Ratchet & Clank Trilogy review (PS3)
A wry look at some “vintage” gaming goodness
Listen up, whipper-snappers!
You video games these days are too dang soft. You hold the hands of gamers with this newfangled “quick-time event” nonsense; you let the young ‘uns skip past any overly difficult level; and you dish out infinite retries to those already mollycoddled with auto-aim and the option to play everything on “Easy”!
Now, back in my day, video games were HARD. We sent players out into our big, bad worlds all by themselves, armed with nothing but limited lives and a swift clout from the “game over” screen if they failed. And you know what? They were better gamers for it.
Good thing the Ratchet and Clank Trilogy is here to teach you lot some traditional gaming values of yesteryear (read: 2002). And yes, this collection of platforming classics has minimal new content and perhaps little to offer the kids of today, but as us old games like to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
So grab your hard candy, kids, and let’s review this old skool.
Why, when I was your age…
Once upon a time, us games had more than the flimsy excuses for plots we see nowadays; we had something called “narrative”. We told people stories and created characters they wanted to care about, and games like R&C knew how to weave a yarn like no other.
In the first title of the trilogy, Ratchet meets Clank in the opening scene, and from there the tale unravels with nothing but superbly witty dialogue and a real sense of companionship between the two heroes. Having the series’ first three titles side-by-side shows just how well each game fits together to form the bigger story that still continues to this day. You have to hand it to developers Insomniac for gathering us all around the ol’ wireless… er, I mean television… to show us how much difference a solid storyline can make.
Pesky kids! Get off my damn lawn!
Goodness gracious, with all you next-generation games about killing Russians littering the shelves these days it’s reassuring to know some of us can still blast hordes of politically-unaligned foes and still have a good time. And we don’t have to do it with the same handful of replica weapons.
The R&C series is a pillar of glorious gun selection in the gaming community, famous for quirky classics like the Sheepinator, the Plasma Whip, the Suck Cannon and the hilariously overpowered R.Y.N.O. super-weapon; and let’s not even get started on the impressive gadget selection. Each title in the series has seen the tools of destruction get bigger and wackier with each release, and despite the controls behind the carnage in the first game feeling a little geriatric, they improve immensely as the games progress.
Simply put: there’s mode gunplay and gadgetry here than in anything new shooters could possibly offer, and this is one trip down memory lane that still feels fresher (and most importantly, more fun) than any of this fancy schmancy Call of Warfare poppycock.
What do you mean, “it doesn’t come on cartridge”?
Ah yes: nostalgia. Those memories of the golden years when games required IMAGINATION. Seriously, 3D didn’t last in the 80s, and it likely won’t last now, so why in tarnation we’re still making people wear those daft glasses is beyond me. But, if extra dimensions and slashed framerates are your thing, the R&C Trilogy will indulge your gimmicky desires with full 3D support for all three games.
Us more “matured” games are still somewhat hip to the jive of modern gaming trends. Oh yes indeedy. We actually rather like this high-definition stuff, especially on today’s monster televisions (no more squinting, eh?), and it’s a treat to see Ratchet scampering about in crisp resolution and at a buttery 60 frames per second to boot. Despite some crude textures, especially in the original title, each of the three adventures looks great in HD, and by the third outing you’ll likely forget that you’re playing an eight-year old game.
In my day we bought CARS for less!
I’m sorry, clearly I must adjust my hearing aid; did you say R600 for a new game nowadays? Heavens! No wonder you lot pirate so much.
But I’m pleased to learn that us vintage games are being honoured with equally old prices. At just over R300, the R&C Trilogy gets you three exceptionally fun gaming escapades and should still leave you with enough for the soda fountain and a trip to the pictures. And, even though a smidge of new content would’ve make the offering sweeter than a handbag full of butterscotch candy, just having the opportunity to embrace the oldies again is worth the price of admission.
Respect your elders, sonny
Whether you do it to reminisce or whether it’s your first time with the destructive duo, there’s really very little reason not to doff your cap to us games of old and pick up the superb Ratchet and Clank Trilogy.
You simply can’t beat the tried and tested gameplay, the rib-tickling wit, and the practically non-existent spawn points that remind us of how much fun it was to play games that required as much appreciation of skill as they did of silliness.
As the kids today say: mad respect, Insomniac. Thank goodness someone out there is still remaking ‘em like they used to.