Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank franchise has had a great journey so far. Critics have always been nice to them. With good reason though. They are quite enjoyable and deserve a place in your console. This isn’t to say that this current installment is without fault. There are some areas that are bland or just not as strong as other areas. I will get to that later.

The game picks up from Ratchet & Clank : Tools of Destruction. Clank was “captured” by the Zoni and Ratchet is now in search for him across the galaxy. Clank is sent to The Great Clock on behalf of the evil Dr. Nefarious. Nefarious is trying to learn the secrets of the clock so that he can control time. The Zoni want to protect the clock and keep the universe on time. Okay, so now we have a main purpose of the game : stop Nefarious and join Rachet and Clank.

Ratchet and Clank have two different but similar gameplay mechanics and missions through out the game. Ratchets area is straightforward shooting, mild puzzle solving, acquiring different weapons, and flying around the galaxy helping others. Clanks is more confined in the Great Clock. He has to fix destroyed areas, fix time problems on other planets, and solve section puzzles. Now it is the puzzles that cause the first problem in Clank story. Clank is able to make “copies” of himself to assist in the puzzles. These copies will hold buttons, lower/raise platforms, and open doors. You work your way up in difficulty, but some of them just seem like time wasters. This can become frustrating. Timing of your “copies” is everything. Luckily, there is an easy out if needed. You can bypass some of the puzzles, but it will cost you. Clanks gameplay seems to be just for adding time to the game. Some of it makes sense to the story, but in general, feels useless.

With Ratchet there is more excitement. Shooting and flying around the galaxy trying to hunt down Clank and Dr. Nefarious. Upgrading weapons require bolts (money), it is not difficult to get bolts. They are in everything you shoot, smash, or destroy. Side missions, mini games, and an awesome gladiator style game in the Battleplex will help in getting a fat wallet. The different moons that you are able to visit in each galaxy sector are quite fun.

The environments and level layouts are creative. The graphics are mesmerizing and very detailed.  The space scenes are gorgeous.

An easy 15 hours can be spent in the game. I  do not see any true replay value afterward, maybe if there had been a multiplayer aspect. Leveling up each weapon seems useless and after the game is over, some of the larger more destructive weapons can be transfered into a Challenge mode. You will end up using the same 2-4 weapons all the time.

Ratchet & Clank : A Crack in Time is a great weekend rent.

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Game Ratings and You : Based on a True Story

“Say there little Johnny, I see you are playing Modern Warfare 2. That sure is violent and pretty foul mouthed. Where did you get it?”

“Mom bought it for me for my  12th birthday.”

“Did your mom also get you a pack of cigarettes and a subscription to Playboy?”

Moral of this story – Parents, pay attention to the rating system on games.

My thumbs are sore.

I know. Another blog about video games. But hear me out on this.

Let’s face it, gaming can be, for some of us, an expensive hobby or lifestyle. Sure , it is not crack, even though we get addicted to certain games and break out in cold sweats thinking about them. It would be nice to know if the games that get great reviews are really worth it to the casual gamer or the one that budgets the games they rent or buy.

That is why I am here. I am not the best gamer in the world, but I know a good game when I play it. Sometimes hype can make certain games seem golden. I will find out if they are pure gold nuggets or nuggets wrapped in gold foil.

Games that I will be addressing over the next few weeks : Ratchet & Clank -A Crack In Time, Assassin’s Creed 2, Brutal Legend, Modern Warfare 2, and Borderlands.

My plan is to keep a review a week, maybe more if time lands in my lap.