Developer: Insomniac Games
Distributor: Ster Kinekor
Reviewed on: Vita
Also available on: N A
If we had to give it a numerical score: 8.5/10
If I haven’t said it before, I will say it now – I am more than happy with Sony bringing back (cashing in) on blasts from the past, if they continue to do so carefully. And so far I think the Vita is the best avenue for the heroes of old.
I remember the first “HD Remastered” series I played on PS3 – it looked horrible. It may very well have actually been the Ratchet and Clank Trilogy. There was nothing “high definition” about it. The big 1080p screen showed exactly how old the series was. Still, half an hour into it, and I was calling my young one to the room, so she could see what “real gameplay” looked like. I was gloating at how much fun even this child born in the PS3 era was having with a game from 2002.
That magical gameplay that made Ratchet and Clank gaming icons still manages to charm nowadays. And best of all, the gameplay is challenging in waves, for a lack of a more fitting description. What I mean is that the gameplay builds up in difficulty as you progress toward that chapter’s “finale.” And then the difficulty wave simmers down again, taking it easy as you build it up again. I miss the way games were made at times. Nowadays it’s all about the “experience” often playing through like a movie. I miss that difficulty wave that came from the game itself and not some ‘ hardcore’ setting.
So for those that are too young too remember that France once had an almighty cup-winning soccer team, let me tell you about this “charming” gameplay. The series was a bit of a groundbreaking one. It combined platforming in a 3D world and offered missions in an almost RPG like style. So you can hop around from mission to mission, touring the galaxy. There are plenty of upgradeable weapons and gadgets, but nothing that would give you nightmares. It comes from a wholesome era – the games needed to generally cater for younger gamers, while still keeping the experienced ones satisfied.
As you progress through the games, you get more weapons and types of weapons. More mechanics and abilities are also added as you get to the newer games. The looting and progressive system also evolves as you go through. The gameplay will surprise you at times – the character’s abilities and so forth. The characters perform certain actions that you would expect in more grown-up or “tainted” games. Things like boosting or even skydiving. While the game is in a theme that is totally suitable for children, it offers mechanics that will please the parent.
All importantly though on the presentation side of things, given the series’ age, the Vita’s lesser resolution and smaller screen is more forgiving, and so the games look a lot fresher than with the PS3 version. The only downside is that the cinematic scenes weren’t redone in widescreen, but it’s not a huge problem. So the gameplay stands up, putting many modern games to shame, and on top of this it doesn’t look like something your grandma played.
The Ratchet and Clank Trilogy offers three great games that look better than ever on the Vita. You get tried and tested, much loved gameplay that even offers tricks still common in fancy modern games. And you get two super-cool characters in a narrative that the entire family will love. An absolute must for the Vita we say.