Monday, September 29, 2008

Ratchet & Clank Rundown


As pretty much anyone who knows my gaming habits already knows, I'm a huge fan of the Ratchet & Clank series by Insomniac. I was a huge fan of their Spyro games before that (only theirs, mind), and I find their platform games to be generally very well put together.

Since I've recently finished Quest for Booty, I thought I'd put together a run-down of my thoughts on every R&C game. Why? Hasn't 4 dead months taught you anything? I need content!

  • Ratchet & Clank - A very good game. Lots of variety, though the non-standard sections (jet bike racing etc) were very annoying.
  • Going Commando - The best in the series, expanding and improving everything from the first. A wide variety of levels and gameplay, with the extra bits not being too hard. Excellent level design gave a lot of replayability to individual levels, searching for hidden bonuses and skill points. A great selection of weapons, and the experience & upgrading system is nice.
  • Up Your Arsenal - A slight downturn here, it definitely felt a bit weaker. The level design wasn't quite as good, and the game was shorter and had more focus on multiplayer and providing replayability through arenas.
  • Deadlocked - I never played this one, due to every review pointing out the very heavy multiplayer focus. Apparently the single player was essentially reduced to arenas and challenge courses.
  • Size Matters - The first PSP game in the series. I had high hopes for this after seeing what had been done on the handheld with the Jak & Daxter series. Even ignoring the controls and camera, it was a weak title - poor level design (very linear, and with a focus on instant death traps and falls), and a heavy focus on space hover board races which were rubbish.
  • Secret Agent Clank - The second PSP game. I've only played the demo, but it seems a bit better than the first, by slowing the game down and downplaying the action.
  • Tools of Destruction - The first PS3 title, and second best in series overall. A return to having a great variety of levels and gameplay, though not as much as at the PS2 heyday. The weapon selection is fairly boring though (you get some interesting stuff early on, but later it's all generic flamethrowers, shotguns, etc.), but it introduces single-use gadgets that have more imagination. Surprisingly, given previous titles, the arena section wasn't as well fleshed out, and had a very limted number of stages.
  • Quest for Booty - A downloadable budget titles on the PS3. It continues the story from Tools of Destruction, and features only Ratchet. For around a third of the game you only have your wrench, though eventually you are given a handful of other weapons from ToD. The level design is incredibly linear, and the usual hidden skill points and platinum bolts are missing. Generally I found it very disappointing, even given the price.
So, what does all of that mean? By my scientific calculations, the next PS3 game in the series should be the best ever Ratchet & Clank adventure. Unless they release more of the sorry downloadable episodes.

2 comments:

Jason said...

Hi FreakyZoid:

Just been browsing your site (got referred from a post from Bruceongame's blog. It's really great to see what professional game developers're doing.

I'm actually determined to develop a game from scratch, and I'm just starting a blog about it on http://www.progspot.com

If you have any advice please feel free to leave me a note on the blog - cheers!

All the best,
Jason

brucely said...

Oh! i like your games. But the please introduce some action games also. Then every one is more interested to play your games.
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Brucely.
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