Archive for category Ratchet & Clank: Crack in Time

New Greatest Hits Added for PS3

If  you only have $29.99 at the moment and want to get a new game for your PS3 then here’s a great deal: seven new games have been added to the Greatest Hits line and are now available at half of their original launch price. Follow the link for the full list.

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Ratchet & Clank PS2 Collection to PS3: Hummm, maybe…

… but not from Insomniac Games. They could support Sony, if there is enough interest, though. That’s what the Burbank-based independent studio twitted a couple days ago, in response to a possibility of a compilation of R&C PS2 games:

“We won’t make it, but we’d support Sony if they decided to do it!”

At first, I thought it should be a good idea playing with my favorite lombax and his fellow robot in high definition. Then, I just realized that I already played with the duo in glorious high definition, and three times! First, in R&C: Tools of Destruction. Then, the PSN title R&C: Quest for Booty (disc-based in Europe), and finally R&C: A Crack in Time.

What do you think? Should it be a good idea to bring back those PS2 titles? Or we should just move along and wait for a brand new adventure from Insomniac?

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Crack in Time Impressions

CiT1

Improvements from Tools of Destruction

  • Challenge: One of the big problems with Ratchet ToD was the lack of challenge. CiT definitely nailed this one. I felt that completing the main campaign on the “hard” setting was on the easy side, but there is tons of challenge in getting the skill points and PSN trophies, doing the optional moon side-quests, collecting the Zoni/bolts, and most importantly, improved arena battles. I still prefer the approach of the older Ratchet games that spread the arena style challenges over the ends of different campaign missions in different non-arena environments.
  • Visuals: Compared with ToD, CiT adds tons of new graphical effects, filters, and brings back spherical levels. Overall it simply makes more skillful use of the same general technology.
  • Space Mission Hub: The space combat was pretty simple, but the big improvement was the easy to navigate mission and mini-moon hub.
  • Tons of Small Changes: The core game design is the same as ever, but there are tons of small tweaks and changes to everything about the game, which make the game feel fresh and improved.
  • Fun New Mini-Mechanics: Mini-Moon Side Missions are the big standout. Hover boots and time puzzles were also fun.
  • Aesthetic Improvement: Some of the levels really showed some artistic flair beyond the standard high production values that are expected from the series.
  • CiT2

    Positives that aren’t new to the series

  • Core Diverse Action/Platforming Gameplay
  • 60 FPS
  • Production Values: Animation, voice work, 3D graphics, colorful environments that feel alive, and the cut scene quality are all great.
  • Diversity and Level Design
  • Arena Battles: These challenges are often some of the best parts of the game.
  • Great Level Design + Well Balanced Battles
  • CiT3

    Negatives

  • No Flying: I loved the tilt wing flying segments (not the outer space stuff) in Tools of Destruction and was really hoping that they were going to take that to the next level. Instead, it was completely removed.
  • No Racing: Mario Galaxy had highly entertaining water race levels, Jak 2 + 3 had the best racing segments in the genre. I’m disappointed that the new Ratchet title doesn’t have anything similar. The hover-boots and rail grinding segments were nice, but weren’t fleshed out into full racing gameplay.
  • Father/Son Issues: There were many horribly awkward father-son dialog that made me want to slink out of the room. Whoever wrote this game had weird parenting issues and they felt wildly uncomfortable in a game.
  • Story: It’s extremely well voiced and animated, but the story and characters were unengaging.
  • Simple puzzles: Many of the puzzles such as the battery-bots and the omni-soaker felt almost like simplified chores.
  • CiT4

    Conclusion

    If you aren’t familiar with the series, it’s really fun: The core fun is the combat and managing all your different weapons and powers and figuring out how to tackle all the different zany and very well balanced levels and battle scenes and then getting awesome Pixar-like production values on top of that.

    If you are familiar with the series this is definitely a high point: lots of little improvements and enhancements and polishes to the Ratchet experience. Also, this is a full blown sequel with all new levels, monsters, story, gameplay adjustments, etc.

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    No more 60FPS games from Insomniac.

    irc60

    Insomniac Games conducted some interesting research into the correlation of Game’s graphics/frame rate and review scores/sales and came up with these two interesting results;

    • A higher framerate does not significantly affect the reviews of a game.

    • A higher framerate does not significantly affect sales of a game.

    You can look at Uncharted 2 (and even Halo 3) as a good example of a great game well recieved with a frame frate of 30FPS. The difference between the frame rates affects how smooth the gameplay is and more importantly how responsive the controls are. Insomniac have decided after this research that gamers/critics are not needing games to be at 60FPS and have decided that in the future they are willing to make the sacrifice in frame rate to make a game look better. Its a shame as I always thought the Resistence games could have been improved greatly with 60 FPS rate like the Call of Duty series.

    You can read the full research with all the answers over at the Insomniac Blog.

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