This is the thread for all things Jak and Daxter in PSASBR. I am still pretty new with the character myself, so I want to extend thanks and credit to those on the playstationallstararena and allstararena forums, most notably SonicThedgehog15, basilisk367, nobody, and Godot for contributing most of what I know about the character. I’ll link to their posts on their respective forums if people want me too.
Post 1: Meter Levels, Pro/Con, Gameplay Strategy
Meter Levels (Credit to UltraDavid):
Lv2: 175 (325)
Lv3: 425 (750)
Amount of AP lost on throw: 15%.
+: Some of the best mobility options in the air, which he employs to avoid trouble/supers, approach zoning characters effectively, and in general conduct his trademark hit-and-run style of play.
+: Amazing level 3.
+: Great unique moves in S.2, (j)D.3, and jS.1.
-: His AP gain is very unorthodox, and the AP on most of his moves are just terrible. He possesses no lengthy or AP filled combos and must instead rely on a constant stream of smaller, more frequent attacks to get enough meter to win. Can be good when you get used to it but you really have to play smarter than most of the cast to build about as much as they do.
-: Poor Level 1 and 2 Supers relative to the rest of the cast, must rely on situational combo and/or dodge punishes and use as oki in the corner/get lucky on occupied opponents respectively.
-: Very poor selection of throws except side near a wall. Down throw even gives them 30 AP!
First and foremost Jak operates as a disruption character. Much like Sly Cooper, his gameplan is to make up for his own poor AP gain by constantly interrupting the combos and supers of other characters. Unlike Sly who achieves disruption through stealth, Jak does so with the range and AoE of his moves. You should most commonly be using his S.2, jS.1, and (j)D.3 for these purposes as they are the most effective and net the most AP, but there are several other disruption moves you should use where the others will not work, notably (j)S.3, and (j)U.2.
Perhaps Jak’s greatest asset is his aerial mobility. Thanks to jS.1 and jU/D1 providing excellent horizontal and vertical movement respectively and even jN.1 to slow and modify his usual descent, Jak can place himself anywhere on the battlefield and dodge attacks (further limiting opponents’ AP) and with skill and a little luck even avoid dying from some Lv3 supers.
Thanks to this mobility Jak can often place himself where he thrives most: a middling range which keeps close-range fighters out but is still too close for comfort for zoners (ideally, a range where he can jS.1 or S.2 consistently). Jet Board is fantastic at closing in on keepaway characters if you time it properly, and against those that like to go HAM in your face he has a wide array of moves that launch them right back out in (j)N.1, jS.1, S.2, and S.Throw.
In those infrequent instances in which Jak goes on offense (ie looking to land a Lv1 or 2), he should always do so when his enemies are against a wall. It isn’t too hard for Jak to put them there given the knockback on his aforementioned moves, and he has his greatest success in getting Level 1 (situational combo, forward roll punish) and 2 (Hits enemies knocked in the corner on wakeup) here.
Jak’s Super Management is heavily dependent on your ability to score kills with his Level 1. If you are a pro at tech punishing you will really have no problem scoring well with him but realistically, most players will need to save up for his Level 3 and get virtually all of their kills with that. This is why Jak’s disruption game and mobility are so essential: by constantly interrupting other players in their Lv1 super attempts, extensive combos/zoning tactics that build to level 3, in addition to never dying himself, Jak can ensure that his Lv3 is the only one used in the round, making it very likely that he will win. Even with a great disruptive game it is impossible to throw his first two supers out the window, however, because Light Jak won’t be as efficient on the larger stages than frequent use of 1 and 2.
Jak suffers in FFA compared to the rest of the cast because he has to patrol 3 other characters and is far more likely to have someone giving him constant pressure. Instead, Jak is best put to use in 2v2, where he must only worry about two, has someone to keep the pressure off, and has less pressure to hit his Lv1 and 2s. Naturally, he is best paired with someone who can hold their own in close-quarters combat, has powerful and accessible lv1 and 2s, and occupy more than one opponent at a time.
Here are a few tactics and options I would not recommend dabblers to employ but think that anyone trying to get really good with Jak will need to use. Feel free to suggest your own and I will add them.
1. Using Lv1 as a counter-killer:
Jak's "total garbage" level 1 actually has significant use as a direct counter to certain actions and moves of your opponent's, and knowing exactly when and where to utilize it will not only result in obtaining the most kills Jak can get (ESPECIALLY in 2v2) but also severely limit several of your opponent's actions. Watch out of course, as mistiming the move is a waste of 125AP and will likely get yourself killed. Besides the universal guaranteed kills of Lv1 (properly punishing a roll through you or an air dodge above you), there are many common moves and supers that are at the mercy of Lv1, especially if they involve going airborne.
Common Normal Moves that can be Precursor'd:
Any ground pound attacks (Jak, Parappa, Spike, Nariko, Drake, FP, Coles, etc)
Moves with excessive horizontal movement (Big Daddy Dash, Parappa Skateboard dive, Coles' grind and rocketing towards move, Sir Dan's charge, Jak's Jet Board, Raiden's dashes etc)
Common Supers that can be Precursor'd:
During their movement: Parappa Lv2 (likely the easiest, shuts him down hard too), FP lv2, Jak lv2. Difficult on a smart opponent: Ratchet Lv2, Big Daddy Lv2, Raiden Lv2, Heihachi Lv2).
Prior to activation:
Some supers have their user get very close to opponents before they activate them, usually safe in the fact they are invincible/put enemies into stun. If you can predict the enemy derping towards you to go for this they are incredibly prone to Lv1, and sometimes they can even activate the move during Lv1 startup, making them waste all that meter:
Examples: Raiden Lv2, Evil Cole Lv2, Big Daddy Lv2.
2. Cancelling the startup time of Blaster:
If you input S.2 right before you land Jak will begin to fire his Blaster immediately on touching ground. This is useful for punishing characters after dodging an attack with a jump, can followup on people pursuing a jetboard retreat (can use after all but the shortest of hops following jS.1), or faking out opponents if they are expecting a jS.1 approach on your short hops.
3. Building meter without Blaster (or,How to Handle Jak's worst stages):