on August 28, 2012
Ratchet and Clank is probably my favorite franchise of all time, and certainly my favorite Sony franchise. Of all the great titles from the PS2 era, this is the one series that I still return to. The gameplay, the humor, the art direction, the creature and robot design, the characters... it all just comes together perfectly in the strange, whacky universe that Ratchet, Clank, and Captain Quark live within.
Now, I can finally play those PS2 classics in HD format, and boy, does it make a difference. I was reserved about the graphics, based on the available photos, but the pictures look nowhere as good as the actual games when they're in action on your HDTV. It's great to see the visuals so crisply sharpened up, and tailored to fit a widescreen. Understandably, these games look nowhere near as good as "Tools of Destruction" or "A Crack in Time", since those were developed from the ground up for a more sophisticated console. But that's okay. The gameplay is so rock solid, and the improvement to the visuals is so significant, I quickly lost myself in these adventures once again... it was like a reunion with a great friend. Insanely addictive and enjoyable, I immediately resumed trying to scoop up every last bolt, and acquire every last, whacky weapon and gadget. The mechanics/controls have aged remarkably well (even with the lack of strafing in #1), as have the storytelling and voice acting aspects.
The addition of trophies, along with the ever popular "skill points" that the series is known for, is a huge bonus for players who want to reinvest time exploring these fantastic alien worlds. I obviously have not had time to explore every nook and cranny of this enormous collection, but so far, so good, and I'm looking forward to every moment of revisiting these adventures. It sure took a while, but it was worth the wait. My one minor gripe is that "Deadlocked" is not included, making this one title short of a complete R&C collection from the PS2 era. Insomniac, if you're listening... please consider adding "Deadlocked" as a DLC to reward your loyal fans. Thanks!
Update: Some have commented about the Sly Cooper demo. It comes in the form of a "voucher" code, which must be redeemed on PSN.
Update #2: Maybe somebody at Insomniac heard us, because they just announced that "Deadlocked" will be available on PSN later this year!
Update #3: After thoroughly putting RC#1 HD through its paces, here are my further thoughts (all good):
I picked up RC for the PS2 when it was first released in 2002. At the time, I was wowed by the game. It seemed to take platformers to a whole new level, and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I ever had with the PS2 console. It combined great humor, storytelling, platforming, combat, weapons, gadgets, and variety. The variety came from a number of tastefully implemented elements that broke up the gameplay, including using your Trespasser gadget to crack hi-tech locks, using Clank to control miniature "Gadgetbots" and solve puzzles, piloting starships in intergalactic battles, and even transforming into a gigantic robot to get into some arena-style combat.
More than anything else, this game got me HOOKED- I had to play it right to the end, and after that, I wanted to uncover all the hidden bolts, skill points, weapons, and gadgets. Never did I imagine that I would have as much fun when I went back to revisit RC with the RC Collection on PS3. But I'm happy to report that I did!
I CANNOT believe this game is TEN years old! It's true that it's been given the "HD makeover", but the content and gameplay mechanics are identical to the original. Even though this was the first RC entry, and improvements would slowly occur over time (such as strafing and an enhanced "quick select"), this game has aged remarkably well, and it's still as gripping and fun as it was ten years ago. What's just as impressive is how incredibly GOOD this game looks. Nothing was "rebuilt"; developer Idol Minds simply enhanced the resolution to HD and fit it to widescreen format. Yet, this game looks better than most PS3 games... and it's only a PS2 game! That speaks volumes about the fantastic, cartoony art direction that this series has always embraced, and the wonderful passion with which developer Insomniac poured into this game.
Ratchet and Clank fans, and newcomers alike- rejoice!
I didn't really start gaming again until I bought a PS3 back in 2010. At the time, I wasn't sure what to get so I curiously perused IGN's TOP 25 PS3 games and saw that Ratchet & Clank Future Tools Of Destruction had made the list. With its tantalizing Pixar-like imagery, I was intrigued and purchased it.
And played it to death. I immediately followed up with Quest for Booty and A Crack In Time.
I was hooked. Then, my 8-year old daughter and I saw an opportunity in Ratchet and Clank All 4 One. Was it Ratchet and Clank Future? No, but it allowed the father/daughter team that had previously bested Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 to play again and we enjoyed it despite the sneers that some greeted it with.
Then I learned that the original Ratchet and Clank trilogy was being re-released on the PS3 in one collection. My daughter and I traded a look and the pre-purchase was instant; our PS3 slim model won't support PS2 disc-based games so we knew that this was going to be our one and only shot of experiencing how such a remarkable game series that ensnared us both got started to begin with.
Of course, I was a little apprehensive. Some HD updates have worked and others haven't (Silent Hill anyone? although they DID finally patch it on PS3). Was a PS2-era game going to wow me?
Unequivocally, yes yes YES! The work is phenomenal. An IGN reviewer stated that the controls were "buttery" (extremely smooth) and OH, they ARE! You can tell that the games were from a PS2 era, but you can also see how Insomniac must have definitely and quite fully utilized the PS2's potential just as much as the Future trilogy used the PS3. Gameplay levels are beautifully remastered. Cutscenes do show their age, but it's not as bad as some of the others that I've seen out there.
If you're familiar with a number of the Future controls, you'll almost feel instantly at home from the startup of the original and it won't take long for you to work out the few controls that are different. The 3D is also quite well-done, although it will drop to 30 fps instead of the 60 fps that you'll experience without it. That said, it's still pretty smooth and if 3D is your thing, then you don't have anything to fear. If it's not, you still will be quite pleased with the work done on this title. This is a remaster that was done RIGHT.
My daughter and I are loving it immensely and if you've never played Ratchet and Clank before, you should...now! Insomniac's beloved duo has made a much welcomed return...and, in our case, a welcome first-time arrival. Fully recommended!
on August 30, 2012
Ratchet and Clank are my heroes. They are the stuff legends are made of. Ever since I popped the original "Ratchet and Clank" game into my PS2 I've been hooked, and the series just kept getting better through the course of the three games that make up the original trilogy. Yes, Insomniac's epic saga of a lethal but lovable Lombax and his diminutive but dedicated robot sidekick, though it has had its rough spots (Ratchet: Deadlocked, Size Matters, All 4 One), has never failed to remind me why it is that I love it so much. The series' near perfection in its dynamic characters, epic storytelling, endlessly fun gameplay, eye-popping art style, and witty adult humor long ago made it my favorite videogame series of all time.
Just like any good legend, Ratchet and Clank are alive and well years after their maiden voyages took place. And now fans new and old can experience these voyages in HD. I am blown away by the improvements in all three games' graphics, but especially by those of the original game. Being ten years old, this title definitely needed a graphical upgrade and it certainly got it. "Ratchet and Clank" now looks as good as or better than anything on the PS2 and that is very gratifying. The same goes for R&C 2 and 3 as well.
Another thing that I noticed was the very welcome addition of trophy sets for each of the titles. Personally, I would have bought this collection even if trophies had not been included because I have never needed any extra incentive to immerse myself in these stellar games; however the trophies are a nice touch, giving me just one more reason to keep playing.
The bottom line is all three games look excellent with noticeably improved graphics. The games, as far as I can tell are not changed in any other way (good thing). And the experience is as exhilarating as ever. What more can one ask from an HD remastering?
Rather than prolong this review with more praise for my most beloved game series I will end by saying that for fans like me there was no question of whether or not to buy this collection. These classics are worth every penny. And if you, like me, have nearly worn out your PS2 copies of each of the three games included, this collection is not just a desire, it's a necessity. Lastly, to newcomers to the series I would simply say that I have never enjoyed three videogames as much as I have enjoyed the Ratchet and Clank original trilogy, and at the amazingly low price of 30 bucks these gaming gems should not be missed.
on October 21, 2012
When the whole "HD compilation of last generation games" move began a few years ago, the question on many people's minds was when the @$#@#! Sony was going to release a Ratchet and Clank HD collection. After all, Ratchet and Clank was one of the few franchises identified with Sony that had successfully transitioned to the PS3, and was one of the few surviving, somewhat traditional platforming franchises with some degree of critical and commercial success. The PS2 adventures of the mechanically inclined, tabby cat-like Ratchet, and his somewhat nerdish, diminutive robot companion Clank still remained absent, even as God of War, Metal Gear Solid, Sly Cooper, and Jak and Daxter collections all were released for the PS3. In 2012, Sony finally relented, and has released the original PS2 trilogy of Ratchet and Clank games for the PS3, in high definition. The question, as is the case in any of these HD re-releases, is whether games released so long ago, and in a lower resolution, can retain the same magic under the stark light of modern gaming conventions and high-definition expectations.
The good news is that the Ratchet and Clank games do stand up to that scrutiny. The collection includes the self-titled debut (RC1), Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando (GC), and Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal (UYA). The franchise is essentially a mix of Super Mario Brothers style platforming, the over-the-top gunplay of Contra, and the cartoon aesthetics/sensibilities of Looney Tunes (Duck Dodgers in particular) mixed with Pixar films, all in 3D. Unlike Jak and Daxter, the core principles and approach of the games have remained relatively consistent (more on the differences between the 3 games later). In terms of how this collection is put together overall, I have to admit that, like many of these collections, there's not a lot of polish. The title screen has artwork obviously ripped from 2011's Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, the skimpy digital manual (there's no physical one) fails to retain all the detail and charm of the original PS2 manuals, and there's no extra features to be found. As is the case for almost all HD compilations, some of the in-game movies are either sub-HD or have had their aspect ratios altered, and switching games requires exiting entirely back to the PS3 dashboard.
That being said, I was shocked at how much care they put into restoring the first Ratchet and Clank game. Despite the general conventional wisdom that RC1 was inferior to its successors, I always felt that it had the strongest level design and best aesthetics of the series, and as a result, liked it a bit better than the others. The planets are memorable: the lush, open plains of Novalis, Eudora's forested greenery, the night-time desert frontier of Aridia, Hoven's wintry chill, the vast skyscrapers and hovercars of Metropolis, Pokitaru's blue water, and Gaspar's vivid red and orange lava fields all made quite an impression the first time around. Each of the many worlds also felt fairly busy and filled with things to do; there were usually at least a couple of distinct main paths to take. I'm not sure if it was due to the game possibly being originally designed at a higher resolution than its original PS2 release, but the HD version seems to be significantly more detailed and cleaned up than one would expect after playing the original on a PS2. Textures mostly seem more detailed than before, and the colors really "pop". The gameplay in RC1 is very much focused on "meat and potatoes" platforming and 3rd person gunplay, with a few diversions (hoverboard racing, turret gun sequences, one-off starfighter sections) thrown in to keep things fresh. The Clank solo sections provide an interesting change of pace, as the focus shifts from shooting and jumping to managing herds of robotic helpers, a la Lemmings. The gunplay is solid and very entertaining (Contra fans should note the probably unintentional tribute to the game's influence when on Batalia), albeit with a slightly wonky auto-aim mechanism, made up for by the sheer variety of crazy weapons. The platforming is pretty good, too, with rail-grinding sections that acknowledge that sometimes you just want a Sonic-esque roll-coaster ride, and magnet-boot sections that confound the player's orientation. Perhaps most importantly, RC1 has a camera-centering button- something that Naughty Dog never implemented to the detriment of its Jak and Daxter series.
GC was developed well within the timeframe of "Grand Theft Auto fever", when focus group testing pushed gaming towards "grittier", less cheerful fare, and "open world gaming" became the new bandwagon to hop on, even if the concept of a game didn't mesh with that. Insomniac mostly stuck to their guns in terms of developing GC, but some of the new sensibilities still crept in. One thing that sticks out is that the worlds in GC were gloomier than those in RC1, with duller color palettes. The level design also felt somewhat stripped down and simpler as well. With that being said, Insomniac also took cues in terms of making the gameplay broader in scope, in line with the GTA games. Hoverbike racing challenges were made deeper than the prior game's hoverboard races, space combat/fighter racing took greater prominence, and the series' signature arena combat was introduced. RPG leveling aspects (for both Ratchet's health and his weapons) were worked in as well, while new gadgets such as the glider, and 2 distinct hacking mechanisms (each with its own minigame) further varied things. Targeting and movement were improved quite a bit, and RC1's unforgiving checkpoints were replaced with something a little more palatable. And despite the more spare aesthetics, GC had its share of memorable locations, including a desert world and a tundra world with large open sections for harvesting crystals while fighting enemies. Let's not forget the escalation in weaponry from the prior installment (you'll be tossing portable mini-nukes, unleashing balls of plasma-lightning, and spraying enemies with lava on a regular basis before all is said and done).
By the time UYA was released, the "next big thing" was the rising popularity of linear, accessible shooters, even as open world gaming was still settling into its place as a genre that was here to stay. UYA shows that influence, even if still within the stalwart Ratchet and Clank approach. UYA returns to a more vivid art style, while the wide scope of GC has been scaled back a bit for something more focused on set-pieces and visceral combat (with yet another bump in the arsenal providing the player with plasma whips and a space-rift creator). Gone are the racing aspects, and rail-grinding is a no show. Instead of space combat, UYA introduces sets of military-style "missions" on certain worlds, with both ground combat and gunship sequences. The arena combat does return, while the spherical moon sections from GC (years before Super Mario Galaxy hit the shelves) also return with more polish (check out the vista on the Obani moons!). UYA is probably the quickest-paced of these 3 games, and weapon-leveling has been segmented further so that you see more immediate improvements through continued use of any given weapon. While my game's save file clock indicates I've put in something like 16-17 hours to finish UYA, it feels like the "shortest" of the games. I should also note that UYA has the distinction of being one of the few platformers to have an online multiplayer component, which has been included here.
Overall, the games themselves are fantastic, with each bringing a distinct enough strong point to the series, so that it's hard to say which is "the best". Unfortunately, there are a few odd glitches here and there (Ratchet's space helmet in cutscenes from GC and UYA, some players having occasional freezing at points, issues with how meters appear on the screen, and whatever you do, don't go right back into single player after playing multiplayer in UYA, unless you want to permanently disable the weapons wheel pause). In addition, there are a couple points where for some reason, the graphics look a bit....unpolished (notably in UYA, where the very first world of Veldin has a grotesquely fake-looking sun-glare "ring"). This, however, may simply be due to higher resolutions drawing attention to the occasional lapse in fidelity that was present in the originals. All told, the diligent gamer will get 40+ hours out of this compilation on the first playthrough (there's also a "new game+" challenge mode for each game), while the obsessive player could tack on another 10 or more hours before revisiting the games via challenge mode. While all 3 of Sony's platforming collections are, in my opinion, essential PS3 purchases, this collection is the best of them, simply due to the consistently high quality of all 3 games.
on August 25, 2013
I've been playing Ratchet & Clank since the very beginning. I remember the first time I played the demo at a Best Buy when I was 9 or 10 years old. It instantly grabbed my attention and although I didn't have a PS2 at the time, I had to have it. I never forgot about that game and knew that one day i was going to get it. Having played every single R&C game since then, which is quite a few, I know the series intimately. I have followed it for all 10 years of it's existence and starting with Up Your Arsenal, I was there to get each game at launch, it has become my favorite videogame franchise of all time. Now, with that said, my review will be a lot different than other people on here. A lot of people don't know the original trilogy like I do (I have beaten each one at least 10 times and got the platinum trophy for the first two in 4 days) and so they don't know what changes and how the HD conversion has gone. I am going to review the Collection, not the games themselves.
The idea of an HD Collection is an interesting one because they expect you to buy a couple of old games that just look better and a lot of the time haven't even been fixed up or changed whatsoever, not a true remastering but just a makeover. Because of that, a lot of HD collections have been including extra incentives to offer you something you didn't have before from them. The God of War Collection has extra video content that the neither of the games had, the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection offers exclusive themes that feature art from the game and even the newer collections that don't feature HD remastering of games have cool stuff like Infamous which comes with the super voucher for all of the DLC, Resistance has the box set and a super voucher and the God of War Saga has a two part video documentary about God of War that you download with a code. Ratchet and Clank contains two things, a special avatar for your PSN ID and an early demo of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. If you are reading this review now, that means Sly Cooper is already out and the demo is completely pointless because there is one on the PSN store. The avatar you get is cool but it isn't really anything special either. R&C has no incentive to make me buy it because there is no bonus videos, no special concept art, nothing. I was highly disappointed by this fact.
As for the actual remastering of the game, Idol Minds is the development studio charged with the task and they could've done a hell of a lot better. The HD conversion didn't go smoothly obviously because they completely damaged the games in the process. There are numerous glitches and graphics errors that weren't there before. I'm not saying Ratchet and Clank was perfect before, it suffered from a terrible framerate slowdown almost every single game, a problem that wasn't alleviated or made worse in the HD trilogy. THe graphics start suffering when Ratchet's helmet keeps detaching from his head in the cutscenes. It keeps floating an inch off his head so we can see his hat underneath which isn't supposed to happen. Sometimes, you can see the environments coming apart and see inside them through cracks in walls. This is mostly in the second and third game, the first game was pretty solid to me. That leads me to believe that they spent way too much time on that first game and rushed the second two, because the third is the glitchiest of them all. Periodically, I will be controlling Ratchet, blasting at enemies when his spine will somehow contort so that his chest is in his left hip and I can only shoot at the ground. This really does hurt the game because I have to start changing guns and trying to avoid the numerous enemies while I just wiggle him out of the problem, that had never happened to me before on PS2. Lastly, the cinematics aren't even converted, they are still in a 4:3 ratio which means if you are playing this on an HD television, be ready for those black bars to appear on the sides. Truly disappointing that only the gameplay gets put in HD.
The online mode in Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal is good though. I never got to play it on PS2 so when I found out that they actually set it up with servers, I was ecstatic. The game is still fun and it's surprising to see how well it works, considering when it was made. The online does show it's age but it is still fun, if you love R&C, you'll find a place in your heart for this game. The trophies aren't what I was expecting. Don't expect to get too many if you are new to the show, a lot of them are for secret tasks called Skill Points, little objectives that are humorous to do that you don't know about until you do it. I thought it was lazy of them to just make the trophies skill points. Only a third of the trophies are for other objectives and the first game has the most variation in trophies, the latter two have way too many Skill Point trophies (although Ratchet: Deadlocked HD takes the cake for too many Skill Point trophies). If you know these games well, it's easy to get the Platinum trophy for each one, Up Your Arsenal can be time consuming though for a couple of trophies. I have the Platinum for all 3 and a couple more R&C games as well, if you want an easy task ahead of you for trophies, this is for you.
For newcomers, you won't be able to notice that a lot of these glitches are even happening but for us veterans, I thought that this was a sloppy job with no reward to me, the super loyal fan, that has bought all of the games in the series so far. Reward those of us who have bought every single game along the way, even the bad ones (Secret Agent Clank) and even the really short ones (Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty). Why not give us something to show you care about the people who are buying this because they love Ratchet and Clank and want to own this version too? Ultimately, this is for the newcomers and it is disappointing that they are getting a lesser experience than we PS2 players got. With HD graphics (during gameplay, not cinematics), online play and trophies, this Collection offers up some new things at the expense of the games themselves, I feel it ultimately isn't worth it because the problems in the game get to me, a hardcore fan. If you can put that behind you, go ahead, have fun but if you can't, go find the PS2 versions, I recommend those if you can find them and a PS2 to play them on.
I've been known to get my hands on a lot of games and play them. During the PS2 era I managed to get my hands on a ton of games. Strangely, however, I never actually picked up Ratchet and Clank. Despite the games being one of the biggest selling franchises on the PS2, I never got around to playing them. My first foray into the Lombax's universe and the little robot backpack was playing Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Upon playing that game, I was in pure awe of everything it had to offer. As I planned to dust off my PS2 and find the previous three games used, I was told by the clerk that perhaps I should wait, as an HD collection was right around the corner. Sure enough, that collection hit and I got to experience the first three games for the very first time in splendid HD.
It has been ten years since Ratchet and Clank debuted, and as I sat there playing the collection I found myself in awe. They were amazing games. Games that, with each installment, actually got better and better. And what was remarkable about this progression was that at no point in time did I ever feel one game had to "fix" the flaws of another. No, rather each new game just adds the right amount of new stuff to keep it interesting and make the experience more rewarding.
HD Collections are slowly being debated about in the gaming industry. But Ratchet and Clank is most certainly one of the better ones. When it comes to gaming and graphics one little known aspect that is hardly talked about is the aesthetics themselves and how sometimes that is what makes a game hold up. During the Playstation 2 era a lot of games tried to do character models that were closer to looking photo-realistic or something along those lines. This makes HD Collections like Metal Gear Solid look great, but their age shows a little bit more. A game like Ratchet and Clank, however, uses incredibly vibrant colors and cartoon like qualities. And one thing seems to be certain: These kinds of aesthetics most definitely age better than the ones going for a more "realistic" look. Case in point, if you didn't know the Ratchet and Clank games were originally Playstation 2 titles you might not assume they were right off the bat. There's A LOT of detail put into these games and they've actually aged rather well. No, they've got nothing on say... Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, but it's still admirable the amount of detail put into these games. In crisp HD they're amazing on the eyes. It is by far one of the best looking HD Collections you can find. It made that transition smoothly.
There are moments where the aspect ratio is still 4:3 and, of course, that can't be helped. They're pre-rendered cutscenes. But at the very least these scenes were updated as well. This is really only noticeable in the first Ratchet and Clank, however. The sides of your television will be black for these scenes. However, it's a step up from some HD collections that left their pre-rendered stuff untouched. There are moments in game, however, where it's still kept at the 4:3 ratio when it could've been stretched. Again, this mostly noticeable in the first one, as it has a lot of those moments.
Gameplay wise, Ratchet and Clank is familiar. You usually play as Ratchet, running around with Clank on your back. You'll be able to buy and find an assortment of weapons throughout the entire experience of all three games. In the first game it's merely finding and equipping them. But in the second there is more variety and they level up. By the time you get to the third you'll have a whole host of weapons to play with. As you move from one game to the next you can also carry over some weapons from one game to the next. Although with some weapons there isn't much point to carrying them over. For instance, in Going Commando, you start off with a Gravity Bomb that has a huge blast radius as it is. There's not much reason to carry over the original Bomb Glove from Ratchet and Clank in this instance. Often you'll find the new arsenal in each new game better than the last.
As with most HD Collections, however, you begin to see how some games have really aged. Despite just being ten years old, it may take some gamers a bit of time to adjust to some of the controls. In the instances of swimming it took a moment to adjust. It also took a moment to adjust to the camera controls and to the idea of pressing the O button to fire when most modern day games rely on using R1. These are, of course, minor complaints. Namely because the Ratchet and Clank games were state of the art. It's just how games were made in 2002. The controls, for the most part, don't really improve much as you go from one game to another. This is actually not so bad as once you settle in you'll pretty much be okay for the whole set. The games aren't long either so you'll easily pass through all of them. There is trophy support added for those who want it, though, and some of them are quite fun to try for while others just seem silly to go for (collecting 1 million bolts in the first game is just tedious without exploiting a well known glitch).
That's not to say everything about the collection is perfect. There were times when there was some noticeable frame rate issues. And normally this happens when a game is overcrowded with a lot of data on screen, but this wasn't the case here. Sometimes the frame rate seemed to dip for essentially no reason. Likewise, sometimes when the audio would loop it would hiccup for just a second or two.
It's actually quite amazing how well the games have aged. I am sitting here playing these games for the first time after having played Future: Tools of Destruction and it's hard not to be impressed. Certainly the controls aren't up to speed, but they're still solid and tight that learning them is all that is necessary. It never really trips you up. The progression through each planet is also simply amazing. It's also nice to see how the games evolved in every standpoint. The production values in the first one are stellar as it is, for instance, and jumping into Going Commando once I was finished with my first adventure showed a major step. Simply put, each game just kept getting better in every sense of the word. More weapons. More variety of levels and exploration. Other aspects just simply got better. The cutscenes in each game looked and sounded better. The voice acting got better with each game. The writing got better with each game. The humor got better with each game. And most important, each new adventure was better.
It's hard not to recommend the collection. All small hiccups aside, these are phenomenal games. There are hardly any platformers out there that can best Ratchet and Clank. Many come close but few truly eclipse it in terms of quality and substance. Not to mention it has moments of just pure action and amazement. To revisit them in HD or (as is my case) to discover these gems for the first time is well worth the investment.
on September 13, 2012
The Sly Cooper HD collection? Check!
The Jak and Daxter HD collection? Check!
The Ratchet and Clank HD collection? Check!
Now I have all of my favorite PS2 games on my PS3! Anything else that comes out is icing on the cake!
Let me first start off by saying that I have been looking forward to this release for a LONG time. It was finally released and I waited for two weeks for it to show up in the local Best Buy, but it didn't. Finally, my impatience took over and I drove all the way from my place to another BB store that had it in stock. The other store was about 20-30 miles, but I really wanted it. I can only say that the drive was totally worth it. I bought my first two PS2 HD collections for full price and I bought this one as well for full price. ($29.99) Luckily, I had traded in about 5 or 6 older games, so this collection cost me nothing out of pocket AND I was able to buy two of the R&C Future titles as well. :)
Let the review begin!
Ratchet and Clank: This was the first one. The one that started it all. And I was about to experience it in it's full remastered HD glory. This was gonna be awesome. Armed with a PS3 controller in my hands and a beer by my side, I was ready for it. As soon as the game turned on, (after the cutscenes) I was blown away. I was shocked to see what these developers had done to buff out these gems that I treasured so much as a kid. I was hooked all over again. The visuals and sound are incredible. It was a very obvious change to HD, at least for me. I have beaten the game and gotten MOST of the cool stuff. Drek, the final boss, was as tough as ever to beat. (Without a RYNO, which I still don't have yet.) The gameplay is as fluid as it ever was. The humor and charm from the original games carries over to the PS3 nicely. The trophies are a nice touch and really give you an incentive to keep playing the game. They aren't easy, either. For instance, one of the trophies is to collect one million bolts. It may sound easy from this review, but it is anything but. I enjoy games with tough trophies, because they present a challenge, which is something I really enjoy in a video game. Anyways, I digress. Insomniac started something amazing with this title and they, along with everyone who played it, knew it.
Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando: Another winner! This was Insomniac's second title in the R&C series and boy, is it a keeper. Just like the first one, the HD is ever-present in the visuals and sound. The gameplay is fluid, as usual, and the trophies are just as challenging as the first game. In the second one, Insomniac introduced awesome new tweaks and additions to the Ratchet and Clank title; ship upgrading, weapon leveling, armor, and a new breed of crazy weapons. My personal favorite is one that turns enemies into sheep. You lose the bolts that you could gain by just knocking the enemy out, but it has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. Not to mention it's good for a laugh or two. Speaking of laughs, the character interactions are awesome in this game. The R&C games have always had a good sense of humor in them and this one is no different. It's a good game for brightening your mood if you're angry. I mean, you get to break stuff, kill enemies, AND you get to laugh! How can you not feel better? This title is my personal favorite in the original trilogy and it carries well to the PS3.
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal: I haven't played this one yet, but if it's an HD remaster of the original Up Your Arsenal, it is sure to be fun! I will update this portion of my review once I play through it and get some time on it.
BONUS - Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Demo: As a loyal fan to the thieving raccoon, I was stoked even more than usual to hear that this was going to be bundled with this collection! I haven't used my code yet, but I played this demo at a friend's house and it was awesome. We ended up playing it about 7 or 8 times through because it's a great demo and we were having a blast with it. I was a bit skeptical at first to hear that Sucker Punch was not going to be behind this game, but I think Sanzaru Games has done an exceptional job with it. They did a remarkable job on remastering the original Sly trilogy and it's very clear to me that they don't want to see this series go down in flames. For Thieves in Time, they went the distance. What I mean by that is that they were able to get the original voice actors for all of the characters, including Sly, Murray, and Bentley. They also got the music composer from the original three titles involved on this as well. After playing the demo, it's clear that the elements of the originals developed by Sucker Punch have been carried on into this game. I welcome this game with open arms when it releases. Hopefully, Sanzaru will put this much effort into the Sly games they hopefully develop in the future, because if they do, I will buy every single Sly game they develop.
Overall, this package has a lot to offer for old, faithful fans and new fans alike. Especially for the price. I mean, for $30, you get the original 3 R&C titles, remastered in glorious HD AND you get early access to the Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time demo. What's not to like?
Also, I haven't encountered any bugs that other reviewers are claiming. My games, knock on wood, have been solid as steel. I'm just saying.
on September 10, 2012
While I have always been a fan of this series, I must admit that the first three games (those presented in this collection) continue to rank as my favorites.
Admittedly, some control mechanics have been streamlined in the current generation titles, and Clank has become every bit as fun to play with as Ratchet lately. But something about the levels, weapons and storylines from these oldschooler games has gone unmatched as of late in the realm of platforming games.
Cheap deaths here are still a rarity. The camera almost never works against you. The HD is stunning. And the trophies follow very closely with what was required to 100% each game on the PS2. Plus these are not, by any stretch of the imagination, short games. They've also aged very well. So you are definitely getting your money's worth with this product.
These are appropriate for most any age/level of gamer. Their ease of access and addictive gameplay make them a must own for most everyone out there.
So if you never experienced them the first time, or if you just want a chance to play through them again and show off your trophies, there is no better time than now. This collection is one of the best that has come out so far for the PS3, and no gamer should do themselves the disservice of missing out on it.
on September 5, 2012
Well, let me begin by saying that the United States Postal Service is BLOODY RETARDED! The game was a week late, and the wait was agonizing.
About the game itself, I expected nothing less than perfection, and Insomniac didn't disappoint. Graphics are so much better than ps2, and sound and color are out of this world. Ever since I bought Ratchet and Clank 1 when I was eight years old, I've been hooked, and now I can relive one of the highlights of my childhood!
The only complaint I have, is that Deadlocked wasn't included. I didn't enjoy Deadlocked as much as the original series, but it would have made a great addition to the game. Perhaps the company will see all of these reviews, and possibly put a DLC for Deadlocked in PS Store. THANK YOU INSOMNIAC! I WILL LOVE YOUR GAMES UNTIL I NO LONGER BREATHE!
on August 29, 2012
I have waited a long time for this. So glad to see the favorites of yesteryear returning to Play Station in HD for the PS3.
I bought these games for my children when they came out and we all fell in love with them. The kids are all grown now and on their own and we still love them just as much.
Awesome job on the remake. I couldn't imagine just how different they would be in HD but when they are impressive on my old TV which isn't HD, that is going some. The quality of the picture is incredible.
These games sure bring back a lot of memories. I hope you bring back more of them and please, they don't need to be like the games out today. That is part of what makes them so wonderful and entertaining. Keep the story line, the humor, and the all around good clean fun. Just never take away the charm of R&C.