Ratchet and Clank Review


I just beat Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time and had a great time. It has all of the elements that have made the series fun so far:
Great comic animation and voice-overs, straight platformer goodness, great weapons, rail-grinding, collecting, and good enemies. The addition of time control elements were great puzzles. I only wish that they were used more often in the game. I enjoyed going back and forth between Ratchet and Clank, getting two distinct gameplay experiences, but I just felt like the time control elements didn’t build to anything. I felt like I was being trained in gameplay mechanics that never amounted to any real tangible percentage of the gameplay. Perhaps this will pay off more in later games in the series, although the plot doesn’t really leave a lot of room for that. One gameplay sequence, similar to the old Star Control 2 planet landing, was really only about 15 minutes of total game time. It seems like this sequence could have been cut entirely without any fanfare.

Here’s a video sequence of one of the temporal puzzles.

By far my favorite weapon was Mr. Zurkon. One, it was just nice to have an AI agent shooting at bosses for me. Two, his insults to his opponents were hilarious. Some good quotes:

  • “Mr. Zurkon does NOT come in peace!”
  • “You are the disease and Mr. Zurkon is the cure”
  • (when the Groovitron is deployed)”Mr. Zurkon enjoys a good boogie”
  • “Stupid Fongoids. Why can’t Mr. Zurkon kill you?”
  • Yoo-hoo, Fongoids! Your hordes are stupid.”
  • (while falling to his watery death)”Mr. Zurkon doesn’t know how to swim.”
  • “Death is too stupid for Mr. Zurkon.”

The Rift Inducer was my second favorite, although I just bought it tonight. It opens up a hole in space-time and a Cthulu like monster sucks in opponents with “its noodly appendages”.

I also found the spaceship sequences to be a little weak. They were fine, but always felt like an obstacle to the real meat and potatoes of the game.

On a few technical notes:

  • The levels feel smaller than they used to. I’m not sure if that is practically true or just fuzzy memory.
  • The final battle with Dr. Nefarious had some really nasty frame rate issues making it a pain to complete.
  • The fur shader was really nice, but there were some pretty nasty shadow artifacts.
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~ by shaunkime on January 12, 2010.

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