Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ratchet and Clank Suck

I really liked Ratchet and Clank. Their third game, on PS2, was great fun. Being a PS3 owner, I was excited to see the next installment of Ratchet and Clank in High Definition. The game was mediocre, really. The worst problem I had with the game was how dark thing where - the lighting simply was horrible. I know Insomniac Games is able to do Darkness well - because there are plenty of darkened corridors and levels in the Resistance Fall of Man. So I know they know how to make a game visibly viewable. But not with Ratchet and Clank.

Oh, but they do have an option to raise the lighting level - that helps, right? Nope - not all. See, while there is pitch black darkness in the shade, for example under some bushes, everything else is crisp and bright as can be. So raising the lighting level doesn't help - because it just makes the brighter parts of the game blindingly bright.

Another horrible problem the game suffered from was the voice volume level. I must not have the right sound set up or something - but it became increasingly hard to hear, let alone know, what characters where saying. And really, half the fun of the series is it's humor. Again - I know Insomniac games knows how to do sound volume right as well - because their much better series "Resistance" does it just fine.

Anyway - I wanted to enjoy this series so much, that I even gave the series a second try with "Quest for Booty" - the downloadable game off the PS3 network. My word - I cannot see ANYTHING! They literally have you stumbling around these piss poor pitch black caves where you are guaranteed to die - multiple times - just trying to figure out where to go. They have these annoying glowing creatures you can pick up - but they stop being helpful once you go in a direction where you have to drop them to proceed. I had to raise the lighting level on my actual TV set to even see anything. Wow - HD Graphic really SUCK when it looks like it's being projected through a grain filter.

I was just flabbergasted at how horrible the game is. It's not even that the game play elements aren't fun - they are - but they are just not fun when you don't know what the hell you're even doing! I just now tried to play it again, after a long time. It took awhile to remember how to use all the confusing new gadgets. Didn't help that the cave was so horribly dark. Then - THEN - to add insult to injury -- I come to a part where you have to walk a very narrow path over a large pit. One false step sends you plummeting down below. Simple enough to navigate, if you have patience, right? Well, you don't get the chance to take you time - because this pit has a swarm of bats flying all over just waiting to swarm and knock you off the path. But Ratchet has all sorts of wonderful weapons to take care of those bats, doesn't he? Not enough good ones - two weapons, the predator missiles and the Wasp Nest don't even detect these flying bats - making them useless. I tried the electric whip - no dice, all the bats get electrified, but not before shoving me down into the pit. Lava gun is too scattershot to hit the little buggers, and the only weapon that does work, your grenade bombs, aren't much help when you only have two available.

So, Ratchet and Clank 5 - I'm not falling for it again. The series has some superb gameplay - but I simply feel like a blind man playing these games. No more!

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