Ratchet & Clank VS. Jak & Daxter!

VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Which of Sony's PS2 era mascots is the king of the castle? The dude with the pointy ears & the otter creature? Or the weird furry gut with the robot buddy and the crazy guns? Jak, Daxter, Clank and Rachet are all going head to head today to find out who comes out on top, so join for Rachet & Clank VS. Jak & Daxter.

Special thanks to our user “DaveVsTheWorld” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest
Ratchet & Clank vs. Jak and Daxter
These are two of the defining platformers of the Playstation 2. They sold a ton of copies, and were each critically lauded upon release for their innovations and gameplay. But, like Highlander says, there can be only one.
Welcome to In today's versus match, we’re pitting Naughty Dog’s Jak and Daxter up against Insomniac Games’ Rachet and Clank.
Round 1: Legacy
There's no denying that both of these series’ have been lauded in the past, but which series is remembered more fondly today?
The Jak and Daxter series was critically acclaimed upon their respective releases, with critics and audiences alike praising the gorgeous graphics, memorable storyline, and varied gameplay. When “Jak 3” capped off the original trilogy in 2004, it sent the series off in style, as it's production values and exciting gameplay were highly praised, among other things. There has been little life in the series since, but that's not a bad thing. By bowing out gracefully and deciding not to continue the series, Naughty Dog has cemented the games as some of the best on the PlayStation 2, and the series never had a chance to become stale.
While the original “Ratchet & Clank” trilogy are some of the greatest games of the PlayStation 2, there's no denying that interest in the series has waned in recent years, despite the positive critical reception of the “Future” series. That is, until the 2016 remake helped breathe new life into the series, becoming the fastest-selling game of the entire franchise, tripling the first week sales of “A Crack in Time,” the previous record holder. Though ultimately, the reboot was also used to promote and setup the Rachet and Clank movie that released a few weeks later, that film was a critical failure and bombed at the box office.

While the “Ratchet & Clank” series is still on going it’s not as strong as it use to be, Naughty Dog did the right move in bowing out before interest began to wane. Sometimes its best to end on a high note.

Winner: Jak & Daxter
Ratchet & Clank 0 / Jak and Daxter 1
Round 2: Combat
No platforming series is complete without some combat, and these games certainly deliver in that field. The first “Ratchet & Clank” laid the groundwork for the series with its basic weapon and melee combat, but it was the second entry when the series really hit its stride, introducing a whopping eighteen more weapons and the growth bar, allowing players to customise and upgrade their favorite weapons. You are also given control of Clank, who can control Gadgebots to attack enemies. Many of the games also feature arena battles and aerial fights in space, giving the series a much welcomed sense of variety and scope.
“Jak and Daxter” plays much the same way in terms of combat. Jak can attack enemies through basic punching, and he also comes equipped with a spinning attack. The games also feature “echos,” which give Jak different abilities in combat, like dealing more damage and giving him access to fire. They also give Jak weapon mods, such as faster firing and longer range. In “The Last Frontier,” the final game of the series, aerial combat is introduced, although this was met with a mixed reception.

While Jak comes equipped with his own special firepower, Ratchet wins this round due to the sheer variety. He has melee moves and a wide array of customizable weapons, many of which are funny and highly original. The aerial and arena battles only add to the scope of the games, giving them an edge to the more straightforward Jak and Daxter.
Winner: Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank 1 / Jak and Daxter 1
Round 3: Characters
The main two characters of the “Ratchet & Clank” series are...can you guess? Ratchet is a Lombax and Clank a robot created in a war factory, they make a fantastic team, like pb&j. The cowardly Qwark is also a mainstay in the series, first appearing as a villain before becoming a bumbling and goofy sidekick. Dr. Nefarious acts as the primary antagonist of the series, a stereotypical Bond villain -esque robot. A character known as The Plumber also makes random appearances, providing the titular duo with advice and tools. We also can't forget Ratchet's love interests - Sasha Phyronix and Talwyn Apogee. They're all interesting characters that nicely fit into the lore of the series. There are of course many more, but we're pressed for time here, people!
Because the Jak series is much more succint, the characters are slightly more limited, but still memorable. There are of course Jak and Daxter, the former being quiet, often moody, and morally complex, while Daxter is the more light-hearted of the two, often exaggerating stories and failing to pick up the ladies. To mention just a few others, there is Kor, the Judas of the story, and Baron Praxis, the tyrannical and corrupt ruler of Haven City. And there is also Keira, Jak’s love interest and dominant female character, providing Jak with many of his technological advancements.

While the Jak and Daxter series has more complex characters, Ratchet & Clank’s are simply more fun. There are more characters, which gives a fantastic variety to the story and the situations, not to mention that they are a better time, especially for kids, than the brooding, darker characters of the Jak series. It was a close one, but in the end, variety and accessibility win out.
Winner: Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank 2 / Jak and Daxter 1
Round 4: Story
The “Ratchet & Clank” series spans numerous games and console generations, and as such, its lore is more than a little sprawling. The first game sees the duo teaming up to save the galaxy from Chairman Drek, a fairly simple and straightforward idea. The second game sees Ratchet recovering The Experiment for the CEO of Megacorp. Ratchet & Clank proceed to go on various adventures, including taking part in a bloodsport, rescuing a girl from a forgotten race, and meeting the Cragmite supposedly responsible for the Lombaxes’ extinction. The stories are good and very imaginative, but they're also a little too episodic and spread too thin. It's like a TV show that has gone on for one season too long.
Which Jak and Daxter provides in spades. The first game sees Jak & co. traveling for a cure to fix Daxter, who has been transformed into an ottsel. The series’ story really hits its stride in the sequel, when Jak is kidnapped and participates in the Dark Warrior Program and battles the Metal Head Army. “Jak 3” completes the trilogy with a memorable, action packed ending with a terrific twist.

The shorter, denser story and more morally complex ideas allow the “Jak and Daxter” series to come out on top and tie it up.

Winner: Jak and Daxter
Ratchet & Clank 2 / Jak and Daxter 2
Round 5: Weapons and Abilities
The “Ratchet & Clank” series has long been renowned for its myriad of weapons. As mentioned previously, the second game introduced a host of original weapons to the already loaded lineup from the original, which included the Suck Cannon, a gun which sucked up enemeis like a vacuum. The weapons would only improve and grow in the sequels, with most of them being highly original and imaginative. The abilities of the duo are also no laughing matter. Clank controls robots which can both defeat enemies and help in the more complex puzzles. Clank even learns how to control time in the later installments, giving players new and exciting ways to dispatch enemies, play with the environments, and solve puzzles. Ratchet can also upgrade both himself and his weapons throughout the games, giving way to more combat options. The games are packed to the brim with original and exciting weapons, and the abilities are all extremely fun and strategic.

That's not to say that Jak and Daxter don't have a few tricks up their sleeves. As mentioned previously, Jak can collect echos, giving him different abilities like increased speed and power. The sequel also introduced the Morph Gun, a multipurpose firearm with many different options and customizations. Jak can also turn into Dark and Light Jak, the former giving him increased power and the latter gifting him with better defensive abilities. The third game introduces even more gunplay styles, but it's nothing compared to the number of guns and variety found in the “Ratchet & Clank” series.

We have to give this round to Ratchet & Clank. The weapons are all fun, wacky, and innovative, and Clank can control time. There's really nothing more badass than that. Jak and Daxter just don't compare.

Winner: Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank 3 / Jak and Daxter 2
Winning by a hair is “Ratchet & Clank!” While Jak and Daxter may feature a better storyline and may be remembered more fondly, there's no denying the sheer sense of fun that the “Ratchet & Clank” series brings players. The sheer number of weapons, abilities, and combat choices blow Jak out of the water, and the characters are fresh, original, and very funny, with sharp writing and characterizations.
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