(PlayStation Vita)

The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy (PlayStation Vita)

Game Review

The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Sammy Barker

Screw loose

If the well of original PlayStation Vita content is drying up, then its fountain of high-definition re-releases is overflowing. The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy is the latest in a long line of PlayStation 2 compilations to nonchalantly sidle onto Sony’s struggling handheld system, following closely in the slipstream of the God of War Collection and The Sly Collection. Sadly, the quality of these so-called remasters has been mixed at best – but does this particular port come with Gadgetron’s coveted seal of approval?

Well, it’s certainly not a clanger of Captain Qwark-sized proportions, but it still has its share of interplanetary problems. Fortunately, these issues are largely specific to the quality of the conversions on offer here, as the games themselves are a hoot. For those out of the loop, you play as Ratchet, a loveable Lombax with a particular penchant for gallantly saving the galaxy. Accompanied by his robotic companion Clank, you must use a combination of acrobatics and combat to off various intergalactic adversaries.

This compilation includes three equally innuendo-heavy titles: Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. All three build upon the same blueprints, though the latter two releases are much more ambitious than developer Insomniac Games’ inaugural PlayStation 2 outing. While the first foray focuses firmly on the run and gun action, the newer outings layer light role-playing mechanics on top to excellent effect; there’s little more satisfying than fighting with an overpowered assault rifle.

Of course, this series’ real appeal is its outlandish roster of weird and wonderful weaponry, and you’ll happen upon a few deadly doozies during the course of all three campaigns. From the particularly potent Suck Cannon to the sheer silliness of the Sheepinator, you’ll fast find a firearm that makes you laugh. The old-school weapon wheel allows you to cycle between eccentric armaments at will, too, so you won’t ever need to pick and choose between the projectiles that you want to use.

And that’s handy because all three releases are riotous at their tamest and downright ridiculous at their most brash. The addition of strafing really makes the gunplay sing in the later entries, but this mechanic is curiously mapped to the rear touchpad which makes it a little more awkward to use than it should be. At the very least the framerate holds up well across all three titles, though describing this as a ‘high-definition’ remaster is stretching things a little – aliasing issues and murky textures prevent them all from reaching their potential.

Nevertheless, the big problem is that the first game is borderline broken. This franchise has always favoured fighting ahead of precision platforming, but obnoxious input lag means that you’ll be staring at several fail screens the second that you reach a series of perfectly placed podiums. It’s possible to get through the game despite the appearance of these ugly issues, but you’re going to need a fairly high frustration threshold if you intend to do so without desperately attempting to flush your format down the toilet.

Considering that the other two titles play perfectly well, it’s a bit of a bizarre oversight that lessens the appeal of the overall package. And that’s a real shame, because there’s some great stuff here; from the classy putdowns of chief executive Chairman Drek to the spoof detective drama Secret Agent Clank, the developer’s propensity to poke fun at popular culture is pretty much unparalleled anywhere else. Sure, the cartoon tomfoolery can grate a little at times, but the studio maintains a pretty high standard of humour throughout the course of this 40-hour compilation.

Conclusion

The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy is a real hoot, but the outrageous input lag in the first title isn’t a particularly funny joke. There’s dozens of hours of great gaming here, but the aforementioned issues mean that you’re going to want to focus on the two newer titles in this collection. Fortunately, the infusion of role-playing mechanics make these later releases the more entertaining adventures anyway – though the rear touchpad strafing and somewhat subpar visuals suggest that you’re better off enjoying them on the PlayStation 3.

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User Comments (24)

BenTarrant

#1

BenTarrant said:

The drop in visuals is unsurprising but it's a shame about the first game. I'll probably stick to my PS3 versions while occasionally letting out a muffled sob when I think about R&C on PS4.

Punished_Boss_84

#2

Punished_Boss_84 said:

Mass Media strikes again! In all seriousness and sadness this is what i expect of ports by the platform holder on PS Vita. #4thegamers ;)

RawShark

#8

RawShark said:

Portable Ratchet & Clank has been a bit of a mixed bag before. Size Matters in the PSP had elements that were borderline unfinished. Not to mention a skyboarding mini game that had to be the most diabolically bad excuse for a side quest I think I've ever encountered. But overall it got more things right than it got wrong. I guess this collection continues the theme of tentative recommendations. For me the best R&C is still Tools of Destruction.

get2sammybAdmin

#9

get2sammyb said:

@RawShark I think A Crack In Time is the best one. I'm really looking forward to this PS4 remake of the first game, though - hope we get to see more at GamesCom.

jmburks

#10

jmburks said:

I never played these when they were on the ps2 so i'm actaully looking forward to it on my Vita. I just hope it comes to America soon!

SecondServing

#11

SecondServing said:

Mass Media strikes again! Damn it! I was really hoping this one would be different!!! R&C on the go sounded really good too. :(

Gamer83

#13

Gamer83 said:

I just don't get how there are any issues at all with the games in any of these collections. The Vita is more than capable of running them and these issues just make the port job seem really lazy.

spyro202

#14

spyro202 said:

Kind of Jak and Daxter collection on vita all over again with the first game having issues but the second and third games being played alright...

Bad-MuthaAdebisi

#15

Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

I've played one of the ratchet and clank titles on vita, don't recall which but it was pretty awful, I didn't see the point at all and would have been a lot better as a more polished side scroller.

JeffreyG

#16

JeffreyG said:

Hmm... Funny, I haven't noticed any input lag so far, but maybe I'm not far enough into the game? Does it happen at a specific point? (And by the way, the game is called The R&C Trilogy, not HD Trilogy ;)

I'm personally really enjoying it so far, it's the first time I'm playing any of these games and they seem to have aged pretty well. :)

Carl-G

#17

Carl-G said:

AMAZING PS2 games they are anyway :D Can't wait for the 1st one in PS4'o'Vision next year :P :P :P

get2sammybAdmin

#18

get2sammyb said:

@JeffreyG Sure, but the product description reads: "Two PlayStation heroes are back to relive their first three adventures, remastered in stunning High Definition."

JeffreyG

#19

JeffreyG said:

Read the description for the PS3 version. They just copied the text, only removing "for PS3". :P

Heavyman99

#20

Heavyman99 said:

At least the games run smoothly this time, which may be why Mass Media decided to downgrade the visuals this much. Doesn't look bad though. I might pick them up if this were actually coming to America eventually.

BertoFlyingFox

#21

BertoFlyingFox said:

Yeesh, they can't even port games to the damn thing correctly.

Touchpad strafing.....bleh. I dont know who liked the idea of putting back touchpads on an expensive handheld system, I guess they figured people enjoy fumbling expensive things between their fingers.

"Gamers like dropping their phones right? Then they'll love this!!"

tonyp1987

#24

tonyp1987 said:

I haven't found a problem with ratchet & clank one on the vita I'm almost finish too. The only thing is I cannt do the trick at the race to get the trophy!!!!!! I read that the 2nd one has a game breaking glitch(physical edition) is the digital one the same?

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