User blog:TyrantRex/TyrantRex's thoughts on Ratchet & Clank 2016

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Note: This isn't a proper review, but rather my thoughts and opinions on the game!

Background

Earlier this year I picked up a PlayStation 2 and the first game I played in it was the very first Ratchet & Clank from 2002, put it simply I loved that game  and quickly jumped into the sequels Going Commando and Up your Arsenal which for some reason have obvious innuendo pun titles. Out of the three PS2 mascot franchises, Jak, Sly, and Ratchet, Ratchet & Clank has been the most successful and the only one that's still alive, and for good reason these games are excellent.

So when my older brother announced he's buying a PlayStation 4 I absolutely made sure that Ratchet & Clank 2016 was the first game we got for the system. Technically it was Uncharted 4 but R&C was the first game we put into the console.

Seeing how this is a remaster/reimagining of the first Ratchet & Clank game I was most curious about how similar it is to the PS2 version and what changes from it.

The Game

I need to get this out of the way before anything... I've never considered graphics to be particularly important for games. Sure it's nice if a game looks pretty but how the game plays has always been more important to me, and I've always found the blocky primitive style of early 3D games to be charming on it's own way.That being said though.... WOOOOAAAAHH this game looks incredible! This thing looks BETTER than some Pixar movies, which makes sense given that it's based on a movie.

Looking at the same levels and enviorments remade with modern graphics is REALLY impressive and I can definitively tell that this game will have a HUGE nostalgic factor for people who grew up with the PS2 Ratchet & Clank games. In fact, I also was blown away by that despite not having any nostalgia there. Sooo yeah, like I just said the levels in this game are the same as the originals, not just the locations but also most of the level design was left intact. I highlight most because almost every level has some difference from the original versions, mainly having new sections and missions. Some of the planets don't comeback which is kinda dissapointing but there are also a few new ones, the order in which you visit planets is also slightly different.

THANKFULLY, this game brings all the improvements the Ratchet & Clank formula has seen over the years. The first game was good but it definitively was very rough around the edges. There was no strafing or autolock on, Ratchet's controls were kinda awkward, the quick select menu didn't pause the game, the weapon selection was a tad weak and don't get upgrades, among other things. The PS4 version fixes all these problems and even has some new improvements, like making R2 the shoot button. However, since I never owned a PS3 I didn't play the Ratchet & Clank Future trilogy so I can't tell if these changes came from those games or not.

Another major change is the plot, it's very, very different. The core idea is the same, the Blarg overpolluted their planet and Chairman Drek is planning to build a new planet by destroying others, Clank is a defective warbot who wants to stop Drek and meets Ratchet, and Captain Qwark is a useless incompetent idiot who turns out to be an antagonist. However a lot of the story plays very differently, there are many new characters, the reasons to visit planets completely changes, and for some reason Doctor Nefarious is here and he's not a robot?

Luckily almost every character from the original are back and all of them have the same voice actors and even some dialogues are identical which is good to see. If there's one character I'm glad they changed it's Ratchet. Let's face it in the original Ratchet was a selfish douchebag and by far the most unlikeable character in the series. Ratchet's personality was so badly recieved that they had to completely change his personality for the sequels and give him a new voice actor, good to see they didn't bring back his original personality.

HOWEVER, there's one thing they changed that I was very dissapointed by. The music. The Ratchet & Clank games have always had really good and distinct soundtracks, this game however uses generic orchestral scores. It's not bad but I REALLY wish they used the classic soundtracks. I barely pay attention to the music because it just doesn't stand out, quite a shame really.

The weapon selection could also be a little better. There are some good ones here like the Flamethrower which is FAR better than the original, a shotgun that turns enemies into pixels, the rocket launcher, ect. But I've seen much better weapons in the PS2 games and some weapons like the Combuster just plain suck. Still, the weapons still get the job done and the good ones are still fun to use.

Overall, this game still feels like the 2002 version while still feeling different enough and fixing a lot of things the original needed fixed. Not all changes were good but this is still a great Ratchet & Clank game and I'd say it's my favorite out of the ones I've played. I REALLY wish I could play the Future trilogy, is there a PS4 port of them or something?

Also, I find it very hard to decide which I like better, Jak or Ratchet.