hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Ratchet & Clank Collection

Review: Ratchet and Clank Collection

2:00 PM on 09.12.2012 // Allistair Pinsof

For a while there, the 3D platformer was lost on Sony’s platform but then Insomniac found it. And, somehow, the Spyro guys made it better than the genre ever was on the PlayStation.

Along with Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch, Insomniac took lessons learned from the previous generation, spliced the traditional platformer with other genres, and churned out one of the best trilogies that games have to offer.

Due to its cartoon visual style, rich environmental detail, and ahead-of-the-curve tech, this is one of the best looking HD collections released yet. While the first Ratchet & Clank may be a bit too rough of a blueprint for new players, the following two are classics that deserve a place in everyone's collection.

Ratchet and Clank Collection (PlayStation 3)
Developer: Insomniac Games, Idol Minds
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: August 28, 2012
MSRP: $39.99

As with Jak 2, I had the benefit of coming into Ratchet & Clank one series entry late, where most of the debut’s rough edges had been smoothed out. Going into Ratchet & Clank with curbed expectations, this past week, I was surprised to find that it not only plays well but still looks fantastic!

One of the great things of having this collection is that you get the origin story of the series and see how the series evolved along with Sony's console. More than Sly and Jak, Ratchet & Clank nails that Saturday morning cartoon vibe and keeps the plot interesting through strong writing, endearing characters, and great pacing. It’s strange to hear different voices for the characters and no goofy laughs from Clank, but these are still the same two lovable intergalactic heroes I came to love in following entries.

From the enemy robots' design to the detailed sky box, Ratchet & Clank looks phenomenal for a decade old game. I just can’t get over how detailed the game’s backdrops are with rows of buildings in the distance, flying cars, and birds flying through the clouds. Metropolis was the visual benchmark for the PS2 and it’s fascinating to see how much it evolved over the series.

The original R&C was an innovative attempt to blend third-person shooting with platforming, without the sluggish, awkward controls of Mega Man Legends. By comparison to Capcom’s divisive game, Insomniac really pulled off a miracle here and made a platformer that works just as well as a shooter. However, the controls pale in comparison to the sequels. Ratchet feels slow. Aiming is feasible but hardly intuitive.

It’s hard to remember, but there were many PlayStation 2 series that were just as annualized as Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed are now. Perhaps I never noticed because the sequels always took great leaps over former entries and found unique ways of rebranding a series. I can list a couple here, but let’s just focus on two exemplary picks: Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal. Though UYA built upon Commando, each game represents a yin-and-yang in the series that would influence the PS3 entries that would follow.

Going Commando was a stroke of genius. Along with addressing the lackluster controls of the debut, Insomniac piled on an addictive leveling system, great mini-games, weird Pikmin-esque Clank sections, ship combat, and tons of new stuff -- new gear, new items, new weapons, new enemies, etc. What’s more: Almost all of it are quality additions to the series. While many of the puzzle aspects of GC wouldn’t appear in its sequel, the new focus on more enemies, faster combat, and more options remained.

Up Your Arsenal’s improvement and redirection for the franchise is subtle but an unmistakably bold move for Insomniac. Not only did they put the emphasis on shooting more than ever, the game now had a multiplayer mode that was surprisingly great with a Battlefield-esque capture the nodes mode called Siege, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. Throw in the gadgets from single-player and some vehicles and you have one of the best multiplayer modes of its era.

Considering Ubisoft left out multiplayer from its Splinter Cell HD collection -- despite that being the main draw for many series fans -- I’m blown away that it would be included at all. It even works pretty well, depending on the host’s connection. The same can’t be said for the lobby system which is a buggy mess. My system locked-up twice while trying to find a game. It’d turn me off entirely if I weren’t such a big fan of the multiplayer.

For most people, the single-player of UYA will be enough. It’s Ratchet & Clank at its most focused and fun. Every level is full of unique moments, compelling scenarios, and intense firefights to be had. Smart additions like blocks to take cover behind, a new control scheme that adds free aim, and a way to swap between weapons quickly make the already great gameplay of Going Commando into a thing bordering on perfection. Whether you are in a mech fight with Clank or bashing things with Ratchet’s wrench with the new Inferno ability, UYA is one of those rare games that makes me smile every minute of the way.

Up Your Arsenal isn’t just the high-water mark for the series’ PlayStation 2 days, it was the pinnacle of the 3D platformer in its generation. No other genre entry stood as tall until Super Mario Galaxy and A Crack in Time. Whether you are interested in playing one of the all-time greats in UYA, rekindling nostalgia with Going Commando, or digging up the series’ origins with the debut, there is a lot to enjoy in this package.

There are some small complaints that are common with these collections: cutscenes are mostly 4:3 ratio (but oddly in HD), you can’t swap games from menu, and some assets haven’t made a smooth transition to next-gen. It's questionable and discouraging to see Deadlocked missing (yet slated for a PSN release later this year), not to mention the handheld titles, but it’s hard to deny the quality of this package. Seeing these bright, detailed worlds in smooth 60 fps and HD is worth the price of admission.

Ratchet & Clank Collection is a reminder of how one developer dared to give some guns to a platforming mascot and made a couple classics in the process. In an era where every third-person shooter comes with bloodstains and a cover mechanic, it's nice to return to this lovable duo and discover that they haven't aged a bit.



Ratchet & Clank Collection - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
Yanick Bourbeau avatarYanick Bourbeau
Zombie eating player from my game: [img][/img]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
ashamasha avatarashamasha
i have almost all the pieces i need to build my own Arcade machine... and the last one arrive this Saturday! Soon, one my childhood dream will became true!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Interviewer: Konami, why are you selling cosmetic DLC for MGSV? Konami exec: I breathe through my skin.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What is the Dtoid chat room?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Batthink avatarBatthink
This GrumpOut video was pretty funny to me (props to TheBadSpoon on the Dtoid chat room);
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Ratchet & Clank Collection

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -