Ratchet and Clank Collection Review

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Title: Ratchet and Clank Collection
Developer: Mass Media, Inc
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 3.3 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail
PSTV Support: No

There are a lot of different First-Party franchises that Sony has up their sleeve.  God of War.  Sly Cooper.  Ratchet and Clank.  Among others, a lot of these franchises haven’t seen a lot of light on the PlayStation Vita.  It has always been one of the biggest requests from the fanbase that Sony bring more first-party games to their portable powerhouse, and many don’t see a lot of these games coming.  While Sony is bringing first-party games, like Freedom Wars, many fans want games from franchises they already know.

In light of all of this, there are games in each of these franchises on the Vita.  In many of them, however, they are not new games.  Sony has made it a habit of bringing over HD Collections from the PS3 to the Vita, so gamers can take these classic games on the go.  There are HD Collections on the Vita for many of these franchises, from God of War to Jak and Daxter.  There are others as well, and more could be coming in the future.

One such franchise that hasn’t seen much on the Vita is Ratchet and Clank.  The Vita did get a digital-only version of Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault, which was met with mediocre reception from the fanbase and reviewers alike.  Sony is trying again, though.  A digital-only title in North America, here is our official review of Ratchet and Clank Collection!

Story

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Ratchet and Clank Collection is three games in one.  From back in the PlayStation 2 era are the first three games in the series.  Contained here are Ratchet and Clank, Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando, and Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal.

The series follows the adventures of Ratchet, a humanoid mechanic called a Lombax and his tiny robotic side-kick named Clank.  As the two of them come together, they use both their specialty to travel from planet to planet to save the universe from various evil organizations and groups.  From the very first game of the series to the third game, they will be flying in a space ship and foiling evil plots.

The storyline of the series isn’t an incredibly deep and immersive plot.  However, it does have a sort of Sci-Fi Family-Oriented feel to it.  The dialogue is also set up in a way that will bring at least a few laughs.  The games aren’t as full of comedy as games like Hyperdimension Neptunia or Disgaea, but it will keep you entertained.

Gameplay

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Like many of the then-first party titles back then, Ratchet and Clank is a 3D Platformer Action game.  As you progress through the game, your goal will be to fight off enemies and progress through worlds full of platforms and tasks to fulfill.  You will also be fighting enemies and bosses as well as collecting Nuts and Bolts to be used to buy and upgrade an arsenal of weapons that will become available to you as you play through each game.

The games deal in going to various Worlds, which is similar to games like Spryo the Dragon or Super Mario 64, but the gameplay doesn’t rely on collection key items like Power Stars or Dragon Eggs that add to your total.  Instead, it adopts a more traditional-oriented sense with progressing through levels.  You have tasks and key missions for you to take part in.  These are mostly dealing with exploring each area, collecting upgrades for your characters, and/or reaching checkpoints and fighting bosses.

In the game, there will be areas for you to navigate as well as puzzles for you to solve.  The areas you go through will require you to collect upgrades and powerups in the game to be able to come through.  For example, you have to get the helicopter powerup for Clank to be able to jump across large gaps, or collect a grappling hook to climb some buildings.  It’s all a matter of collecting key items and progressing until you can progress the story and fight bosses, though there are optional quests as well.

While this sounds very linear, there is a certain amount of exploration involved.  For example, in some worlds, you will need a Key Item to proceed that comes from a different world you haven’t visited yet.  Not all of the optional side-quests will unlock quests for items like this, but some of them do.  You will have to hunt around the huge worlds to find every item you can find and use them in nearly all of the worlds to be able to keep progressing and getting further.  You may find yourself constantly jumping from world to world to find something you need.

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Combat will make use of your Wrench as well as other weapons you can collect.  Unlike tools for progressing, weapons must be bought.  As you progress through each level, you will find kiosks to buy new weapons with the Nuts and Bolts that you collect by defeating enemies and destroying various objects throughout each world.  New weapons will also become available the further you get in each game, and you can add them all to your arsenal.

The big thing about the optional weapons is that they require ammo.  As you go through the game, you can find crates that will give you more ammo.  While the wrench can be used endlessly, some of the optional weapons will want to be used wisely, as some areas are tricky to get through if you don’t have ammo with your optional weapons.

While each of the three games in this collection do add various things like weapons, armor, AI helpers and more, the core gameplay remains the same.  Whether you’re playing 1, 2, or 3, you will be traveling from world to world, platforming, and fighting enemies.  With each game taking a good 10-15 hours to complete, this collection will definitely give you a lot to do.

Controls

As far as controls are concerned, Ratchet and Clank uses most of the buttons on the system, but does it in a fairly simple way.  There aren’t any touch controls, and you won’t have to worry about holding down several buttons at the same time to use some features of the games.  All three games pretty much use the same control scheme as well, so you don’t have to worry about learning from new each time you finish a game.

Controlling your character will be done with the Left Analog Stick or the D-Pad.  The Right Analog Stick will be used as well, to control the camera angle.  The X Button will be used to jump and glide and the Triangle Button will be used to cycle through your optional weapons and tools.  The Square and Circle buttons will be used for your combat.  The Square Button allows you to switch to and attack with your wrench and the Circle button does the same for your currently-equipped optional weapon.  The L and R Buttons are also used.  L can be used to center the camera and R is used to crouch down or perform long jumps.

All in all, the controls are explained to you pretty well and they’re easy to get the hang of.

Presentation

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This is the section of this review that will be the most crucial if you’re debating whether you want to take the plunge and buy this collection.  First of all, the game looks good, visually, for the most part.  The in-game visuals look like upgraded versions of the PS2 versions of the game, which looks good on the Vita’s screen.  There are not very many jagged edges to find in the game, though the cinematic scenes can definitely use more work.  Like God of War Collection, all of the scenes were not optimized for the Vita’s screen.  They are cropped, which could turn off some people.

Other than that are the technical issues with the first two games.  If you have never played the games before, you may not even notice this, but there is reaction lag in the first game of the collection.  When you press a button or move the Analog Stick, it will be about 1 second of lag before the game reacts to your command.  After awhile, you get used to it, but this is another part that has not been optimized for this release.

The final downer to the presentation of the game is in the second game.  When you progress through it, there will be many cases where you will have the game stop and freeze on you.  Granted, this hasn’t happened to everyone, and it doesn’t keep you from being capable of finishing the game.  However, there are a lot of areas where the game will seem to crash and freeze on you, and that’s a huge problem.  No one wants a game that requires them to constantly re-load their save data.

Overall

Ratchet and Clank Collection is a game that is full of content.  With three classic PS2 games, you will stay busy for at least 30-40 hours, if not more.  However, gamers should purchase with caution.  Reaction Lag and crashing in two of the three games will keep this collection from being a highly-suggested title from us.  Neither of these are game-breaking, but they can be very frustrating and a hindrance on the overall experience.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Ratchet and Clank Collection a 7/10

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