Remember platformers? Used to be the console market was full of them, but they've all but disappeared behind shooters, RPGs and sandbox titles. Well, the Ratchet and Clank Collection is here to show gamers why platformers are still great... even if the games are 10 years old.
The most amazing thing about the games are how well they hold up today. Sure they've gotten better resolution for the HD market, but besides that they're the same games. And it's amazing how ahead of their time they prove to be. The art direction is great and the characters are engaging. The scripts are funny, the level design innovative and the weapons are creative throughout. They are simply solid pieces of gaming.
As you move on to Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal, the deeper qualities of the series, like experience for Ratchet and your weapons, shows the evolution of the series. And it's surprising how many elements of the series were around way before the PS3 titles, such as Clank's RTS sections, grindrails, gravity ramps and space combat.
As with other titles in the series, the concept of a challenge mode gives these games a great deal of replayability. The highest weapon and character upgrades can only be purchased by playing through a second time. With the lasting appeal of the titles, you can easily spend 60 hours with this disc.
There is also trophy support now and multiplayer in Up Your Arsenal. But even without those perks, it's the gameplay that shines brightest. Ratchet and Clank shows how great platformers can be by infusing personality, action and variety into it's titles. It's a great value and a wonderful use of your game time. Let's hope Insomniac graces us with the other installments from the PS2 era shortly.
I can say a few things that are negative in regards to games in the Ratchet & Clank series, but only 1 applies to these three: there aren't enough. The other negatives don't apply here: following EA's idiotic idea that great games must be diminished by forcing meaningless multi-player components. Yes, one of the games here has a multi-player component, but it's not forced on you, and definitely does not distract from the nirvana that is Ratchet & Clank.
The only thing that keeps this from being a perfect 10 is the lack of the other best game in the series, A C rack In Time (it's also PS3, so add that to your queue as well).
I haven't played any other series that takes the joy of 3D action platflorming that Mario 64 started on the N64, gave me characters I actually cared about, made me enjoy a large collection of imaginative (and fun) weapons, and did it all with humor that I actually appreciate.
Playing through this beautiful collection, I was constantly remembering highlights in the series' history throughout the past ten years. Even if it weren't for the current trend of re-releasing classics (Nintendo doesn't count since they regularly re-release their whole catalog, classic or not), R&C games are the only games I actually want to replay (and replay and replay...)
Come to think of it, there is another negative with these games: the fact that I will play other games, remembering that they do not live up to the majesty that these 3 (and A C rack In Time) achieve.