Review - Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Review - Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time

Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time



Unfortunately I actually haven't played many Ratchet and Clank games - not because of any dislike toward the series but merely because I can't get to every game out there. Luckily though, I did manage to get some serious playtime with "A Crack in Time" and I must say I was definitely pleasantly surprised.

As a direct sequel to "Tools of Destruction" (the first Ratchet and Clank Future title released on the PS3) "A Crack in Time" once again follows the titular characters' adventures through the galaxy. Since Clank, a highly intelligent and cognitive little robot, was taken away from his best friend Ratchet, a cat-like creature/mechanic called a Lombax, at the end of the first title you'll actually be switching off between the two at certain points during the game.

The game begins with Clank waking to the evil Dr. Nefarious ranting about yet another plan for ridding the universe of non-robots. Things humorously go awry and Clank eventually finds himself in the "Great Clock" a gigantic time-keeping mechanism at the center of the universe. Without divulging too much of the plot, the sections of the game played as Clank consist of repairing the said clock through a plethora of standard platforming moments and clever time-bending puzzles.
I believe rocket-launchers come standard in all Ratchet and Clank titles.

However, slightly more of the game will be spent playing as Ratchet as he travels from planet to planet, desperately attempting to find his missing robo-buddy (while also stumbling across Dr. Nefarious' plan and a few other sub-plot points). This delightfully cartoony premise is made further enjoyable by the variety of colorful worlds, arsenal of ridiculous and awesome upgradeable weapons, and genuinely fun and engaging platforming and shooting mechanics.

While Clank may spend his time repairing the Great Clock and solving mind-prodding puzzles, Ratchet usually prefers the route of shooting the snot out of enemy aliens with everything from standard blasters and sniper-rifles to weapons that fire heat-seeking buzz-saws or open inter-dimensional rifts (although standard, and fun, platforming puzzles will dot this side of the journey as well).
As the title implies Clank can crack time to "record" multiple versions of himself.

Yes, "A Crack in Time's" control set-up is certainly more platforming/action oriented, but where the title throws a wrench in the genre standards is with a focus on solid shooting mechanics that are definitely simple to pick up. Along with collecting and upgrading various weapons and armor, Ratchet will also stumble across some unique tools like the Hoverboots that add yet another layer of fun to traversing the handful of worlds available.

As if that wasn't enough content, developer Insomniac Games has also included a fairly fleshed out way of navigating from planet to planet in the various star systems with Ratchet's space-ship Aphelion. The really cool thing about this is that it adds a sand-box-ish side to the game where players are able to take on side-missions and explore smaller planets and moons for collectables and secret items.
I also believe Aphelion is actually the only female character in the game... well there are some Valkyries but once you see them you may agree with me.

What truly raises fairly standard, though often clever, game-play devices above similar platforming titles though is the downright enchanting graphical and plot presentation. From the brilliantly bright facial animations, to the variety of interesting landscapes, to each character's quirky movements, Insomniac certainly proves its' art team is more than capable. Animated faces and fluid character movement wouldn't be much though without the truly spot-on hilarious writing and voice-acting.
While you'll see plenty of familiar furry faces expect a few new ones as well.

Though it's apparent a lot of energy went in to making such a polished title there are a few pieces that definitely fell in between the cracks when they could've used a bit more time. While the music is more than competent most of the time it can get repetitive and certain sound effects are looped into annoyance. I also came across a few points where a game-altering glitch or bug thrust me into hitting the start button and forcefully exiting.

Minor bumps aside, Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time is just about as smooth and delightful as platforming/action/adventure titles get.


The Final Verdict:



Pros:

  1. Enjoyable, endearing, and hilarious plot and characters.

  • Colorful and crisp graphical presentation.

  • Clever and often unique puzzles.

  • Solid and fun platforming and shooting game-play.

  • Great voice work.

  • Awesome arsenal of upgradeable weapons (including a glove that throws disco balls that make enemies dance uncontrollably... I mean COME ON! AWESOME!)



Cons:

  1. Some sound effects can get irritating.

  • While the music is great at times it can be bland at others.

  • No multi-player or extra content outside of a few play-throughs of the main campaign.

  • Expect a few bugs and glitches to throw Ratchet's wrench into the games gears.



The Score:


Presentation/Concept: 8/10
Music/Sound: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Game-play: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

Conclusion:
As far as I'm concerned Ratchet and Clank is one of, if not the, best platforming series on the PS3 currently. While it may not quite be Italian plumber caliber it certainly holds its own. I highly suggest that anyone with a PS3 looking for a quirky, fun, classic game to play pick up Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time.

~Review by Please Reconnect Controller
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