Ratchet and Clank HD is out, and you ought to play it

Posted by Scheds (464 posts) -

Since me and the missus played through Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One – a soon-to-be-expired Playstation Plus gimme – I've been developing an insatiable thirst to play a real, full-on Ratchet platformer. I considered A Crack in Time, a game I consider to be a masterpiece and modern classic, but I'd already uncovered every inch of it several times before. I took to the PSN to see if the original Ratchet and Clank HD remasters had been released yet. They were! And so I decided to go all the way back to the beginning and play the very first entry in the series, which I hadn't played since it's release nearly a decade ago.

I figured I'd have a good time reliving my twelve-year-old gaming palette, but I was surprised at just how well Ratchet and Clank holds up. It's still a terrific game, and one fit both to be revisited or discovered for the first time.

Visually, Ratchet and Clank HD looks awesome. I mean, you can tell that it's a Playstation 2 game at heart. You won't mistake it for the amazing artwork of Insomniac's more recent R&C games. But it still looks great. Like Naughty Dog's Jak and Daxter HD Collection similarly proved, the visuals in Ratchet were ahead of their time. Simple texture work and bold colours were a limitation of the hardware but also worked into the expressive, cartoony style of the graphics, and the effect only gets stronger with pristine sharpness and a high-def resolution. You can play it in 3D as well, though I'm not equipped for that and couldn't test it out. The only drag are the pre-rendered cutscenes that play in 4:3 with a fair amount of artifacting. It's a shame, because the cutscenes are well-done and get you through the minimal story with some good laughs. Watch 'em anyway, even if it does hurt your eyes next to the remastered visuals.

The gameplay also holds up amazingly well; I can't say I expected to have as good a time playing Ratchet and Clank than I did ten years ago. But again, like the Jak and Daxter trilogy re-release, this R&C touch-up cements its status as a classic even further. The controls tighten up when you turn just slightly left and right, presumably the help out with moving and aiming at the same time. It felt a little stiff at first, but it didn't take long to get adjusted. The weapons are still a ton of fun to use, and some tricky platforming challenges have been a stressful pleasure, thanks to some great physics that make guiding Ratchet through the air feel natural.

There's a lot of other current and near-future releases crowding my attention lately, but I'm definitely going to keep plugging on through Ratchet and Clank HD. The three are available individually on PSN for fifteen bones a piece, or you can opt for a 30 dollar retail version of the game that includes all three PS2 Ratchet odysseys.

#1 Posted by Scheds (464 posts) -

Since me and the missus played through Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One – a soon-to-be-expired Playstation Plus gimme – I've been developing an insatiable thirst to play a real, full-on Ratchet platformer. I considered A Crack in Time, a game I consider to be a masterpiece and modern classic, but I'd already uncovered every inch of it several times before. I took to the PSN to see if the original Ratchet and Clank HD remasters had been released yet. They were! And so I decided to go all the way back to the beginning and play the very first entry in the series, which I hadn't played since it's release nearly a decade ago.

I figured I'd have a good time reliving my twelve-year-old gaming palette, but I was surprised at just how well Ratchet and Clank holds up. It's still a terrific game, and one fit both to be revisited or discovered for the first time.

Visually, Ratchet and Clank HD looks awesome. I mean, you can tell that it's a Playstation 2 game at heart. You won't mistake it for the amazing artwork of Insomniac's more recent R&C games. But it still looks great. Like Naughty Dog's Jak and Daxter HD Collection similarly proved, the visuals in Ratchet were ahead of their time. Simple texture work and bold colours were a limitation of the hardware but also worked into the expressive, cartoony style of the graphics, and the effect only gets stronger with pristine sharpness and a high-def resolution. You can play it in 3D as well, though I'm not equipped for that and couldn't test it out. The only drag are the pre-rendered cutscenes that play in 4:3 with a fair amount of artifacting. It's a shame, because the cutscenes are well-done and get you through the minimal story with some good laughs. Watch 'em anyway, even if it does hurt your eyes next to the remastered visuals.

The gameplay also holds up amazingly well; I can't say I expected to have as good a time playing Ratchet and Clank than I did ten years ago. But again, like the Jak and Daxter trilogy re-release, this R&C touch-up cements its status as a classic even further. The controls tighten up when you turn just slightly left and right, presumably the help out with moving and aiming at the same time. It felt a little stiff at first, but it didn't take long to get adjusted. The weapons are still a ton of fun to use, and some tricky platforming challenges have been a stressful pleasure, thanks to some great physics that make guiding Ratchet through the air feel natural.

There's a lot of other current and near-future releases crowding my attention lately, but I'm definitely going to keep plugging on through Ratchet and Clank HD. The three are available individually on PSN for fifteen bones a piece, or you can opt for a 30 dollar retail version of the game that includes all three PS2 Ratchet odysseys.

#2 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

I enjoyed Tools of Destruction a lot and got the HD Collection. I found the first game to be very frustrating, I usually don't play platformers and kinda lack the skill or whatever. I have yet to pick it up again, but with all the upcoming game releases, the chance I will actually do it is pretty small.

#3 Posted by Vonocourt (2130 posts) -

I've been playing the first one here and there, but really I just want to beat it so I can get to Going Commmando, which is still my favorite.

#4 Posted by sodacat (217 posts) -

I can't support any claim that R&C1 had good controls. The game needed, desperately needed, sidestepping. Jumping around like an idiot while waiting to be safe for long enough to be able to go into first person mode and shoot a long range enemy was not fun, and never will be. R&C 2&3 fixed all of these problems, thankfully, but without sidestepping R&C1 is the game in this HD collection that people should just skip over.

#5 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I enjoyed the HD collects, beat all three games back to back. I found despite the many graphical and technical issues I found throughout, the games are still awesome.

#6 Posted by notdavid (839 posts) -

I only ever played Going Commando, which I just remembered is one of my favorite games of all time. This might be a good time to dig into the rest of the series.

#7 Posted by Chaser324 (6542 posts) -

I really liked those R&C games back in the day, but the recent Metal Gear news has resparked my interest in that series, so I think that HD collection is going to be taking up most of my time in the near future.

Moderator
#8 Posted by Heltom92 (710 posts) -

Its been out for a while here in the UK and it is a great collection. The first one doesn't play so well because there is no proper strafing, which makes combat in the later levels really shitty.

I played through the Jak collection as well and I can safely say the Ratchet games have aged far better than the Jak games

#9 Posted by l4wd0g (1952 posts) -

@Heltom92: if you play them in order, do you still unlock the upgraded guns like the games originally did?

#10 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (579 posts) -

I played the original R&C not too long ago on my 60GB PS3, and throughout I was thinking to myself, "Wow, this looks really good for as old as it was". So much so that I couldn't really see myself shelling out for the HD collection. But for people that either don't have the ps2 games or don't have a BC PS3, its great.

#11 Edited by niko555 (120 posts) -

The only thing i can think of in RC1 is planet rilgar where you have to escape from the sewers before you drown.

You had to be sooooo damn perfect to get through that part.

I was really close to puting down the game and never coming back because of that part.

Really glad i finaly got through that part. The game is awesome!

#12 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i never got to play the ratchet games but wanted too. i am happy that they are releasing the HD collection. i hope to buy the game in the near future. it's great to hear that the game holds up to be good.

#13 Posted by Heltom92 (710 posts) -
@l4wd0g Yea the sequels let you import your saves from the first game to get some free weapons.

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