It’s not often I’m jealous of PS3 owners. The majority of current gen games that I’m interested in end up landing on the 360 or the Wii. But there is a small handful of games I’d like to pay, but not at the steep price of 300 bucks. Flower, Little Big Planet, and the Ratchet and Clank Future trilogy, of which the third game comes out this week. I’m a giant Ratchet and Clank fan. The whimsical sci-fi setting is right up my space alley. With all the talk about the new game I’m starting to get the Ratchet and Clank bug. Since I don’t have a PS THREE I went with the next best thing… the PSP (it’s quick wit like this that keeps you coming back everyday. I know it).
I picked up Size Matters a few years ago after another bout of Ratchet-and-Clank-itus. I had just played through all the PS2 games and was jonesing for more. But the downgrades necessary to make the Ratchet and Clank work on the PSP left the game feeling thin and I gave up on it before getting really deeply into it. This time I decided to skip replaying the original games in favor of something new. Approaching Size Matters on its own terms reveals it to be a nice little game in its own right.
So much that makes Ratchet and Clank is here. Exquisitely designed levels (art design that is, Ratchet and Clank levels are rarely more than a linear path), weapon upgrades, a fun sense of humor wrapped around a cheesy story, skill points and hidden bolts, mini games, and tons and tons of objects on screen. I’m struck that Insomniac was able to put in the series’ trademark background spaceship lines (routes, roads? I’m not sure how to describe them. Lots and lots of spaceships up in the sky).
I think a lot of people we’re turned off by the game’s spotty controls. I can’t really blame them. The game gives you the option of moving with the analog nub and strafing with the d-pad but neither option is great in a firefight. The camera never behaves itself and a lot of the time spent in battle is wasted getting the camera in a good position. It never breaks the game but it does significantly distract from the fun.
But still. I’m enjoying the game for what it is. We’ll see if the Ratchet and Clankyness of it holds up or if the controls kill the game. Based on the first few levels I feel that I’m going to enjoy the game despite it’s flaws. If so I think I’ll check out the other lost R&C game: Secret Agent Clank. Maybe… if there’s a low point to the series it’s the Clank levels. I don’t know if I could stomach a game full of them. Give me laser guns and explosions over robo-karate chops any day.