February 8, 2013

Dump Bin Diving: Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One

 

I love the Ratchet and Clank games but came into them late on the PS3. Tools of Destruction was one of the titles I picked up when I bought my PS3 back in 2007. Since then I have played all the PS3 titles (Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, and Crack in Time) as well as picking up the HD re-release compilation of the PS2 titles. After Crack in Time Insomniac tried something different with the series with All 4 One, a 4-player Ratchet & Clank Game. This seemed a bit odd, there was a try at a multiplayer based R&C game back on the PS2 with Deadlocked having Co-op and online multiplayer. All 4 One takes a different approach and tries to squeeze a normal R&C title into a 4-player Co-op romp that feels good yet looses some of the magic that makes Ratchet and Clank games wonderful. There is plenty of good things on display here. The action is furious and fun, it is still a great showcase of what the PS3 can do visually, the writing is humorous, and the platforming is still great despite the camera being restrictive. One other nice thing about the game, even though it is meant to be a Co-op romp, you can still play the game solo as I did. I played as Ratchet with Clank assisting me with the Co-op parts. The A.I. does a good job of keeping up with you but does, from time to time, makes poor decisions and dies quite frequently. The game is a bit longer than I expected it to be. Most 4-Player romps can be taken down in a day or two, this almost has the same content as a full Ratchet and Clank solo adventure, which is a good thing. There is plenty of gold bolts to find and plenty of unlockable costumes, art, etc. The two biggest complaints I had for this game is the story is kind of weak. The playable characters, Ratchet, Clank, Captain Quark, and Dr. Nefarious, all have great, if not repeated once to often, banter but they never give you a good reason for Nefarious to be there; he feels like he was thrown in because the spun a wheel and it landed on him. The boss fights feel like clones of each other. They are big monsters in different clothing and slightly different attacks. The camera is the elephant in the room. The right analog stick has been reassigned for inventory duty and the camera is static. This is problematic when the game wants you to go in a single direction, but you want to head back to collect some bolts you may have missed because of a fight. There is a 2-D scrolling jet pack sections that are fun but repeat. Despite some of my gripes I had a good time with the game. All 4 One, like other entries in the series, has some interesting weaponry; the Critter Strike was my favorite. The writing had me laughing; there was a Portal cake reference that ended in a B.Y.O.B. joke, and how can you not be afraid of a giant robot sub-boss named Mr. Perkins? The game is available for cheap, Amazon has it listed for $11.59, that is slightly less than what I payed for it. Despite the flaws, for the asking price, I can recommend this game with a clear conscious. The Co-op can lead to some good player griefing but the static camera can get in the way. If you have never played a Ratchet and Clank game before, this isn’t a good starting point. The game is good but there is better out there for you to start with.

 

Is it worth it: Yes, if you have played the other games in the franchise and need something to hold you over. Please don’t let this be the game you start the franchise with, while good, it does have some issues the other games never had. The Co-op or single player is enjoyable with Insomniac’s imaginative weaponry, and the famous Mr. Zurkon makes a return! “Stupid Furball, Mr. Zurkon does not need Nanotech; Mr. Zurkon lives on fear!”

 

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One – cheapest hit was Amazon at $11.59, brand new.

 

Dump Bin Div­ing is posted every Fri­day. It is a look at games that are with in a $20 bud­get, that may or may not be worth your time and hard earned money. The games maybe down­load­able or disc based.

 

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