Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ratchet and Clank series part 5: Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction for the PS3 review




Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another Ratchet and Clank retrospective review. We are now finally finished with the PS2 games in the series. So far, I think the series is good, but it hasn’t really done anything special. Each game has been basically being more polished than the last one, but that was it. They didn’t really do anything, well, evolving with the series until Ratchet Deadlocked came out, but after playing that, I missed the old formula of the series. Like I said, they didn’t do anything special, and never really gave me the wow factor that I was hoping for, besides the amazing voice acting and the creative humor. I have my hopes up for the new Ratchet and Clank game that is multiplayer-centric, but is an all-out platformer. I am very excited for it, but before I can review it, I have two more PS3 games to review of this series. I am not going to review the downloadable PS3 game, but if they drop the price, then I will. Let’s get started with Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. This is definitely yet another step in the right direction of what the series should have done in the PS2 games. Let’s dive into Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction for the PS3. 

The story starts out with Ratchet and Clank working on some sort of flying motor vehicle when they get a distress call from Captain Quark. Quark reports that the city is being taken over by a league of robot commandos. Ratchet and Clank rev up the engine to their vehicle and make their way through the city to find out that a short being named Emperor Perceval Tachyon is leading the robot commandos. During the story, Clank then finds out he has an unknown destiny to fulfill, but I won’t spoil this for anyone who hasn’t played the game yet. The story is definitely more engaging this time, and there are some pretty good moments in it that made me keep playing. I’m surprised, since I didn’t think the stories were that engaging during the PS2 games. I am happy to say though, that the story is much more engaging and there are more memorable moments.
The gameplay doesn’t really change much here besides going back to the old form of gameplay featured in the first three PS2 games. This means you will be playing as Ratchet and Clank separately from time to time. The Ratchet levels are the same run-and-gun platforming. The gadgets are definitely more memorable here since you don’t just carry guns. You can now carry combat gadgets that help you beat down the enemies or assist yourself. Some of my favorite weapons are the nano swarmer, shard reaper, the groovitron, predator launcher, shock ravager, plasma beasts, and a personal favorite, a little flying robot named Mr. Zurkon, who is hilarious. You also get the same gadgets like hover boots, a grappling hook, magnet boots ring upgrades for Clank, and you get the idea. The Clank levels are now much more interesting due to the little creatures you get to control called Zoni. The Clank levels are set up the same, but the Zoni will automatically attack any enemy in sight, repair technology, and help Clank levitate over large gaps. Clank also has the unique ability to slow down time to get past certain puzzles. There are some Star Fox inspired flight levels, but they feel more like rail shooters than an actual Star Fox Experience.
The graphics are amazing and are definitely a lot better looking than Insomniac’s first PS3 game, Resistance. Everything looks bright and colorful, and the attention to detail and how huge the levels are is glorious. It is definitely on the list of the best-looking PS3 games. The music is now more orchestrated and has a much more epic feel. I kind of wish they had this kind of music during the PS2 games since the PS2 music sounded like Daft Punk demos. The voice acting is also very well done with the usual people returning for Ratchet, Clank, and Quark. The ones I want to talk about are the new antagonists. Andy Morris does a great job portraying Tachyon, and besides his height, makes him sound like a real threat. One of the new antagonists is a robot pirate named Captain Slag, who is voiced by Robin Atkin Downes, who voiced Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes, Alexi from the Ninja Gaiden 2 games, and Luxord from Kingdom Hearts 2. Rusty Pete is Slag’s right hand robot that is voiced by Wally Wingert, who does the voice for the Riddler for the recent and upcoming Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games, Renji from Bleach, Maximo from the Maximo games, and Brago from Zatch Bell. These three new villains bring so much more to the plate as villains, and are up there with Dr Nefarious from Up your Arsenal. Of course, things happen, and Pete becomes a good guy or so it might seem. There are also some pretty good voice actors for the good guys like the two old robots, Cronk and Zephyr, and Yalwyn Apogee who is voiced by Tara Strong. It’s nice to know that Insomniac gets the best of the best for these games since everyone does a pretty good job. The humor is also top notch since later in the game you get a pirate disguise, and you need to use it to activate a pirate-dancing-mini-game to get through certain areas. It is just awesome to hear the pirates talk at times.
However, I do have some common complaints about this game. The rail shooting levels felt tacked on and it seems like not a lot of thought was put into the gameplay. Yeah, you can use Clank on a turret in the back, but that’s about it. I saw that they made it better in A Crack in Time, but since I am not on that game, I can’t talk about it. The game again feels safe, since there are no multiplayer or online modes. It has the usual clich├ęs like the tournament challenges and death matches, but they make it more polished where you can win bolts and gadgets, buy armor, and have the same gameplay from the last games. This isn’t bad since it’s still fun, but I think Insomniac needed to make this game pop out more. I know I might be a little nit-picky, but it bugs me a little when there isn’t really anything new here. Wind Waker had the boat traveling and the wind esthetic, Twilight Princess had the wolf form, and those Zelda games built around those gimmicks while keeping the main gameplay intact.
Now, even after all my complaints, I still enjoyed this game because of the story and characters. The gameplay might be the same, but I would highly recommend buying this game over the PS2 games. I only have one more PS3 game after this one, and then I will be ready to review Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One when it comes out. This is a good game series, let’s just hope they can put it into overdrive when I play the 2009 Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time.
This game gets an 8 out of 10

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