The addictive Ratchet & Clank series receives an HD remake for PlayStation 3 with a trilogy of classics at a compelling price-point of $29.99. This is the first out of all the HD Collections to be less that $39.99. If you buy the retail version of the game not only do you get three HD remake games of the best in the series but a downloadable 10th anniversary avatar and early access to the Sly: Thieves in Time demo.
Ratchet & Clank was released on November 4, 2002 in North America and Europe for the PlayStation 2. In the game, Supreme Executive Chairman Drek plans to take pieces from other planets across the Solana Galaxy and create one new planet for his people, the Blarg, whose planet has become polluted and uninhabitable. Aside from the two protagonists, the game also introduces Captain Qwark, who appears in the following games as both enemy and ally.
The game introduced features such as the ability to purchase items, weapons, and unlocking gadgets as the game progresses, which have become a staple of the series in following games. The first in this series does not feature the upgrade system of experience earned for enemies killed; instead, the player may purchase stronger, gold versions of select weapons using a combination of hidden Gold Bolts and regular bolts.
Playing the very first Ratchet and Clank was a nostalgic trip through the whole way. Every single classic joke and dialogue was still funny and enjoyable. You really do see how Ratchet and Clank first start out and they didn’t start out the best of friends since Ratchet couldn’t stand Clank for the majority of the game but soon they find a way to become friends. Playing this game after playing all of the newer ones makes you realize how important the feature of strafing is to this series. The ability to hover your jetpack by double tapping R1 and then strafing with L2 did help but it was tedious to use in the heat of battle.
Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando was released for the PlayStation 2 on November 11th 2003 in North America, November 21st in Europe and December 11th in Japan. The game begins with Ratchet and Clank being hired by the company Megacorp to find a small creature that was stolen from the company’s labs. Ratchet finds the thief and returns the creature to Megacorp before learning that the creature, called a “protopet”, is a dangerous monster which reproduces at amazing speed and that Megacorp is planning to market it to unknowing customers across the Galaxy. The duo must stop the protopet menace and save the galaxy.
The gameplay in the second game gets greatly improved from it’s prequel, as Ratchet feels a lot smoother to use and the inclusion of the strafing ability makes the game a lot less frustrating. The second game also introduces 18 new weapons, such as the Blitz Gun, Seeker and Lava Gun. Each weapon has a “growth bar”, which increases when the weapon is used to defeat enemies. The weapon is upgraded once the bar is filled, doubling its power and changing the design of its shot. The game also includes the ability to buy full suited armor for Ratchet and gadgets from the original Ratchet & Clank make a return, such as the Swingshot. The player can also use a save file from the original Ratchet & Clank to access a selection of “retro” weapons from that game, bringing the total number of available weapons to twenty-four. This feature can also be done in the collection as long as you kept your Ratchet and Clank 1 save file on your PS3’s hard-drive.
This is what a sequel is supposed to be like; make every single aspect of the game better in every single way. Weapons in this game make the first game’s weapons (except for the RYNO1) look weak. The addition of strafing made controlling Ratchet absolutely superior to any of the Jak games. With the inclusion of arena battles, hover bike races, spherical worlds, and space combat the replay value shoots even higher. Also after completing the game, the player may also enter “challenge mode”, which is more difficult but allows the player to start with the weapons and health that they had when they finished the game the first time and adds the ability to multiply the amount of bolts you earn. The less damage you take, the more the bolts multiply. Going Commando out of all of the Ratchet and Clank games made the biggest jump in improvement.
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal is the third installment of the series and was released on the Playstation 2 on November 3, 2004, Europe on November 12, 2004 and Japan on November 25, 2004. The game opens with Ratchet and Clank finding a news report about Ratchet’s home planet, Veldin, which is under attack by an army of aliens named Tyhrranoids. The lead suspect is a mysterious villain by the name of Dr. Nefarious. After they help to defeat the Tyhrranoids on Veldin, the Galactic President tells Ratchet that Captain Qwark, an enemy from the first two games in the series, is the only person to ever have defeated Dr. Nefarious and that Qwark’s help is needed to defeat him again. Ratchet finds Qwark on a lone planet, and from a MegaCorp experiment, he has gone senile as he thinks he is a giant monkey. Ratchet takes Qwark to the Starship Phoenix, whose commander has been ordered to help Ratchet and Qwark defeat Dr. Nefarious.
The gameplay is similar to previous games in the series but introduces new features such as a much more refined control system and allowing you to finally modify the rotation speed which makes a difference. It has three different control schemes; Third Person mode which is the classic controls, First Person mode and Lock-Strafe mode. The game offers another eight new weapons with returning favorite weapons from the previous two like the Suck Cannon or the Bouncer and the game offers an even deeper upgrade system than Going Commando. Another great addition was the second quick selection wheel by holding down R1 while also holding down Triangle. This made the game feel a lot smoother as you’re not annoyingly pressing pause to use a certain gadget. If you don’t want to take space up on your first weapon wheel selection screen you can set gadgets you don’t need to your second wheel.
Up Your Arsenal is the first in the series to offer online multiplayer. The service was terminated in October 2011, however this PlayStation 3 HD version revives it’s online mode. The multiplayer features three different modes; Team Death Match, Capture the Flag and Siege which is a mode where you take bases and conquer each part of the map until you are able to assault on the other team’s main base and take out their generator hidden inside the main headquarters. All modes are available on all of the maps and have a selection of the weapons from the single-player game which also temporarily level up for one match of multiplayer.
When I first heard this was the name for the next Ratchet and Clank game, Up Your Arsenal did not stick well with me but that didn’t change any opinion; I had playing through it. Even after the releases of the many Ratchet and Clank games this generation, Up Your Arsenal is still my favorite and even though I thought Going Commando’s story was a bit more enjoyable, the Boss Battles in Up Your Arsenal takes the cake. The characters were a lot more interesting too like Courtney Gears for example. Unlike the first two games, the main villain stays as Ratchet’s arch nemesis for games to come and was actually someone to be reckoned with. The four vs four multiplayer is very fun and the maps are extremely memorable as it was the first multiplayer game ever I took seriously and got me into multiplayer gaming. Out of the three games on this collection, Up your arsenal will make you laugh more than any of the three.
Out of all of the HD Collections i’ve recently played, the nostalgia level in this collection hit harder than any other. The music brought back so many memories. Every single stage in all three gave me that “I remember this stage!” feeling and the HD face lift to all three games just made them much better. I would recommend this collection to anyone of this generation that didn’t play any of the three but played the recent R&C games. The single player campaign in all 3 of the games will make you laugh a lot and the multiplayer in the 3rd game is booming and people are loving it. I really can’t think of anything bad about these classics that their sequels didn’t fix. These games are just flat out masterpieces.
+ Three masterpieces of last generation for the lowest price we’ve seen from an HD collection
+ Replay value that will make your head explode
+ Multiplayer in Up Your Arsenal is still impressively fun
+ The Bonus extras that come with the package are an absolute steal
- The digital version shouldn’t have been the same price as the retail especially since it did not include all of the extra content