Customer Review

43 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great games, Great Collection, Subpar port, February 7, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Jak & Daxter Collection - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Before I begin, let's get one thing straight. I am not reviewing any of the games right now, I am simply reviewing the quality of the HD ports themselves. The Jak and Daxter games are by far one of my favorite games in the world, so if you want to know whether I like these games, I do. I like them a lot.

Now. The games are still good, and still playable even against today's standards. But the quality of the HD port is probably one of the worst in the HD Remasters series. Elements that are present in other HD ports are missing from the port. The games run at a fluid 60FPS, but all of the Jak games ran at 60FPS to begin with. All previous framerate issues with the PS2 versions have been fixed, so instead of being a variable 60FPS, it now runs at a constant 60FPS.

A new Stereoscopic 3D effect was added into all three games for all of you people who own a 3DTV, and it does the job. It's pretty good for a simple conversion. But, as you'll read below, I feel like the need for 3D was unnecessary, and easily could have been put on hold so that more pressing technical matters could have been fixed first.

What can be considered a huge negative towards the quality of the ports themselves is the apparent lack of anti-aliasing. Previous HD Collections, such as Metal Gear Solid HD, God of War HD, etc., all have rendering resolutions of 720p. Jak and Daxter HD also renders at 720p, but it lacks the sufficient amount of anti-aliasing that the other ports have that really give the makeovers that fresh, satisfying look that we expect from a big collection. In MGS HD and GoW HD, jagged lines are limited to almost none. On the flipside, Jak HD suffers from many jagged lines that are plainly noticeable. Someone over at Mass-Media (the people who ported the Jak games to the collection) forgot that anti-aliasing is something of importance to these remasters, and the difference really shows.

To be fair, however, the lack of anti-aliasing is certainly an issue but it's something that's not noticeable when you're in constant motion in the game. You'll notice the jaggies when you're standing still or when things are going slowly, but the "natural motion-blur" that comes with the framerate will usually blur up all the jaggies enough so that you won't see them when you move.

Also present is a few rendering issues that come with Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Jak 1 did not support 16:9 resolutions, it only supported 4:3. In the collection, the aspect ratio was changed and fixed, so now we have a full 16:9 ratio. However, some foliage and details in the background seem to "pop-in" when they're outside of the 4:3 border. This wouldn't be a problem if the borders were there, except now they're not, so the player can plainly see those extra few leaves on the tree and a few boulders and rocks just popping in every time you move the camera a little bit. It doesn't happen too often, and usually it's not really noticeable unless you're REALLY looking for it, but the issue is there. Thankfully, because Jak II and Jak 3 natively supported 16:9 resolutions, no additional work was really required, and that problem is eliminated.

Overall, a solid 4/5. The collection itself is great; sticking 3 of the best PS2 games onto one Blu-Ray disc and adding trophies and 3D for just $40 is an excellent deal. However, the HD port themselves just seems rather lazy; it seems like Mass-Media just stuck the games onto a PS3, forced it to render at 720p, added 3D and widescreen to Jak 1 and called it a day. It feels sort of rushed, and as you play you'll feel like the port could have been improved so much more with just a little bit more time focused into adding something as simple as anti-aliasing to games that don't even use up the PS3's power. I can't really see a reason why the collection didn't use anti-aliasing in the first place, and thus, the port just seems sloppy and lazy.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 9, 2012 3:59:31 PM PDT
mjc0961 says:
Funny you give God of War HD as an example of a proper collection, even though it's still the worst one I've seen. Please tell me who's bright idea it was to leave so many of the cutscenes in 480p so that you go from crisp, clean 720p gameplay to blurry, messy 480p cutscenes? Terrible port, and I'm surprised that such technical failures didn't turn people off from the whole HD collection idea altogether.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 3:57:25 PM PDT
B. Corell says:
The ports have very strict problems to deal with when it comes to the 4:3 to 16:9. Mainly, the toolchain is usually defunct because its been a decade since anyone has touched it, so you're ripping data from the PS2 disc directly and reverse engineering tons of stuff that is "ready to go" immediately once its loaded into the game. That being said, the popping issue is extremely hard to deal with, because occlusion culling was definitely done to fit the 4:3 aspect ratio and the 16:9 aspect ratio goes outside of these bounds, so popping will occur because technically the data isn't correct for the newly support resolutions. And you can't rebuild the data without assets and a working toolchain, which most likely don't exist for the port developers. So this is one problem all ports can run into.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 9:03:55 AM PST
BONKERS says:
Then why don't they just spend the time to figure out how to fix it?

I'd rather pay more and wait longer for a port done right.

This issue is why I presume FFX HD is taking a long time. Because if you hack the game into Widescreen with PCSX2, you run into these same occlusion culling issues.
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