Ratchet and Clank a Crack in Time Review

Ratchet and Clank a Crack in Time Review

I guess I'll start putting my reviews on my blog, too, to help get them out there.   


Not Much Of What It Does Is New But It's All Done Well

This Review May Contain Spoilers From The Previous Ratchet and Clank Games and Early Plot Points From A Crack In Time

The  Ratchet and Clank  series has been around for quiet a long time. It was born on the  PS2  and has been through 5 or 6 games and a few spin offs. The formula of the game hasn't been altered much from game to game and that hasn't changed much and that is still true in this installment of the long running series. If you've played any other game in the series you probably know what to expect from this game.  
In  Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time  the two protagonists of the series,  Ratchet  and  Clank , have been, after the events of  Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction , separated. In those events the  Zoni , a strange race of aliens,  
 The environments are just as good as ever.

captured Clank and took him off and now Ratchet (with the help of  Captain Qwark ) is on a mission to get Clank back.  
On the other end of the story, Clank's end, he has begun temporal training (tutorials, more or less) with the Zoni at The Great Clock, which is an important part of the games story that is meant to maintain and only maintain, not change time. While in The Great Clock, Clank learns that he has a father named  Orvus  and he is working to find him. The Great Clock is obviously obviously going to be abused and the villain of the game, Dr. Nefarious, who is going to use The Great Clock's powers to meet his own personal need. He's not the only one, though. Allistar Azimuth, a fellow Lombax that Ratchet comes across also wants to use the clock to turn back time and prevent the Lombaxes from perishing like they did. He wants to save Ratchet's family. The Clock also makes for some interesting gameplay involving time paradoxes and time traveling.
The story, overall, is pretty well crafted and somewhat memorable, but it takes a back seat to the game's gameplay. The game's story is helped out by some great, funny dialogue and voice acting, along with some great characters. The plot has moments that are humorous and funny and many moments that are intense and completely serious, and there are many moments that really show the personality of the staff of Insomniac. One of these being the giant Agorian warriors (with underdeveloped legs, which the game definitely makes a joke about) screaming and chest bumping in the middle of the battlefield.
Ratchet and Clank's separation somewhat effects the gameplay, since all of the mechanics that Clank contributed are 
The humor never stops for more than a few moments. 
now absent.  Now Clank has his one sections of the game as does Ratchet. While the ratio of Ratchet's gameplay to Clank's gameplay is probably around 4:1 (which is probably a good thing since too much of the Clank gameplay could very well become frustrating and brain-melting), they are both extremely fun.  
Ratchet's gameplay is the good old classic Ratchet and Clank gameplay you are used to. You collect bolts, you buy and upgrade both funny and useful guns, you kill any enemy that steps in your way with those guns, you travel from planet to planet and you preform some pretty awesome platforming. All of that stuff is still here, and while most of it virtually hasn't changed since the last game (or the game before that) it's still extremely fun, and even more so if you've never played a Ratchet and Clank game. Some of the weapons, however, now have a new twist on them. Now you can, on select weapons, use Constructo upgrades to enhance their properties and abilities. You can give the pistol the ability to charge or you could give a shotgun more spread ablilties. There's plenty of others to retrieve, too. One complaint about the weapons that I do have is the balance is quite off, specifically with the Buzz Blades. These are just small little blades that fly around and have an extremely high ammo capacity. You can just fire these (without any direction, just fire them off aimlessly) and they will hit people multiple times and do lots of damage. They are extremely strong, very overpowered. 
One other thing that is new to Ratchet and Clank is, what I'm going to call, "space gameplay". You've traveled from planet to planet before in other games, but in this one you really get to do that, meaning you actually get to drive around the  
Dr. Nefarious, probably thinking of something evil that may endanger the universe.

universe. While your doing this you'll encounter a lot of enemy ships, a boss or two, and a few side quests. These parts are very  Starfox -esque. Luckily, you don't  have  to do this (unless it's a special occasion that involves the plot). If you'd rather not fly around and shoot missiles at Dr. Nefarious' Valkyries you don't have to, just pull up the map and hit the warp button. 
Clank's still involves a lot of things that Ratchet's gameplay involves but also involves a few things that the series has not ever done before. One of these is the new time based puzzles. I'm going to do my best to explain these puzzles. The game will give a certain number of times that you will be able to record yourselves. You can record yourself and step onto a button and that will trigger something to happen, like a door to open. Then you begin recording yourself again and you'll see your passed recording step on the button and open the door, and you will be able to, as your present self, exit out the door that your previous recording opened. They obviously get so much more complicated than the example I just gave. One brilliant thing the game does that it seems like most games nowadays will not do is allow you to avoid frustration. At any time you can skip these time puzzles, obviously if you do you'll be missing out on immense satisfaction and loads of bolts, but at least it gives you the opportunity to avoid hair-pulling. Clank's gameplay does, however, have a pretty dumb and boring mini-game to go along with it. 

Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time should last you about 10-12 hours. If you really want to get everything you can out of it you can collect everything the game has to offer and you may get 12-14 hours. The extras to collect include gold  bolts, the Constructo upgrades, 40 Zoni for you to track down and plans for a "secret" weapon that you will unlock if you can acquire all of the plans. 
An Agorian Warrior, one of the many enemies you will fight. 

The last game in the Future series isn't one to do anything new or surprising, but it definitely doesn't do anything that it does do wrong. Hopping around shooting crazy-looking creatures with crazy-looking guns on crazy-looking planets has always been this fun, and it probably always will be.   
4.5/5 Stars 
EDIT: ARGH! I really wish the bold would work like it's suppose to. Sorry.

My School is Canceled Tomorrow Because of... (Swine?) Flu

A few hours ago I received a phone call from my school saying we wouldn't be having school tomorrow due to "illness". They didn't specify, but almost 3/4 or the elementary school (grades Pre-K-4, roughly 75 kids, I live in a small town :P) are out sick. Get this, over FIFTY kids went home sick today from the elementary school, and around 20 of them called saying they wouldn't be at school.
The junior high/high school wing hasn't seemed to been effected so much though, not many people absent. More than likely because kids in grades 1-4 don't watch their hands, pick their nose, and hold hands and all that good stuff, but there aren't many illnesses in my school, but they clearly couldn't just close down school for the younger kids leave the high school open.
But correct me if I'm wrong, your standard influenza virus isn't THIS contagious is it, to, in one day, spread to 50 kids? I smell H1N1 in the air.   
In the meantime... wash your damn hands. 
 UPDATE: I don't have school tomorrow either due to the... epidemic. Friday is teachers' institute. Monday is Veteran's day. 
Yes, that is indeed a 5 day weekend =)    

Fucking With HTML #2 - Steam Edition

The game's simple, really. Find the mistakes and post them below. I'll give all the answers once everyone gets a decent amount of time to find them all. Some of them obscure and others are obvious as fuck. I wish I had a big enough montior to do the whole front page but sadly I do not.     
This time it's Steam
Note: The four pictures in the middle of the screen are completely random but you get the idea. 
The LARGE image is here!!  

Previous Sites

Giant Bomb

Fucking With HTML #1 - Giant Bomb Edition

The game's simple, really. Find the mistakes and post them below. I'll give all the answers once everyone gets a decent amount of time to find them all. Some of them obscure and others are obvious as fuck. I wish I had a big enough montior to do the whole front page but sadly I do not.
I'll be doing this every so often with a different website, and it seems that the obvious first choice is Giant Bomb. 
Without further ado, here's the picture:    

The large image is here, it's not going to be visible on the forums so just use that link.

One Month. Three Games. Sixty Dollars.

I can only buy one games next month. And what a coincidence, more than one good game comes out next month! 

Man... I got to say it's not an easy choice. I'm definitely leaning towards Uncharted 2 but Brutal Legend is looking good too and I love heavy metal so I might get it, and heres the kicker, they come out on the same fucking day! Ratchet comes out 2 or 3 weeks after Brutal Legend and Uncharted 2 so there's that factor, but the Clank gameplay looks incredible.
(by the way, why can't we add a poll to a blog?)

Am I Crazy? Would This Piss Anyone Else Off?

So I ordered the second season of House off of Amazon about a week ago. I received it today. It's... not in the best shape. It has a big dent in the right edge of the box, some of discs were not in properly, the corners were rounded, and it's a little... slanted. I'm not sure if you know what I mean by that but sometimes cardboard DVD boxes can bend towards a certain direction. 
I'm not happy.... and certainly didn't expect this from Amazon, with them being the biggest online retailer and all. I'm not sure if it pisses me off enough to buy it in a store next time (probably $10-20 more expensive at Best Buy), but it certainly makes me mad. 
Would it piss anyone else off? 

My Favorite Vocalists of All Time

These are my 3 personal favorite vocalists.... ever. No particular order.

  • Ozzy Osbourne


  • Rob Halford

  •  Anthony Kiedis

Runner-ups would include Robert Plant, Maynard Keenan, Corey Taylor, Eddie Vedder, David Draiman, Vince Neil, James Hetfield, Bruce Dickinson and so many more. 
Feel free to post yours.

Direct2Drive Sucks, Huh?

I've never played Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory before, and I noticed it a mere $5 on Direct2Drive. (You can find the rest of the $5 games, in celebration of D2D's 5th anniversary here.) I figured I'd buy it since apparently it's an incredible game. (92 on Metacritic).
So I payed for it, and then figured the download would be rather easy, like Steam. Turns out I was wrong. It's even worse than the not-so-great new Gametap web-based format. The make you download a fucking zip-file. A zip-file? What? Why? Then you have to download and  install the stupid download manager and load the zip file into it so it can extract it and install it. Man, all you gotta do is on Steam is buy the damn game with your account, it'll add it to your list, and you click install, why does this have to be so hard? And I'm going to make an assumption that D2D isn't going to automatically patch it as does Steam, not that SC: CT has any patches coming out, but there's still 40 more $5 games to be released, so I might buy some of those regardless of the insane inconvenience of D2D.  
If I remember correctly, doesn't Steam like automatically activate your key if the game has one? I remember when I bought CoH it just automatically entered the key for me, I didn't have to copy it in or anything, well D2D doesn't do that. 
Also, the lack of community on D2D and not being able to talk to my friends when on Steam and see what they're playing and all that good stuff is also a huge loss.
I'm not sure why anyone would use D2D, unless it's an occasion like this where they have a great deal or for whatever reason D2D has a game Steam doesn't. 
Bottom line: Don't use Direct2Drive.


Why Trial Versions Don't Work

Example A: 
Okay so usually I watch all my online videos on my TV shows on the internet through my laptop through HDMI. But my laptop has been "stolen" (not literally) by my brother so I have to find another watch TV shows streaming from the internet on my TV. So I discovered PlayOn, so now I stream it all to the PS3. I downloaded the trial version. 14 days have gone by, so I uninstalled it and downloaded it from another source (CNET this time, before was MediaMall's site) and, boom! I get another 14 days free. And when this runs out and can either A) Find yet another place to download it from or B) Just download to my other computer. 
So assume I can't find another source thas has a PlayOn trial version. I still get 56 days free. 28 days for each computer.    
Assuming I can find another place to d/l it, that adds another 28 days of free PlayOn. A total of 84 free days.
Example B:   
I downloaded the AudioSurf demo long long ago and never bought the full edition. I later figured out you could just clear the cache of it inside of Steam and it'll reset the demo... another 4 songs. Play 4 more songs, exit, clear cache, play 4 more songs, save $10.   
That's is why trial versions don't work. Demos work, but trial editions do not.