Love is in the air so I figured why not show some love to the company that has continuously exceeded my expectations year after year? So yes, this is a love letter to the hard working people at the studio known as Naughty Dog.
Let me start by saying that when I boot up a Naughty Dog game I’m usually looking forward to a profound and engaging story. They’ve spoiled me. From Jak and Daxter to Uncharted and now Last of Us. Hell, even Crash had an enjoyable story. Naughty Dog always manages to introduce characters that we want to root for. Characters who we want to help overcome any obstacles that may block their path. So now let me get into it, let me tell you why I’m so fond of this company that goes by the name of, Naughty Dog.
Growing Up with Naughty Dog
I started playing video games back with my PlayStation One. My parents gifted me one for Christmas, and with it the original Crash Bandicoot. I spent hours traversing the different worlds, trying to rescue Crash’s girlfriend. Back then that’s all I needed to make me feel like a hero. Once I finally rescued the girl I felt accomplished.
Then I grew up a little, and so did my PlayStation. I bought the PlayStation 2 as a value pack from Costco. It came with Jak and Daxter. Once again the hero couldn’t talk, but I was fine with that because Daxter did enough of the talking. This time my adventure revolved around saving my friend and as the story progressed, it turned to saving the land from Gol and Maia. When I finally beat the game I felt rewarded and I was excited to see what else could come from this world.
I grew a little more, and so did Jak. By the time Jak 3 came out, I was first in line to buy it. Grabbed the strategy guide too. Jak finally had a voice, and with this iteration in the series we delved into much darker and fragile concepts. Family, relationships, and redemption. It was all there. It’s like Jak had grown up with me, and was learning to overcome obstacles with me.
When I got around to buying a PlayStation 3, Jak and Daxter was a thing of the past. I fondly remembered them, and craved to adventure with them one more time but it was clear Naughty Dog had other plans. Those plans were Uncharted.
That’s when I realized Naughty Dog was literally growing up with me. I had Crash when I was a little kid barely developing my own style of thinking. I had Jak and Daxter when I was a little older. Learning more about the world and the people in it. What those people could do to you. By the time I had Uncharted 2, I was old enough to understand how small I was in this world and how much more there is to it. Playing as Nathan Drake the treasure hunter. Traveling around the world, and seeing all these exotic locations. Uncharted did one thing for me that other Naughty Dog games didn’t. It made me dream, fantasize about traveling. Traveling to these exotic locations, and hey, maybe finding some lost treasure. I didn’t completely neglect the fact that could happen, because I thought it could.
By the time I reached the Last of Us, I felt like I had grown up. I remember playing it and being completely amazed. There was so much emotion in the story and I was completely enveloped by it. While playing the story I always had one thought in my head, “Damn, we’ve really grown up haven’t we Naughty Dog”. The story was so mature and real. A story that made you appreciate the little victories you had.
Thank you Naughty Dog, for walking with me on this path called life. Maybe I read too much into your games, maybe I’m a little selfish thinking you grew up with me. But that’s how it felt, and that’s a reason Naughty Dog will always have a special place in my gaming shelf.
Hope you all had a great week! I know it’s past Valentine’s Day but that doesn’t mean you can’t show love right? Don’t forget to you can always spread some love, whether it be to a significant other with a simple dinner or to your favorite game with an all-nighter of playing.