skidd's Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty (PlayStation 3) review

One for fans of the series...

Ok, firstly, let me say that I really like the Ratchet and Clank series. For me, when I got the first game on the PS2, i was blown away - it re-defined the platforming genre, which was in danger of becoming stale. Now, with the series' first release on the PSN comes Quest for Booty, a mini-adventure which retains much of the characteristics of the previous installments. The plot picks up pretty much where Tools of Destruction left off: Ratchet attempts to find Clank, who has been kidnapped by the mysterious Zoni.
Insomniac said before the game's release, that they were intending on bringing it back to its platforming roots. This initially seems like a strange idea - Insomniac are famous for their wild and over-powered weapons, plus the idea of changing a tried-and-proven formula would appear risky. However, this isn't too much of an issue. Ratchet still retains a small arsenal of weapons, though its clear the main focus is on Ratchet's new wrench abilites. For the most part, these work well, and mix things up a bit. The addition of the 'Light and Dark' elements - requiring you to traverse narrow pathways with only a faint light - creates more of a challenge, without being overly-difficult.
The graphics in this game look brilliant - its built off the same engine used for Tools of Destruction, and pretty much everything here looks great. However, there are one or two character models (such as the villagers in the opening section) which look a bit bland and rather un-spectacular. The dialogue is strong, and the voices are well suited to their respective characters.
However, for me, I found the most impressive element of Quest for Booty was the storyline. The plot is brilliantly narrated by Rusty Pete and Captain Slag, who provide hilarious commentary throughout the adventure. I also found the actual story to be engaging, something I felt was lacking from Tools of Destruction. Without giving too much away, fans of the series should expect a similar cliffhanger as the previous game, with no immediate closure over Clank's situation. However, fans of the PS2 games will be plesantly surprised by a brief cameo of a well known villian from previous games, leaving them dying for more....essentially, the ending is fantastic!
There really aren't a lot of major problems with Quest for Booty. Returning fans, like myself, will probably be disappointed with the absense of Captain Qwark and the Plumber, but this isn't enough to reduce overall enjoyment. A lot has been made of the length of the game. It's about 4-5 hours, depending on how you pace yourself, but its worth remembering, its only €15 ($15). For a game of this quality its well worth the admittance price.
I would recommend this game with some reservation however. I really feel that this a game that is perfect for fan of the series. Though new-comers may get a lot of enjoyment out of it, I think Quest for Booty is best suited for those who love the series, and are desperate to continue the story of Tools of Destruction.
To sum up, this is a short, but likeable, high quality game - and at this price, it really shouldn't be missed.

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