Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time
Even though I haven’t played all the games in their franchise, I still consider Ratchet and Clank to be old friends. Up Your Arsenal was my first exposure to their story and it completely won me over. I picked up Deadlocked next at about the time I got my PS3 but didn’t finish it because the software-based backward compatibility of the PS3 didn’t work so well with this game for some reason (I intend at some time to fire-up the PS2 and finish this game at some point.) Then came Tools of Destruction for the PS3 which was simply an astonishing sensory feast. Quest for Booty I have to say was a little rough, but still enjoyable. Now with A Crack in Time, we’re back on track and the sense of wonder has returned!
It’s All About the Funny
Now of course there’s no way to write a review of an R&C installment without lavishing praise on the weapons, and I’ll get to that. For me, however, the thing that keeps me coming back is the writing, or specifically, the humor. By now, we have a very-well developed cast of characters just like some of the better television sitcoms have sported over the years. Like WKRP in Cincinnati or The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Captain Quark is back with all his blustering buffoonery intact and as was revealed at the end of Quest for Booty, Doctor Nefarious returns in full megalomanical splendor with valet Lawrence in tow. Not only the characters, but I’ve come to look forward to all the animated expository links as they been the source of some of the best whimsy in the entire franchise. An added bonus are the radio commercials playing on Ratchet’s spaceship during space missions; Rusty Pete and Captain Slag from the previous two games provide some of the snappiest dialogue.
Then there's the Groove-A-Tron. Not a new weapon, we had this in our arsenal in Tools of Destruction, but God! does it deliver! I think from a developer's standpoint, this had to be one of the more delightful challenges; how should the major and NPC characters rock-out when caught in the thrall of the killer disco ball? This is what I find do doggone hilarious. Just when the game gets as close as it can to drama, seeing a heretofore dignified character bust-a-move is just too sublime for words.
Like the James Bond brand in motion pictures, R&C is similarly a quality stamp of approval in console gaming.