I’m about 8 hours in or so. Played far enough and completed a bevy of missions/objectives that I feel confident to comment.
I’m running the game on a Progressive scan setup in widescreen which may or may not make a difference, but granted I have not run into any issues with framerate as of yet. The polygonal tearing is barely noticeable if at all, and rarely if ever has it been distracting. (I’d be more inclined to agree had you mentioned the obvious LoD issue popping up so blatantly as animated objects appear closer however, I’m not seeing much of a problem with fluctuating framerates or a wonky engine that can’t display it’s textures correctly at all…)
The game did crash on me once while playing last night. Forunately it was at the beginning of a new section and it occurred well beyond the 5 hours mark on my savegame. Hasn’t been a repeat occurrence since.
The gun shooting is a bit awkward at first, but not unwieldly. Granted, R&C does provide a far more efficient way of tackling your opposition. Strafing, a helpful lock reticle, not to mention more varuety to the slaying really puts it ahead of the action in thsi so far. Though I’ve been enjoying the gunplay in Jak 2 quite fine. The wide girth of a shotgun blast is very predictable, and fine tuning rifle/Minigun shots is not really a concern. Hit detection and reaction from your enemies is competent. The game seems to succeed at its purpose, giving Jak a few armaments to decimate his foes.
If I had to add my own Personal complaints, first up comes the camera. All dozen buttons on the Dual SHock 2, not one of them snaps the viewpoint behind Jak…(This bears repeating.)
NO CAMERA SNAP!
Babysitting with the R-stick isn’t uncommon in this day and age, but I tend to make it a habit of finding that all important insta-swivel button first when I start up a new 3D platformer even before I become comfortable with jump physics. Jak 2 really suffers without one of these, especially in some of the hectic hunfights later on(bosses included) where you must constantly keep track of a foe that tends to fly all over the screen. Too many off screen hits have bested me while tryiong to swivel that damn camera around and keep it from locking into walls or background objects. It’s 2003, this problem should have died on the PS1…
My other complaints are minor. The minimap in the city is a nice gesture, but why couldn’t it extend to the outer sections? Instead you are forced to pause and flip through the dial menu to see a map representation fo the area you are in. (Again R&C really set a great standard with it’s quick R3 map click) Though to be fair the linear progression of the platforming section doesn’t demand a map too often, but the option for an onscreen variant to toggle would be nice. if only to satiate the need to separate invisible walls from possible platforms to attempt traipsing towards.
Otherwise, I am enjoying this one much more than I did Jak 1. The platforming is smarter, the area design more impressive(how anyone wouldn’t be stunned by platforming sections such as climbing the baron’s castle keep and overlooking the ENTIRE city in full polygonal glory whilst dodging electric tiles and turret fire with timed double jumps is madness.)
It had a slow start, but several hours in and the game has really begin to shine with varied mission objective and stunning scenery. The city IS massive, but navigating through it hasn’t irritated me quite yet.
I do expect R&C2 to provide one hell of a competetive blow though.