Tech Blog

Review: Ratchet & Clank Collection

by Blogger on ‎09-10-2012 11:03 AM

Inside Cover.jpeg


The late 90s were a bizarre time for video games, particularly game mascots.  Dominated by anthropomorphic platforming heroes in hopes of joining the mainstays like Mario and Sonic, these obnoxiously colourful characters either never made it to the top or lacked the charm to last long.  While there's still a market for characters like Spyro, Donkey Kong, Rayman and Klonoa, names like Gex, Crock, Ty and Scaler have laid to rest long ago.  

For a long time I couldn't figure out what it is about game mascots that just doesn't seem to work for gamers.  Aside from some annoyingly repetitive catch phrases or equally obnoxious appearances, the game's themselves weren't half bad and offered gameplay that was actually pretty entertaining.  However now when I think back, it's pretty evident where the divide starts and I think much of it has to do with consistent immersion and identity.  

While many of these games had relatively solid gameplay, they were usually skins of other platformers during that era and lacked identity because of it.  If a developer thinks they can simply tack on a new mascot to a familiar world and expect sales to blow the roof they're grossly mistaken.  There's a reason why these platforming clones (for lack of a better word) never made it to the limelight when there are far more creative ideas in store.  
Luckily, not all game developers rely on that quick ticket to failed success, particularly Insomniac Games the developer behind the popular platforming series Ratchet & Clank.  With the series still as successful as it was since its inception back in 2002, Ratchet & Clank has clearly defied the odds.  There's something so appealing about this series, whether it's the kid-friendly action-platforming, wickedly cool futuristic environments, wide-array of weaponry or charming characters and story, Ratchet and Clank offered gamers so much more than your typical mascots did. They invited you into their adventure with open arms and kept you wanting more.  
For the 10th year commemoration of the series, Sony has recently released the Ratchet & Clank Collection, featuring HD remastered ports of the PS2 games Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal.  Idol Minds, the current developer of the series, has created a great port too, upping the resolution without blurring the colourful landscapes.  They've also implemented PSN-ready multiplayer modes into Up Your Arsenal, plenty of trophies, a 10th Anniversary Ratchet & Clank avatar voucher and a Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time demo voucher.
Aside from what's already been said, there aren't any other substantial changes that were made, instead staying true to the games we've grown up playing.  Repetitive gameplay is one of those things that you have to expect in the genre, but there is enough side quests and secrets for it to redeem itself of that slight flaw. For anyone who hasn't played the series or think it's too "kiddy" for your taste, you might want to reconsider. You owe it to yourself to see just how this series has persevered and conquered the genre with such action-packed appeal.  
If you're interested in checking out the Ratchet & Clank Collection for yourself, check it out at Future Shop!

SKU: 10215558

Experience the classic adventures of the universe's favourite Lombax, Ratchet and his robotic sidekick Clank in this classic PlayStation 2 trilogy now fully re-mastered in high definition. Wield the original tools of destruction as you travel from planet to planet unravelling their original story and explosive adventures in this PS3 exclusive.

by Blogger ‎09-11-2012 05:28 AM - edited ‎09-11-2012 05:31 AM

I'll never forget the lightning bolt of disappointment which came from my Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle cartridge. A huge Sega fan to this very day, I still can't believe that they were responsible for this pixelated soup of sadness -- which simultaneously caused teenagers across the world to exclaim a long string of colourful pejoratives concerning the fifty bucks they'd just burned... and what was their reward? The ability to play virtual rock-paper-scissors in a side-scrolling world of palm trees and sorrow.


BTW, fifty bucks in the early nineties, adjusted for inflation, is about ten thousand dollars today. I could've owned a Miata, Erika. I could've owned a Miata.


by Blogger on ‎09-14-2012 08:04 AM

hahaha hey, that game wasn't SO bad.  There were far worse out there, most of which I watch James Rolfe (aka Angry Video Game Nerd) play so I don't have to.  There were plenty of disappointing platformers back in the day, but that's sort of a given. 

I remember having my parents spend $80-100 on me for video games (those poor souls).  One of the reasons why I guess we never got a Miata. hehe

by Blogger on ‎09-15-2012 05:23 PM


I've been waiting six years for James to review ET on the 2600... have you

heard any news on when his movie is being released?

by Blogger on ‎09-17-2012 10:07 AM

I think it's being released sometime early next year.  He's currently in post-production so I don't think it should be much longer :smileyhappy: 

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