Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ratchet and Clank series part 1: Ratchet and Clank




Now that Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time is out, I decided to do another series of reviews based on a franchise like I am doing with the Overlord franchise. The second one I will be doing is the Ratchet and Clank series, which is one of the most popular Playstation franchises. Let’s start with the first game, shall we?

For the first game, the story starts out with Ratchet, a humanoid Lombax, repairing a ship he is working on one day, when he sees another ship crash onto his planet. He finds a small robot in the wreckage named Clank. Together, they discover that an evil villain named Chairman Drek is trying to make a new planet out of parts from other planets for his people to live on. It is up to find them to stop his plans of destroying the universe.

Ratchet and Clank is a basic run-and-gun plat-former, where you go through multiple planets, blowing up enemies and solving some minor puzzles. Your basic form of attack at the beginning is Ratchet’s wrench. Throughout the game, you get a huge variety of weapons, like the bomb glove, the blaster, a rocket launcher, and multiple others that you will have to find throughout the game. The one thing I can tell you, though, is that they are fun to use. You also get cool little gadgets, like the trespasser or the grappling hook to solve puzzles. Your wrench can also turn bolts into the ground that can make platforms rise and lower, depending on which level you are on. You also get multiple side quests to get more gadgets and weapons, which is cool, meaning you’re given a lot to do in one game, which is nice.

Graphically, the game is impressive, since Insomniac, which is known for their Resistance franchise and the first three Spyro plat-formers, made this game. The voice acting is pretty good also, with people like Mikey Kelly Kelley, who did the voice of Blade Master Alastor from Viewtiful Joe, doing the voice for Ratchet, David Kaye, who is known for his voice acting as Sesshomaru from Inuyasha, doing the voice for Clank, and Jim Ward as Captain Quark. I think one of my favorite voice actors has to be the one for Chairman Drek, who is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, who is known for his roles as Black Manta and B’Wana Beast from Batman The Brave and the Bold, Omega Supreme from Transformers Animated, Tartarus from Halo 2, Joker from The Batman, and Cleveland Junior from The Cleveland Show. The script for most of the cast is very good, the music is also good, and the controls are spot-on.

However, there are some things about this game I don’t like that much. The characters of Ratchet and Clank, at least for this game, are just not that likeable. Ratchet is that stereotypical teen that wants nothing more than fun and excitement, and Clank is the intelligent and snobbish robot. You just don’t grow attached to them, which makes Jak and Daxter more likeable then the two main heroes in this game. The plot isn’t that well put-together, and you really don’t need to turn your brain on through most of the game. Everything becomes too predictable and it just gets boring. The camera is also a horrible issue during boss fights, since it focuses more on the boss than on the main character. I hate having to buy all my weapons, since when you get the currency for the weapons, you end up spending it for ammo for your other weapons, and it seems like you just don’t get enough of them. Even though you get a lot to do, it’s just tedious going from one planet to another, just to do one thing. Why can’t I just do all the missions on that one planet so I don’t have to go back and forward to do some quest to get a certain item I might not even use?!

Overall, it’s a good game, but it hasn’t aged well. If I had played it back in 2002, I bet I would have liked it better, but seeing it now, compared to other games of its genre, like Gungrave or the later Jak and Daxter games, they could have done better. I do recommend checking it out, but I think I need to check out the other games in the series. So, this concludes the first part of the Ratchet and Clank series of reviews. Stay tuned for more of these and other reviews on my blog.

This game gets a 7.8 out of 10

2 comments:

Zaciroth said...

Man I have played the (more serious) Jak and Daxter games but I never played more than just a demo of this series......it sure has alot of games though doesn't it.

Bryan said...

Good review, I'll check it out.