Hello and welcome to InsideTheBox’s next review. I was very excited to get this game in the post a few days ago, Ratchet and Clank is one of my favourite game series of all time. The excellent variety of combat and puzzles provide one of the best gaming experiences possible..

All of the best franchises start off somewhere, the first entry into a major series can be terrible or excellent, however, it is how it improves in it’s next entries that count. The first Ratchet and Clank game is a great game in it’s own right, however, it is the worst of the original three.

This shows Insomniac were innovative with their ideas and improved the gameplay greatly with each entry, always adding something (or in most cases, many things) new to the game.

The series focuses around a Lombax known as Ratchet who meets a robot called XJ0461, nicknamed Clank by Ratchet himself. Ratchet is the combat oriented part of the duo, Clank is the intelligence & strategy guy.

Ratchet, throughout every game in the series keeps a few key items. The grind boots, swingshot, magneboots, 02 mask, Heli/thruster/hydro pack upgrades and, of course, his trusty Omniwrench are all retained from game to game. What changes in each game however, are the weapons. Each installment has it’s own variety of weapons, ranging from the Glove of Doom in Ratchet and Clank, to the Annihilator in Ratchet and Clank 3 (Up Your Arsenal).

One weapon which is available in an upgraded form in every game however, is the R.Y.N.O (Rip Ya a New One). It is the most powerful weapon in each game and is very expensive and often hard to acquire. It is a black market weapon and can only be obtained through illegal methods.

In the first game, the emphasis is on Chairman Drek who is travelling from planet to planet, extracting a piece of land from each and attaching it to the new planet he is creating for the Blarg race. The Blarg need to leave their previous planet due to pollution (caused by Drek himself) and purchase land on Drek’s new world.

In the first game, bolts (the currency) are extremely hard to collect and accumulate very slowly. The method of discovering new planets to continue the story is through InfoBots which each have a cutscene and co-ordinates to another planet. Often times you will buy these from characters or find them at the end of level missions.

The game focuses on the relationship growth between Ratchet and Clank, they get on well together at the start but develop a deep hatred of each other… however, by the end, this hatred is resolved and their friendship is saved.

The weapon choice in the first game is quite limited, however, some of the best weapons in the series are present. Some of my personal favourites are the Walloper (punch glove with infinite ammo) and the Glove of Doom (deploys miniature robots to fight for you).

The first game relies on you finding things in future levels to go back and finish things in previous levels, often times paths will be unavailable to you in levels until you go forward to future levels and gain equipment.

Captain Qwark (who you all know as the idiot of the franchise) is the second major enemy in the game. He is employed by Drek to destroy Ratchet and Clank and he becomes a boss later in the game when you fight him (however, it’s a very easy boss fight).

After you collect the 40 precious gold bolts you can use them to purchase the 10 golden weapons, each costing 4 gold bolts each.

Now, on to the second game, Ratchet and Clank 2 (or Going Commando in the US). This game shows a VERY significant improvement on the first game. It keeps the favoured gameplay elements but improves on them greatly. Some excellent changes were made to enhance the experience.

In the second game, new weapon upgrades were introduced. You can level each weapon once and after it upgrades, it changes form, gets a new name and new powers. Also, Nanotech (your health) is much easier to acquire. In the first game, you could upgrade Nanotech twice to bring it from 4 health up to 8 health. In the second game, Nanotech upgrades naturally by combat. It can upgrade to a maximum of a very high health, I believe it is 20 Nanotech.

The second games started the large number of gameplay innovations which would continue in the third game…

In Ratchet and Clank 3, the new experiences introduced in the second game improve again. Health is no longer measured in Nanotech lives, now it is measured in a number (eg. 50/100 health). It can be upgraded to an even higher level than in the second games and follows a more natural: bigger enemies do bigger damage scale.

Weapons can also be upgraded MULTIPLE times and increase damage, ammo and other elements as they go higher in level, eventually reaching their maximum level and changing their form and name.

The third game also has online multiplayer, however, we haven’t had a chance to try that due to the fact nobody is online yet. We’ve played some local multiplayer and it seems to have been brought through well.

Now that I’ve detailed the excellent experience which comes with the 3 games, it’s time for me to talk about how well Idol Minds did with their upgrade job.

The graphics quality displayed in these remasters are nothing short of SPECTACULAR and Idol Minds did a particularly amazing job on updating graphics. These games could almost pass as early PS3 games if it wasn’t for the PS2 cutscenes.

What I must mention though… the cutscenes look fabulous! They are still displayed in a 4:3 ratio, however, it seems Idol Minds did a major job updating these.. if you compare these to the cutscenes from the God of War collection you will see the MAJOR difference.

Ah, the sound. Music in Ratchet and Clank was an excellent part of the original product and Insomniac worked hard on have very suitable music accompanying each level. Well, the music plays perfect in the new upgraded games and still sounds fantastic!

Dialogue is one of the key parts of Ratchet and Clank to show you the relationship between Ratchet and Clank develop from the first to the third game. It is voiced brilliantly and has had no change between the originals and the new upgraded HD games.

Gameplay is spectacular as we’ve mentioned above. Idol Minds fixed some glitches in the game and also make a few tweaks to mechanics to make them more stable. However, nothing was done which tarnishes the experience in any way, well done Idol Minds for getting everything as close to perfect as possible!

These games represent spectacular value and the trophies will keep you playing them over and over. Expect to get a lot of playtime if you are a fan of these game types.

I now present to you, the SCORES: