Monday, August 20, 2007

Ratchet & Clank! But...

When I first picked up Crash Bandicoot for PS1 way back when, I wasn't really expecting much. I heard a lot about it -- really wacky stuff, but back then I really had no faith in American game developers, especially Sony. But wow was I blown away when I actually tried playing it. I never thought 3d-platformers would be that fun (especially after the disaster known as Contra: Shattered Soldier).

I eagerly awaited for Ratchet & Clank for the PS2, expecting the same quality. It was more than I expected. The gameplay was smooth, the camera angles were largely not problematic, and the targeting was spot on. But what truly made the game shine is its humor. Kiddie humor, sure, but pretty good kiddie humor. And it got even better with the subsequent installments, Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal (okay, I think they're getting less kiddie now. Going commando? All the time.). I enjoyed the little fake commercials in Going Commando, moreso that it was graced with Michael Bell's voice acting (Remember Raziel? Yeah, that guy). The gameplay is absolutely, addictively simple, yet provides enough of a challenge, and is just plain solid fun. Should I even talk about the wide arsenal?

The series sort of gained a cult following, but sequels have become less frequent. The last one for PS2, Ratchet: Deadlocked, wasn't even a proper sequel; it was more like one of those Crash Bandicoot party games. Missing were the huge levels and the platformer action, and the general feel of the game.

Suddenly, Sony answers fan prayers and announces a new sequel, called Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Hooray! Finally. But I've one major problem: It's for the PS3. Why? I don't have one...yet. As well, I fear that the developers will focus more on the presentation than the actual game itself. I certainly hope they don't; I really don't mind pretty graphics, but if you're gonna abuse the capabilities of the PS3 to the fullest, do it by creating insanely large levels, and an equally large inventory (guns mostly). Well the game is mostly in post-production status by now but...Let's just see. As much as I want it to look gorgeous, I definitely want it to be playable too.

The game is slated for a November 27, 2007 release.

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