Ratchet and Clank Review

What do you think of Rachet and Clank?

It’s alright, not great. 5/10.

The control style is really unique, not like the modern third person shooter we’ve come to know. I’m amazed they didn’t compromise on this even into the PS3 titles, or the modern remake of the first game.

I’d say a big issue with the enemies is that a TON of them walk straight at you and damage you when they get too close, and can’t reliably be pushed back. So you gotta shoot them before they get to you, unload a ton of ammo until they drop dead.

In general I feel like a lot of the interactions with many enemies are, these things are nearly unstoppable if they get in your face, you gotta cheese them from afar, using your ranged weapons to hit them from places they can’t hit you, or shooting first before they shoot you, is generally the way to win.

Also notably a lot of enemies get hit, are knocked back, and are totally invincible to attacks during that period, but a lot of guns shoot out ammo a lot faster than that, so you end up wasting a ton of ammo on that. The final boss, by staggering my attacks, I was able to get a lot more damage on him with a lot less ammo. Literally by mashing the button instead of holding it down, I got twice to 3 times as much damage from the same amount of ammo. The second game sort of fixed this and sort of didn’t depending on the enemy.

The camera is pretty rough being an early 3d camera. Not as bad as Jak and Daxter’s, which has zoom in when you press up on the right stick instead of adjusting the pitch. Thing moves too slow, bumps into scenry too much, gets adjusted by the environment/character movement too much, thinks it knows better than you too much, and by default is too low relative to the ground, so it’s hard to see how far you jump frequently.

After you get the helicopter upgrade movement gets alright, after you get the rocket pack, movement gets pretty decent. it sucks running as slow as you do normally, and it sucks that the super jump versus long jump is determined by whether you were running going into the crouch animation, rather than simply whether forward is held when you jump. Also sucks that these animations have absolutely no player control in any form while they’re playing, and that the mid-air rocket boost forwards was removed from the second game. The new double tap rocket boost on the ground almost makes up for it, but because there’s no element of player control, you get committed to dash across a really long distance, then slide afterwards too, so I ended up sliding off edges because of this a couple times.

I don’t really know why the helicopter upgrade is in the second game at all, considering the rocket is pretty much straight up better, except that you get rocket boost forwards instead of the helicopter long jump which goes a bit higher, so would be useful for some things. The rocket boost ground pound goes almost completely unused in the first game, I don’t really know why it’s in the game, though it does have some advanced movement capabilities, because it can be canceled into the mid-air rocket boost forwards.

The double jump only functions at the top of your normal jump, you can hover as you come down which is alright. I question why the jump isn’t just higher, as the double jump animation is lame feeling, and it can suck to double jump too late and get nothing.

The strafe function is amazingly useless in the first game and amazingly useful in the second game, purely because in the first one it’s a mode that is toggled and locks out your ability to jump, and in the second it’s hold the button to activate it and it allows you all your normal movement options.

A lot of the weapons deal streams of damage and are incredibly redundant to one another, besides damage output, effective range, and sometimes the amount of homing. Like the blaster, tesla claw, lava gun, lancer. Guns like the Suck Cannon also felt similar, because they had decent range and could annihilate smaller enemies instantly, making them really good versus smaller enemies, then you’d get more powerful blasts that could destroy larger enemies. Missile weapons felt similar too, because they had similar effective ranges, and the only real difference was less ammo and more damage.

The visibomb, sniper, and spiderbot are basically, “fuck you, I don’t want to deal with something somewhere in this level” The visibomb was nerfed a lot in the sequel, and honestly spiderbot isn’t that powerful. You can attack enemies with these far outside their aggro ranges as long as ratchet remains unharmed while they operate.

The triangle button for quick swap works great, was a great inclusion, but having it operate in realtime like in the first game just doesn’t make sense. it would be smarter to have it on dpad if they wanted it in realtime. they have it pause in the second game which makes sense.

The pacing was really slow and some asshole decided that the planet transition cutscenes should be unskippable every time. it feels like the back and forth interactions between ratchet and enemies weren’t very well considered. Their bullet patterns aren’t the most interesting, and it has grind rail, space shooting, and magnetic gravity walking sections that aren’t as strong as the core gameplay, and seem purely there for variety.

Ratchet is a DICK in the first game, for seemingly no good reason, only really doing the right thing when it’s to get something he wants, or protect something he cares about.

The Clank sections suck all around, he moves lame, can’t double jump or boost forwards, has lame attacks, can only attack on the ground, and his puzzle elements are tedious, involving relying on AI companions following you around.

By the end of the second game I was glad I played these but did not want to play the third game.

One thought on “Ratchet and Clank Review

  1. Michael September 22, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    Surprised you didn’t haven an issue with lock on in the first game. It was way too finicky, so I’d often waste ammo shooting at nothing. I also had to move towards an enemy to get it to work, which really increased the likelihood of getting hit..

    Like

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