor Legacy. In the game, Haven City, a dystopia ruled under the questionable fist of Baron Praxis, is engaged in a war against a techno-organic group of organisms known as the "Metal Heads". As in the previous game, the player takes on the dual role of recurring protagonists Jak and Daxter. There are also a new array of characters such as Torn, Erol, Krew, Kor, Ashelin, and Sig, as well as some returning ones, such as Samos and Keira.

Jak II is the only game in the series in which the versions for English-speaking regions feature the Japanese and Korean voiceover track. The voiceover cast features many notable seiyūs, including Shotaro Morikubo as Jak. The other games in the series did not follow suit, leaving the voices to be exclusive to the Japanese and Korean regions. However, the Japanese track is not on the disk for Jak and Daxter and Jak 3. This is also technically the last Jak and Daxter game to be released in Japan.

Story and plotEdit

At the end of The Precursor Legacy, Jak, Daxter, Samos and Keira finished repairing the Rift Rider and Rift Gate found in Gol and Maia's Citadel from the previous game. Jak presses a button on the Rift Rider and accidentally opens the Rift Gate. A swarm of black creatures fly out and a huge monster emerges. Jak accidentally activates the launch for the console, forcing them through the Rift Gate where the Rider explodes and the group's separated. Jak and Daxter end up in a dystopia called Haven City. Jak is immediately captured by Erol and several Guards. Daxter runs off and vows to save Jak (triggering the events of Daxter).

Two years later, Jak has been a test subject for Baron Praxis' Dark Warrior Program. Seeing that there are no effects on Jak, the Baron decides that the Dark Eco tests on Jak are a failure, and orders Erol to terminate him. Erol leaves with the Baron telling Jak that he'll be back later. Daxter then shows up for Jak, and briefly sees how much the Dark Eco has affected Jak when he transforms and almost attacks his own friend.Together, they escape the Krimzon Guard Fortress. Once outside, they meet an old man named Kor, who Jak saves from a group of Krimzon Guards. Kor tells Jak to go see Tess and Torn, who are part of The Underground movement whose aim is to overthrow Baron Praxis and put the true heir, a young child, on the throne.

After proving his worth, Torn sends Jak on a "delivery" to the Hip Hog Heaven Saloon where he meets Krew and Sig, who tell Jak that Haven City is in a war with an alien race called the Metal Heads. In thanks for the package, Sig gives Jak the scatter gun and the two go outside the city to hunt some Metal Heads. Torn later sends Jak to blow up an ammo dump in the Krimzon Guard fortress. There Jak finds a group of guards giving Eco to some Metal Heads. Also, Jak and Daxter finds a red security gate clearance pass. Returning to Torn they realize that Baron Praxis is working with the Metal Heads to stay on the Throne, as they can't have a power struggle with the war going on. Torn then sends them to rescue Vin, a paranoid scientist who is stranded at a strip mine. Going back outside the city they meet Ashelin, a high ranking member of the Krimzon Guard, who unbeknownst to the rest of the guard, is working with The Underground. Krew sends Jak to meet a racing manager down in the stadium, who they later find out is Keira. Torn has Jak that the "Shadow" want them to stop the Metal Heads from reaching "The Sacred Sight" outside the city wall. Fighting through the Metal Heads, Jak and Daxter make a horrifying discovery. They find that the Sacred Sight is actually Samos' hut, meaning that they are in the future. Just after finding this out, they meet The Underground's leader. The Shadow is a younger Samos. They are suprised when he replies that he has never met them.

Dispite having to deal with an angrier Samos, they push on to more important matters. They find that the boy with Kor is important because he can open The Tomb of Mar, which hides the Precursor Stone. Activating a beam in the forest Jak and Daxter destroy the statue of Baron Praxis revealing that the Tomb was under it the whole time. Taking the kid to the tomb, the Oracle says the boy is too young to face the tests of Manhood, so Jak and Daxter enter as the door shuts. After completing the tests, the duo enter the main room, which holds the Precursor Stone. They also learn that the Metal Heads were responsible for destroying the Precursors. Baron Praxis arrives and tells Jak that he will take the Stone. Despite Jak's efforts, Praxis manages to escape with it. Back at the Hideout, Torn reveals that he sold the Underground out, to prevent Praxis from killing Ashelin, who is Praxis' daughter. Jak and Daxter head to the Fortress to rescue the young and old Samos and Tess. After they free the others, Jak and Daxter are shocked to find that there are two Green Sages--the young who leads the underground, and the old who was taken into the Rift with them. Returning to base, both of the Samos send Jak to find the Life Seed in his old hut, which will give Young Samos the power his older self has. Samos reveals that he was harvesting the Life Seed from the great tree in the hut years before they went through the rift. Escorting young Samos to the forest, he learns that Praxis plans to crack open the Stone.

Later, Keira reveals she has nearly completed a replica Rift Rider, but is missing two pieces--the Heart of Mar, and the Time Map. Jak runs the Class-One race against Erol. While Jak receives his prize, avengeful Erol tries to kill him, but instead drives into several barrels of Dark Eco. Jak gains entrance to the palace, but Praxis orders the guards to kill him. At the Palace, Ashelin holds Jak at gun point asking why he has been sabotaging the war with the Metal Heads. She doesn't believe him when he says that her father's plan will destroy the planet, until she hears from Vin, who convinces her. She reveals that Krew is building something for the Baron at a secret weapons factory. Jak and Daxter proceed to the factory, and Krew reveals the Piercer Bomb, which can destroy the Precursor Stone. Krew gives Jak the Peacemaker and tells them to forget what they saw but Jak refuses and a battle begins. Though soon defeated, Krew manages to activate the bomb. Jak and Daxter escape with Ashelin only to discover that the Metal Heads have breached Haven City. They go looking for Sig who was sent on a mission by Krew. Finding him using the Titan Suit, he reveals that the Metal Heads are coming in through a passage Krew had him open. Making it to the evelator Sig falls of the bridge when a large Metal Head crashes through it. Vin communicates that Kor sabotaged the Shield wall, and is immediately cut off as Metal Heads invade the Power Room. At the city construction site Jak confronts Praxis, and is surprised to see Kor there. Kor tells Jak that in his darkest nightmares, he already knows. Kor takes on his true form as the Metal Head Leader. He demands the Precursor Stone, but Praxis refuses. Kor strikes him and his guards with an eco blast. After Kor completes his transformation and flies away, Praxis shows the two heroes a second Piercer Bomb hiding the Precursor Stone. He dies, and Daxter recovers the Precursor Stone.

Heading to the Metal Head Nest, Jak and Daxter face Kor, learning he has both the child and the Rift Ring. Kor reveals that the boy is really Jak. He was sent to the past to gain the skills to face Kor, since the teenage Jak was imbued with Dark Eco. After a climactic battle, the Metal Head Leader attempts to flee through the Ring. Kor crashes into it, severing his Head and damaging the ring. Young Jak touches the Stone, to release a Precursor, who departs through the disintegrating ring. Keira and the Green Sages arrive with the Rift Rider and send the young Jak and Samos to the past. As the Rider departs through the Gate, Samos remarks, "It's funny, the boy won't remember any of this." Jak shakes his head and replies, " No, I do remember the light..."

The group celebrate victory at Krew's old place, which Daxter takes over for himself and remakes into "The Naughty Ottsel". Sig shows up, having survived his seemingly final battle with the Metal Heads, and Samos says that the group should remember Vin and all the others who gave their lives. Then Sig gives Jak the Ruby King saying he is the desinated driver. Samos then say he thinks they might meet Mar someday, commenting that he may be closer than they think.

GameplayEdit

The gameplay of Jak II is significantly different from the previous game. It abolished "Eco" gameplay and replaced it with a rifle, which he can combine with his traditional moveset. It also removed Power Cell progression and replaced it with a sandbox style gameplay.

It does retain certain gameplay aspects from The Precursor Legacy. Many of the missions are similar to that of the previous and a lot of platforming gameplay is still involved. Several pieces of technology from the previous game, such as the Warp Gate, are maintained, as well as Jak's overall moveset which is expanded on with the addition of the Dark Eco abilities. By collecting Dark Eco, Jak can transform into Dark Jak, who is more powerful in close combat. By collecting Metalhead gems, gained by defeating the game's enemies, and giving them to the oracle from the previous game, Jak can gain additional abilities for his dark form.

Jak can traverse the large city using hover vehicles, and change between vehicles mid flight. He later acquires a jetboard allowing him to hover across water, grind on rails and reach new areas. Some sections also see him using a robotic suit.

Levels and locationsEdit

Construction Site · Dead Town · Bazaar · Gardens · Industrial Section · Main Town · Port · Slums · Water Slums Haven City structures Gun Course · Haven Palace · Hideout · Hip Hog Heaven Saloon · Krimzon Guard Fortress · Mar Memorial Stadium · Mar's Tomb · Power Station · Onin's Hut · Oracle's Hut · Support Towers Other locations Dig Site · Drill Platform · Haven Forest · Metal Head Nest · Mountain Temple · No Man's Canyon · Pumping Station · Sewers · Strip Mine · Underport · Weapons Factory

ReceptionEdit

This game received generally very positive reviews from critics. It won Editor's Choice from IGN and GameSpot, was nominated for Best PlayStation 2 Game by GameSpot and received aggregate scores of 87/100 on MetaCritic and 88% on Game Rankings.

Jak II was added to Sony's Greatest Hits lineup on September 8, 2004, signifying at least 400,000 copies sold in its first 11 months.

A sequel called Jak 3 was released in 2004.

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