Ok, I am not sure if you have seen it already but Sony and Insomniac announced a new Ratchet & Clank game earlier this year. This new game will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive and it is tied to the upcoming movie with the same name.
Ratchet & Clank must be the largest series on PlayStation and while this is the first game for the PS4 I see no reason why there won’t be a gazillion more of them by the end of the PS4 era (2024?), so do you know how many games there are in the series and how many ports? I think it is 16 by now… to be honest, I have no idea but I am pretty sure I have all of them although not all format releases of them.
Ratchet & Clank is known for many things but 2 of the most recognized ones are the weapons and the wacky names, every game has a very distinctive name and always leave you with some sort of “umm” feeling, Up Your Arsenal, Size Matters and Quest For Booty to name a few.
Here is my small collection of them, PS2, PSP and Vita discs are not pictured here as I somehow managed to forget taking pictures of them…
Ratchet & Clank Tools Of Destruction Demo Disc:
Ok so this is the game that turned me into a huge fan of the series, this demo was given to me by a close friend (Hello Adam B.) in America. I have no idea of how many times I begged for him to send it but it did work out for me in the end. The reason I was desperate for it was because this demo was exclusive to America for months and it was on Disc only.
I was lucky, I got the demo before most other in Europe and to boot, i got one of the very few demos produced for the PS3 on Blu-Ray. I have no idea of how many were produced but I have not seen many out there for sale over the years.
The demo made me super pumped for the full game and it ended up as my first pre-order ever.
Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction:
Ok so this was my first ever Pre-Order and it must have been the only Pre-order i have done where I went for the standard version, I can’t remember if there even was a special edition or whatever for it. If it was then I am very interested in buying it now.
The game was the first game I had on the PS3 that lasted more than 5-7 hours so that was a huge plus and best of all there were no boring parts either.
The graphics were a huge leap from the already awesome looking PS2 and PSP incarnations in the series and I will never forget how Sony and Insomniac tried to push it as a Disney/*Pixar quality production.
The promotional stuff worked and because of their hype I believed that it indeed was of that quality back then, now 8 years later I will admit that it has aged a bit but it still looks gobsmacking good in many places and is indeed up there with Pixar stuff from the same era.
Tools Of Destruction carried the torch of having the best weapons ever in a game which was and has always been the main trademark of the series. Funny, Wacky, Amazing, Strange and downright silly at times and yet it never broke the game.
Ratchet & Clank: Quest For Booty:
After Tools Of Destruction’s Success, Insomniac had a huge problem and that was that all the fans of the series wanted more and they wanted it now!. Insomniac did its second largest mistake ever and decided to create a cut-down game or as they wanted to call it ” a PSN ” title. The game was meant to be a “while you wait for our next game (A Crack In Time) ” placeholder and while the idea sounded it good at first it made more bad than good to the series and the developer.
Today there are no problems with PSN titles as they have grown out of that ” It is a downloadable game so it doesn’t need to be an AAA game”. So what went wrong?, well first of all this game is actually brilliant and it has a few really great ideas and the graphics and production values are as good as always with Insomniac’s other games. The main problem was that it was completable in less than 3 hours and most people managed to do it in max 5 hours and was left with a big question mark “was that all?”.
The retail version came as surprise too and since it was a Ratchet & Clank title most shops decided to price it higher than it should have been so it didn’t take long before used copies of the game was everywhere.
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time:
After the “failure” of Quest For Booty came A Crack In Time, which is for many the best game in the series, the game excelled in just about every place possible and still managed to hold the series and brand close to heart. It presented many ingenious weapons and the time mechanics was as perfect as it could have been.
The graphics were bumped up a few notches and while the framerate was far from perfect it still managed to be pretty darn good for so many details and at a really good resolution.
So far this is the only game in the series to use the time travel thing and while I sort of understand why I still have to wonder why they haven’t put it in as a little bonus in the later games.
This is certainly one of the best games in the series if not the best one. It is a long quest, not too hard but if you want the trophies in it then you will have to work a bit for them. This was the first Ratchet & Clank game to have PSN trophies in it although all games in the series (even on the PS2) has an achievement system.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One:
This is the first console version in the series that was outside of the story set by the other games (Spin-off). It was released as the main game and with little info that the story and design were different to the rest of the games although its main feature was very hyped and mentioned everywhere, that feature was, of course, the 4 player co-op mode.
Insomniac wanted to try something different with this game and that was to go the co-op way, the game offered proper online too and best of all was that one could play 2 player co-op together with 2 others online at the same time, or 3-1 or 1-3 or whatever.
The game had its flaws though, it felt messy at times and it did not feel like a Ratchet & Clank game at times and one of the reasons was because of the co-op mode. The boss fights were also quite tame compared to what they could have been.
By all means, not a bad game, the graphics and the engine is superb and it is quite a feat to hold the standard and then some of the older games and at the same time put in a 4player mode.
Ratchet & Clank Trilogy:
It was bound to happen really as the fans requested the game for years and the PS3 had entered some sort of an “HD remakes” era where all the best games were to be ported over. 3 games from the PS2 era is included in this release (only one missing was Deadlocked.
3 Ratchet & Clank games on the same disc, 3 Platinum trophies and over 60 hours of gameplay if you wanted to play them properly. Every game has been fit for HD screens although with limited upgrades but important things like framerate etc has been taken care of.
So everything sounds magical right?, well not really as I got sick of the games before I had played em all as 3 games of this kind and length on 1 disc is a bit of an overkill, the same thing happened with Prince Of Persia HD trilogy too, that said though, me and my son have returned to the R&C trilogy now and we have decided to complete them now.
Ratchet & Clank Deadlocked/Gladiator is not included on this trilogy, why it was not included I don’t know but it was the 4th game in the series and the only one I have not played all that much yet.
Ratchet & Clank: Q-force:
Another spin-off title and this time doing something strange and useless as being a Tower Defense style of gameplay thing, the game had a lot of controversy around it and believe it or not that was not because of the (bad) gameplay.
The game was set out as a Cross-buy title (yey!) from the start so every marketing advert and such had the cross-buy logo on it and when the game was released its trophy lists was shared with the Vita too. The PS3 disc had a cross-buy feature where you activated it by doing some weird stuff. but! there was one problem though and that problem was that there was no Vita version released.
Insomniac did all sorts of stuff to ignore the forums and such and the only thing they said (at first) was that the Vita version was still in development.
Months passed and then the announcement came, the Vita version had been canceled due to technical issues.
The forums went red of course and a lot of negative press hit Insomniac, it hit them hard.
Insomniac put out a new announcement again and this time it was that the game was back in development for the Vita but this time a new team had taken over and that the game was to be released soon.
Nothing was heard for months, the Vita version came out and there was very little hype about it and it was almost like Insomniac wanted to be quiet about the release too. I went and downloaded the Vita version instantly as I had put the PS3 version on hold as I wanted to play something on the go. It took me 10 minutes to realize why Insomniac didn’t hype it, the Vita version was horrendous, slow, crappy looking and it didn’t help that the game was bad in the first place.
Ratchet & Clank: Deadlocked/Gladiator:
Yes, you are not dreaming here, the 4th game on PS2 was released on the PS3 in a shiny new HD remake. For some reason, the game was never released on disc and I am not sure if you can actually buy it online either.
The game was released to people who pre-ordered or whatever the Qforce game if I remember correctly, the code was sent in an email if you registered etc. The game might have been released on PSN for everyone at a later time for all I know but I have never bothered to check really.
I quite enjoyed this game on the PS2 but I never gave it a chance on the PS3 as it came at a time where I had too many games, that said, I will play it before the reboot is released next year.
The strong part of this game is that it has an awesome online part, one of the former games on PS2 had online too and that one was also very popular so it is safe to say that this one was good if not better.
Why this game was never included in the trilogy (could have been the first quadruple pack on the PS3..) and why the release was so quiet and maybe most of all why it was released as it was (no Blu-Ray) is a thing I really would like to get answers on.
Ratchet & Clank: Nexus:
This is the first game since A Crack In Time that ain’t a Spin-off game, the game was released 2 years ago and was for some reason hyped very little and the even stranger thing is how they managed to not release it for the PS4 also.
Nexus screams AAA from the very first minute and it didn’t take long before I realized that this game was not a rush job.
The graphics are as good as always and that goes for everything else, it was not a rehash nor a recycling project for sure and some of the boss fights brought back the R and C in Ratchet & Clank. Ingenious weapons as always and it was fun to experiment with all of them.
So the Ratchet & Clank series is back on track, it took them several years to get back but none of the spin-off’s nor the trilogy was bad in a way that could destroy the IP but they certainly lost some fans along the way.
Ok so this brings me to the games I have not got on a disc, I never bought Size Matters nor Secret Agent Clank for the PS2 as I was in a PSP zone at the time and I bought them online. Both games were quite decent really but the PSP had only one analog stick so it was fiddly at times, especially at boss fights.
There were also 2 more games released and both of them was stinkers and the format was, of course, exclusive to the mobile/telephone market. Ratchet & Clank Gone Mobile and Ratchet & Clank Gone home, 2 excellent names and the story are connected to each other. I bought a compatible phone as soon as the first game was out, it didn’t take me long to regret that.
Ok, so I will end this post with some info about the upcoming movie and the new Ratchet & Clank game. The new game is a tie-in to the upcoming movie which is actually a remake of the first game although it ain’t a direct one and the game has a lot of new locations and stuff so have no fear of it being another HD Remake as this one ain’t just that. Insomniac doesn’t want to call it a reboot but when I checked videos I can confirm that some locations are the same albeit with new graphics but so much new cool stuff has also been shown, time will tell how much of a new game this really is.
The announcement trailer from E3, in-game footage, looks wonderful.
A very good PS2 & PS4 compare video showing some of the locations that have been remade for the reboot.
One of the best looking levels that we have seen so far, looks amazing in my opinion.
Ok, that is all for now, thanks for your time and stay tuned for more articles soon. My vacation is soon over now, but I will be back soon with some big surprises.
All pictures from the game boxes are from my collection, the “fake deadlocked/gladiator box is from the Internet.