Review: Ratchet and Clank Trilogy (HD Collection)

The original Ratchet and Clank trilogy from the PS2 has made its way over to the PS3 and PS Vita. The original trilogy (Ratchet and Clank, Ratchet and Clank: Locked and Loaded, Ratchet and Clank 3) follows the titular heroes as they protect various galaxies from regular foe Dr Nefarious and a few other nemesis with more than sinister intentions. Each game tackles a different story and are wildly imaginative and humorous.

The age of the games definitely shows visually, 2002 was the launch of the original Ratchet and Clank nearly 14 years ago to be exact but don’t let that deter you. There has still been a significant amount of work done to polish up and smooth the majority of the textures in game, as well as adding some more depth and layers to the back ground of the game.

The voices have been transferred without skipping a beat and from my unshakable memory they are just as accurate from the first time I played these games right through. Solid voice work mixed with the classic Ratchet and Clank sounds means an excellent HD port.

Focusing directly on the PS Vita iteration and considering this is a port from a much older system, I couldn’t be more impressed! Taking into account other ports of that era cannot consistently hold a solid frame rate, the Ratchet and Clank ports suffer from absolutely no drops that I encountered during my gametime. Sticking around the 30 frame per second mark is certainly a great feat.

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The way the controller was ported over was basically flawless, following a smooth transition with great response time, unfortunately at times the game can feel a fraction clunky which is in no fault of the developers but the true age of the games showing itself. Mass Media made a conscious decision to eliminate any real need to use the awkward touch screen on the back, allocating it to the crouch button and a few menu movements was a brilliant move.

The main playable character is Ratchet, whom is controlled via third person, though a first person mode to view the player’s surroundings is available. The player traverses different environments with a large collection of unusual comic gadgets and weapons, using them to defeat enemies and pass obstacles. A staple of what made Ratchet and Clank so remarkable were the diverse environments, tight controls and sheer fun of third person shooting and platforming. Setting the bar for future action/adventure games, Insomniac implemented an XP system for both characters and for weapons, something that was carried on to Insomniac’s other IP’s. 

Trophy hunters will be pleased to know that there is a specific trophy list for each game, opening up an abundance of challenges for those who are so inclined. Purchases of this game on the PSN store are also gifted with a cross buy opportunity allowing them to play the entirety of these games on their PS3 and PS Vita. Unfortunately there was no cross-save feature that I found, which seems quite odd considering that the trophy list is shared between the consoles.