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)
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.
THE VERDICT - Ratchet & Clank Collection
Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
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