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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Insomniac Games
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1
Rated: E10 (Everyone 10 and Up)
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Marcus Prunty

“Do you like death? Good. Because Mr. Zurkon is here to kill you!” This is one of the many classic Mr. Zurkon lines from the new Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time game that hit store shelves recently. Our favorite Lombax is back to help save the world but first he wants to find his best friend Clank. If you have been following the series then you happen to know the story of how Ratchet & Clank were separated from each other. And if you haven’t played previous games there’s no need because Captain Qwark, via a Mr. and Mrs. Smith style interview scene, goes over the recent events that occurred during Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction for PS3 and Quest for Booty the downloadable PSN game which tells Clanks story after the separation. A Crack in Time picks up where these two games end as the adventure continues with Ratchet looking for Clank and with Clank learning about his origins.

If you have never played or even heard of this franchise before, welcome to one of the best platformers with puzzles and a 3rd person shooting all rolled up into one. If you think this title has one too many genres for a single game to take on, don’t worry because Insomniac Games has perfected their formula over the years. The game begins with Clank being in the presence of the Zoni and Dr. Nefarious. After some interesting and cheesy dialog, Clank tries to escape, which leads into a short tutorial teaching you the basic movies possessed by Clank. This tutorial is so interwoven with the game that you do not even realize it is a tutorial for the most part. During Clank’s part, you learn to stop time, how to solve time puzzles, jump and helicopter glide, and other moves within his arsenal. After this intro, you switch over to Ratchet; our loveable Lombax, who has always wondered if he was the last of his kind in the galaxy. Armed with his omniwrench, which he uses to defend himself, he explores the galaxy trying to find his friend Clank.

However, don’t think that all Ratchet has is his omniwrench to defend himself against the enemies within the galaxy because that would be far from the truth. As all fans of this franchise know Ratchet has a huge arsenal of weapons at his disposal. My favorite being the one I alluded to in the beginning of this review; Mr. Zurkon, a mini robot destroyer that floats by your side blasting away at the enemies alongside you. He levels up fast if you keep him out there with you in the first few levels and he is very entertaining with all his humorous one-liners he says while blasting away. There’s also the Groovitron weapon, which when use by Ratchet, throws out a disco ball that makes all enemies in a nearby area to break out into dance. This is funny as well and is great if you are ever overwhelmed by numerous foes. Throw the disco ball out; they all start dancing, and then blast them to hell. These are just two of the many weapons that you can purchase that are in the earlier games.

Nevertheless, Insomniac doesn’t just recycle it weapons, it unleashes new ones too like the Sonic Eruptor, which is like a small frog that erupts some sonic gas at enemies. As you upgrade the weapon, the area the sonic wave encompasses gets bigger and bigger. All weapons in the game get more powerful as you use them. There are also add-ons for weapons via Constructo boxes all over the galaxy that you can pick up and modify certain weapons. For example, your blaster that you begin the game with can change the type of rounds it shoots; from bullets to a laser beam. You can even change the paint job that the weapon has. The major Constructo Bomb can have its trigger changed from proximity to contact to a timed explosion, as well as its payload can go from explosive, to shockwave to sky burst. Sky burst means the bomb explodes up towards the sky for aerial enemies, while shockwave means the explosion goes our like a shockwave. These are just some of the many modifications a weapon can get. Everything is upgradeable; including the suite Ratchet wears himself. As you battle and gain more experience points, stronger and better armor are available to purchase from an armor bot. As you collect more Zoni your ship that you cruise the galaxy in can be upgraded with stronger blasters, shields, and missiles.

All the armor and weapons are purchased with those glorious bolts and nuts. These bolts are gained from various boxes and enemies that you take out, as well as from the ground and environment as well. Sometimes just running through the grass will spring up unseen bolts and nuts that make you richer. So as you collect bolts and become richer, you will be able to purchase new weaponry and enhancements, which will ultimately aid you in defeating your enemies in your journey to reunite with your friend and save space and time from Dr. Nefarious evil plot to take over the Orvus Chamber in order to control time. Along the way you will meet ‘gasp’ another Lombax who has been exiled. His name is General Azimuth and his job was to protect the Lombaxes, unfortunately he fails which doomed Ratchets parents. He wants to get into the Orvus Chamber in order to undo his mistakes he made in the past and reunite Ratchet with his family so he is no longer alone in the galaxy. This is a job that Ratchet helps him undertake while Clank learns to defend and respect the Orvus Chamber and the Great Clock.

Clank’s levels have to do more with puzzles solving in the way of recording actions that he performs to open various doors. These recording puzzles go from easy at first to very difficult. In the beginning there’s only 2 recordings that’s possible but by the end of the game there’s up to 4 which creates many possibilities for solving them. Ratchet’s portions of the game are more action orientated where his puzzles require him to take something like a live battery creature to a power supply to activate a door. Moreover, the rest of his time is spent battling as he tries to find his friend.

The graphics for this game are exceptional; if you happened to play Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction or Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for booty, both of which are on the PS3, then you knows that the graphics for the game were top notched. However, Insomniac went the extra mile and made something that was already spectacularly beautiful even better. The backdrops and cutscenes for the game are more vivid and sharper. They have a movie-like quality that is becoming a fast standard for some of the better games on the PS3. When you are playing the game, it is almost as if you are in a movie even when you are not watching a cutscenes. The weapons you use and the locations that are in the game are unique and rendered well. This is by far the best-looking Ratchet & Clank game of all time. The ability to put numerous enemies on the playing field at one time makes the pace frantic and hectic and immerses you into the game as you fight for your life.

Coupled with the improved graphics of the game is the sound design, which is integral to having a good game. The voice work for the game is top notch as it always is, and it is merged very well with the soundtrack for the game. The addition of radio stations and music for the space travel portions of the game is another advantage and does an excellent job of feeling the pulse of the game while giving you a choice of what you want to listen to.

With all the good in A Crack in Time there are some bad, after all no game is perfect. The problem I had with this game was the load screens. I am fully aware that there are loading screens in most games, however in A Crack In Time, there were a few load screens that were almost a minutes long. They only bother me because I was getting so into the gameplay and battling that I did not want to waste any time going from one sequence to another. The game does a good job of handling the fact that there are many load screens in the game by including back-story and hints in regards to the possible planet or level your about to start. This is not really a major fault with the game, its actually pretty minor. However, it is the only part of this game I did not like. Would have loved to see the next one not have any at all but that probably will not happen.

Once you have defeated the game in around 12 hours or so, there is much more game to play. Due to the fact that you have not collected everything or upgraded everything. There is also another boss to kill that you cannot play until you collect all the Zoni in the game. As well as there is a challenge mode after the game that lets you play again with all your weapons and upgrades you had but ups the difficulty greatly. So far, I have almost 30 hours in the game and trust me I do not have everything and have not done all the side missions yet.

Overall this game is an adventure and an improvement over all the other Ratchet & Clank games of the past. The weapons, upgrades, and customizations are all amazing and keep you enthralled as you can setup your weapons the way you like to play with has many possibilities. The graphics of the game are vivid and sharp and have a cinematic quality to them. This immerses you into the game and trust me once it pulls you in it is very hard to get back out. The sound design of the game is another good job by Insomniac and complements the graphics and gameplay very well. Will Ratchet reunite with Clank, or will they be torn apart by their destinies? Will General Azimuth and Ratchet fix the past, bring the lombaxes back, and reunite Ratchet with his family? This game also completes the story line for the Ratchet & Clank Future series so will this be the end of the duo we have come to love for once I won’t tell you the end… play the game and find out. This is a definite must play so buy or rent it now and bring Mr. Zurkon along cause the enemies don’t stand a chance cause “Mr. Zurkon Is looking to kill you”. Have fun and happy gaming.


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