Zero Punctuation: Ratchet & Clank

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Michael Prymula:

CoCage:

Michael Prymula:
Xbox One has backwards compatibility now with a decent number of games, which is giving it an edge over the PS4 at the moment.

Yet Nintendo is still the best when it comes to backwards compatibility. The XONE needed a couple of updates to get a decent back catalogue. When the Wii U came out, you could almost put any old Wii game in the console with rarely a fuss in sight. That is how you do backwards compatibility.

Too bad Nintendo is failing in so many other areas the backwards compatibility almost doesn't matter.

True, but at least Nintendo wasn't willing to abandoned its old library at the drop of a hat. Hell, the Wii and PS3 (early at the time) were both backwards compatible. You could play GameCube games, while 360 would be BC some of the time. Nintendo's problem now is that they don't know how to advertise the U nor its third party support...or now lack of it. When think about it, this problem goes back all the way to the N64 era. At least during the 5th & 6th gen they bothered to advertise.

Oh lordy, Yahtzee acknowledges Ratchet and Clank for (what feels like maybe) the second time in Zero Punctuation's history. And he didn't hate it. Can't say I saw that coming, but pleasantly surprised.

aegix drakan:
Yikes.

The whole entire first game was about Ratchet and Clank learning to not hate each other, and they just skip that entirely for the reboot?

Like, in the original, Ratchet just wants to get off his boring planet, and needs a robot to pilot his ship because that's what the blueprints say. So he sticks with Clank mostly just because otherwise his ass is stranded wherever they happen to land. And finally, after some stuff happens, Ratchet just wants to abandon the "Save the galaxy from the asshole corporation" mission, only for Clank to have to BLACKMAIL him into sticking along stating abovementioned "You need me with you or you'll be stranded", forcing Ratchet to slowly warm up to being an actual good guy and not just a daredevil who does stuff for fun.

It was actually pretty good as a character arc, and they just skip all that and jump straight to "They are best buds for no reason, go go go"? ...*sigh*

Ya, that's more or less what happened. Ratchet finds Clank in the crash, they shake hands, friendship happens, end of arc. That's literally all that happens, unfortunately. I like the game, but the story just isn't there (especially between Ratchet and Clank themselves). I know Ratchet was an obnoxious, abusive knob in the first game, but there has to be a happy medium somewhere. It was a decent arc and only needed some cleaning up. My guess is that it had to be altered due to the length of the movie and the target audience (game itself is also few hours shorter than the PS2 games, but is at least listed cheaper)

It is worth a look though, if you can get through how pointless the story is. It's neat to walk through a much prettier version of planets like Kerwan and Rilgar (complete with a few of the old secrets). Weapons are also less generic and more versatile than the original (though I wish they kept the Tesla Claw or Visibomb). The jetpack from Into the Nexus returns so you can zoom around Gaspar in a big open zone. Also, strafing! Sweet, glorious strafing!

Yeah I have no interest in trying this one out, for all the reasons listed already. I really enjoyed the first 3 (along with Gladiator... even if it had done away with the space battles) but Tools of Destruction didn't grab me the same way so I haven't played any since.

As for the backwards compatibility thing; yeah, it would be nice if the PS4 could play older games, but why does purchasing a new console demand that you sell/burn/throw-away your old one? Most places will only give you like 10-20% of whatever you paid for it, which will only be a drop in the bucket towards the new console price so it's never worth it. I've yet to get a PS4 but I still have my PS2 and even my PS1 around somewhere, just in case I ever do want to play something on those again (and which I have done a few times now). I'm sure as hell not gonna see how far I can throw my PS3 once I can afford a PS4.

i never figured out whether I liked R&C 2 or 3 best, but the first game was deeeefinitely not my pick for the best, it established the series well and the character interactions were well developed (and apparently lost here?), but gameplay-wise the future games crushed it. Even Deadlocked, as flawed as it is, still probably had better gameplay (though not level design, of course).

I don't have a PS4 and will probably never experience this reboot myself but it sounds like I don't need to, anyways.

To me Ratchet & Clank suffer the Disney problem. For me personally, if you want real and interesting characters, they have to have flaws. Bugs Bunny is a wise guy, Daffy Duck has jealousy and temper issues, etc., Ren & Stimpy are flaw dioramas. Disney don't want any of their characters to have flaws. Neither does Nintendo. Hence why I find most of their characters and stories as boring as f***.

I know people love their heroes but I find most stories aimed at kids fairly dull because of the fear in making them flawed. The whole reason Pixar films became so popular is because the characters had flaws, character arcs. But that's happened less and less with their films, the dilema of their films have moved more to situational conflict, not character conflict. And so their films have become less memorable or popular.

It's an opinion.

Yeah, the thing with the original series was that the entire first game was not only about stopping the evil villain, but also about the growing friendship between Ratchet and Clank.

They spend the first third chasing down a guy and getting to know each other, establishing their respective personalities. Then the second third sees Ratchet out for revenge after a double-cross, fed up with Clank and about to leave, but he can't because Clank is the one who has the keys to the spaceship they use, and Clank coerces Ratchet into continuing to help him. And in the final third Ratchet realizes that the whole thing isn't just about him and that if nobody does anything millions will die, thus rekindling his relationship with Clank and helping him by his own volition.

And finally in the end they both walk away as friends, the result of two people who have been together through thick and thin (and also some lasers) in spite of their flaws. And after that they don't have to reestablish their friendship, they used an entire game for that already.

The other thing is that Ratchet in the original games is not what I would call a Mary Sue. He's selfcentered, a bit thick, somewhat petty, over-looked by the general public who never seems to grasp that he's a walking arsenal, and often out for revenge against people who have wronged him personally, but he's also a guy who in the end will step up to do the right thing.

But then, the exact definition of a Mary Sue is always a bit liquid...

...I saw the gun that had tits and was on fire.

Okay, compared to the discussions, coming here and saying that feels a bit pointless, but it's one of my favorite call-backs that I don't think he's used much, if at all, that I had to say something.

Zacharious-khan:
I have no idea why we haven't been getting the guitar solo in the ending from the beginning. It's like some sort of cruel joke that we listen to intro and outro every week without the best part.

Oh wait, I'll agree with this. I was shocked when I first heard the full version of the Zero Punctuation theme, and realized that the most awesome part of it was the part nobody ever heard.

aegix drakan:
Yikes.

The whole entire first game was about Ratchet and Clank learning to not hate each other, and they just skip that entirely for the reboot?

Like, in the original, Ratchet just wants to get off his boring planet, and needs a robot to pilot his ship because that's what the blueprints say. So he sticks with Clank mostly just because otherwise his ass is stranded wherever they happen to land. And finally, after some stuff happens, Ratchet just wants to abandon the "Save the galaxy from the asshole corporation" mission, only for Clank to have to BLACKMAIL him into sticking along stating abovementioned "You need me with you or you'll be stranded", forcing Ratchet to slowly warm up to being an actual good guy and not just a daredevil who does stuff for fun.

It was actually pretty good as a character arc, and they just skip all that and jump straight to "They are best buds for no reason, go go go"? ...*sigh*

...Couldn't they just make an HD remake collection of the first 3 games, then make the rest of the PS3 games digital downloads on the PS4? Wouldn't that have been cheaper?

They did. They released the PS2 games in HD versions on PS3. I played the HD version of the first game at the start of the year. It's a bit weird to have a second HD version of the first game (in such a short period of time) with the character development stripped out.

Politrukk:

Aeshi:
Liking the new format, Yahtzee!

...That's basically all I have to say, was only barely aware this game existed in the first place.

wait what's new about what he's doing?

As far as I can tell the outro music's a bit different now, it begins slightly earlier.

Y'know, I don't care if I'm taking a joke too seriously, I take offense to that remark about babies only liking fuzzy animals with Dreamworks eyes. After so many goddamn white generic buff male characters in gaming, I'm begging for a resurgence in animal mascots these days. Especially since they handle toting a bunch of guns better than said white males.

Wow. Yahtzee managed to piss me off in a review of a Sony game for once. That doesn't happen very often.

EDIT: Although bonus points for the Bucky O'Hare mention. I loved that guy.

I have a question.

Why are certain aspects of "companion pieces" accepted while others are not? To use Yahtzee's example, he was confused and rolled his eyes when the planet that got destroyed was conveniently evacuated and had no casualties. However, the movie explains that because of Qwark's betrayal the planet was evacuated. Now, we go into this mindset that individual works need to be works on to themselves and you shouldn't expect an audience to play a game and watch a movie to understand both.

But, then comes the Marvel Cinematic Universe where literally every film, TV show, web series or other is intimately connected with one another. The individual works can't help but be connected to one another and that's met with overall praise.

Even Bob Chipman (Who 'some of you' may know as Moviebob)wrote that Marvel is okay with losing 'Marvel Virgins' (people who haven't been keeping track of the movies).

http://archive.is/zbVML

"We had to make a decision early that we were OK losing virgin audience members. If you don't know some of these movies before you walk in you might be lost, but hopefully you'll still be entertained. We can't do a 'previously in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,' because it will take 25 minutes."

So, why is Ratchet and Clank criticized for leaving out details in companion pieces while the MCU is praised for it?

'Scratch it and wank'

Classic! Best line of the entire review.

But yeah, backwards compatibility is the pain in the ass in the room that refuses to die. :/

WARNING: Massive wall-o-text ahead!

I'm actually enjoying playing Ratchet and Clank, so far, but I'm not going to lie, the plot and story-pacing of the game is in serious need of a continuity editor, as in one who turn to the writers and scream "PUT SOME FUCKING CONTINUITY IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS GOBSHIITES!!". Many of the cut-scenes feel like there was some critical transition dialog and action that was removed for the sake of brevity without consideration to the overall flow and pacing. Many of the plot points seem to jump into existence without properly establishing their cause. And, of course, the most glaring faux pas is the near lack of proper character development of either Ratchet, Clank, or Captain Qwark (the true villainous hero). The game is in such a hurry to get you into the action of collecting weapons and destroying shit that it fails to tell you why you would be the kind of person to do that in the first place. It is quite true that the friendship bound between Ratchet and Clank is taken for granted rather than being built-up through the play of the game. The missions have a sequencing, but the motivation for each mission is only loosely tied to the idea of a plot going on in the game.

This does seem to be a trend in many games lately (Destiny, The Division, Diablo 3, Ratchet and Clank, etc.). The only way to actually have fun with many so-called "modern" games is to turn your mind off thinking about any idea of some kind of story, plot, or just any idea of coherent consistency going on that could possibly motivate you to do anything in the game, as well as properly build dramatic tension, and just blindly run about like a 2-year-old breaking things. Essentially, the best some game developers can do in terms of a gaming experience is to create a baby's activity center toy (for those who don't know what I'm talking about, it's a thing like this: Fisher Price Activity Center, just an assorted collection of doodads and whatchamacallits that have no coherent, consistent, or logical relation to each other other than being shiny, noisy, and stuck on the same board).

As I said, I am having fun with the game, so far, but there is definitely some lingering question how long that will last. The baby's activity center style of game design is fine if you're 14-years-old or younger, but when you're more toward advanced the ages (like, say, 45, as I am, as many in the gaming community are finding themselves moving toward, despite their best efforts otherwise (this is happening, people, just come to peace with it)), you need your games to have a lot more meat on the bones. Fractured, partial stories with shallow, undeveloped, non-evolving characters just will not hold your attention for long. There's only so much just randomly shooting shit, blowing shit up, or breaking shit apart you can do before whatever part of your mind that has actually matured past the age of 8 starts to ask a simple question: "What the fuck am I doing all this shit for?". If the game does have a proper, cogent answer to that question, immersion is immediately lost and any interest in playing the game further evaporates like fog before the raising sun.

This happens because as we get older, however much or little, we become more complex, sophisticated, and nuanced in our behaviors as well as our understanding and perception of the world around us and the behaviors of others. This is because, however much or little, our brains continue to evolve and develop to greater complexity, sophistication, and ability to distinguish nuances as we get older, and maintaining stimulation of such a brain requires that our games also evolve to similar levels of complexity, sophistication, and nuance. Unfortunately, it seems that, often, the triple-A game developers are just not up to the task. Consequently, many of us older gamers will have a rather disappointing experience with a game that many younger gamers may find sufficiently engrossing, satisfying, or, even, exceptional in nature. The problem is that the gamers have, in some respects, grown-up while the games themselves haven't.

Basically, in my opinion, the selection of content in games needs to span a spectrum of age demographics, in terms of complexity, sophistication, nuance, and, even, metaphorical inferences, from younger to older audience members, rather than remaining forever caged in a narrow-band of adolescent thinking. Anime and manga, media that are often closely related to gaming and gamers, suffers similar issues, though it also suffers a host of other issues that may be responsible for some of its decline, as has been noted by some (Why Manga Publishing is Dying, Observations on the American Manga Market, The Matter of Manga in America). There is a lot of content for younger fans, but older fans are often left having to dumb-down their expectations and thinking to squeeze themselves into the small confines of adolescent content. Yes, it is true that making a more sophisticated and nuanced game is both more difficult and potentially more costly than the baby's activity center; but, I think that creating games that do appeal more to the greater sophistication and nuance of the adult mind could have some significantly positive benefits on the game industry through the spurring of better innovation of gameplay, game-mechanics, and story-telling in games and the expansion of market appeal to cover a much wider, diversified audience, which can help amortize the costs of more expensive endeavors across a larger marketable product line-up.

Ratchet & Clank 3 was one of my favorite games on the PS2. I only play PC games today but it sounds like I'm not missing much with this new iteration.

I've never quite understood the complaint of backwards compatibility, especially now when there are so many games designed solely to keep you coming back to play them over and over (MMOs and MOBAs in particular, although really most online functions). Are people's lives so lacking in productive measures that we truly have no more new games left to play and insist on being able to play something older again and again? Or is it that we're so resentful of so many games that we refuse to move on from that one special one?

LordTerminal:
Y'know, I don't care if I'm taking a joke too seriously, I take offense to that remark about babies only liking fuzzy animals with Dreamworks eyes. After so many goddamn white generic buff male characters in gaming, I'm begging for a resurgence in animal mascots these days. Especially since they handle toting a bunch of guns better than said white males.

Wow. Yahtzee managed to piss me off in a review of a Sony game for once. That doesn't happen very often.

EDIT: Although bonus points for the Bucky O'Hare mention. I loved that guy.

take a chill pill

geizr:
WARNING: Massive wall-o-text ahead!

I'm actually enjoying playing Ratchet and Clank, so far, but I'm not going to lie, the plot and story-pacing of the game is in serious need of a continuity editor, as in one who turn to the writers and scream "PUT SOME FUCKING CONTINUITY IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS GOBSHIITES!!". Many of the cut-scenes feel like there was some critical transition dialog and action that was removed for the sake of brevity without consideration to the overall flow and pacing. Many of the plot points seem to jump into existence without properly establishing their cause. And, of course, the most glaring faux pas is the near lack of proper character development of either Ratchet, Clank, or Captain Qwark (the true villainous hero). The game is in such a hurry to get you into the action of collecting weapons and destroying shit that it fails to tell you why you would be the kind of person to do that in the first place. It is quite true that the friendship bound between Ratchet and Clank is taken for granted rather than being built-up through the play of the game. The missions have a sequencing, but the motivation for each mission is only loosely tied to the idea of a plot going on in the game.

This does seem to be a trend in many games lately (Destiny, The Division, Diablo 3, Ratchet and Clank, etc.). The only way to actually have fun with many so-called "modern" games is to turn your mind off thinking about any idea of some kind of story, plot, or just any idea of coherent consistency going on that could possibly motivate you to do anything in the game, as well as properly build dramatic tension, and just blindly run about like a 2-year-old breaking things. Essentially, the best some game developers can do in terms of a gaming experience is to create a baby's activity center toy (for those who don't know what I'm talking about, it's a thing like this: Fisher Price Activity Center, just an assorted collection of doodads and whatchamacallits that have no coherent, consistent, or logical relation to each other other than being shiny, noisy, and stuck on the same board).

As I said, I am having fun with the game, so far, but there is definitely some lingering question how long that will last. The baby's activity center style of game design is fine if you're 14-years-old or younger, but when you're more toward advanced the ages (like, say, 45, as I am, as many in the gaming community are finding themselves moving toward, despite their best efforts otherwise (this is happening, people, just come to peace with it)), you need your games to have a lot more meat on the bones. Fractured, partial stories with shallow, undeveloped, non-evolving characters just will not hold your attention for long. There's only so much just randomly shooting shit, blowing shit up, or breaking shit apart you can do before whatever part of your mind that has actually matured past the age of 8 starts to ask a simple question: "What the fuck am I doing all this shit for?". If the game does have a proper, cogent answer to that question, immersion is immediately lost and any interest in playing the game further evaporates like fog before the raising sun.

This happens because as we get older, however much or little, we become more complex, sophisticated, and nuanced in our behaviors as well as our understanding and perception of the world around us and the behaviors of others. This is because, however much or little, our brains continue to evolve and develop to greater complexity, sophistication, and ability to distinguish nuances as we get older, and maintaining stimulation of such a brain requires that our games also evolve to similar levels of complexity, sophistication, and nuance. Unfortunately, it seems that, often, the triple-A game developers are just not up to the task. Consequently, many of us older gamers will have a rather disappointing experience with a game that many younger gamers may find sufficiently engrossing, satisfying, or, even, exceptional in nature. The problem is that the gamers have, in some respects, grown-up while the games themselves haven't.

Basically, in my opinion, the selection of content in games needs to span a spectrum of age demographics, in terms of complexity, sophistication, nuance, and, even, metaphorical inferences, from younger to older audience members, rather than remaining forever caged in a narrow-band of adolescent thinking. Anime and manga, media that are often closely related to gaming and gamers, suffers similar issues, though it also suffers a host of other issues that may be responsible for some of its decline, as has been noted by some (Why Manga Publishing is Dying, Observations on the American Manga Market, The Matter of Manga in America). There is a lot of content for younger fans, but older fans are often left having to dumb-down their expectations and thinking to squeeze themselves into the small confines of adolescent content. Yes, it is true that making a more sophisticated and nuanced game is both more difficult and potentially more costly than the baby's activity center; but, I think that creating games that do appeal more to the greater sophistication and nuance of the adult mind could have some significantly positive benefits on the game industry through the spurring of better innovation of gameplay, game-mechanics, and story-telling in games and the expansion of market appeal to cover a much wider, diversified audience, which can help amortize the costs of more expensive endeavors across a larger marketable product line-up.

That's nonsense, modern games have plenty of great stories in them.

Not everyone wants more complex stories, I personally don't mind more straightforward stuff. Overly complicated plots are one of the reasons why I can't get into JRPGs.

I resent the implication the only teens can enjoy games like this, I for one miss these kinds of action-platformers.

I never ask why i'm doing something in a game, I only care if it's fun and/or compelling.

CoCage:

Michael Prymula:

Kingjackl:
Backwards compatability is the biggest problem with the new consoles, but I think that problem will diminish with time. More and more re-releases of last-gen games are coming out, which admittedly doesn't solve the problem for people who already have them and want to play them on their new system. It does at least ensure they won't be totally erased.

On that note, didn't the Ratchet & Clank HD trilogy come out on PS3 and Vita around the same time the PS4 was released? That was incredibly poorly timed.

Xbox One has backwards compatibility now with a decent number of games, which is giving it an edge over the PS4 at the moment.

Yet Nintendo is still the best when it comes to backwards compatibility. The XONE needed a couple of updates to get a decent back catalogue. When the Wii U came out, you could almost put any old Wii game in the console with rarely a fuss in sight. That is how you do backwards compatibility.

For some odd reason, it's not backward compatible with Gamecube games though, even though it clearly could be due to the fact that someone has hacked a Wii U to do it. I don't know why they wouldn't just let me play my Gamecube games on the Wii U because now I have to keep the Wii plugged in for that.

C14N:

CoCage:

Michael Prymula:
Xbox One has backwards compatibility now with a decent number of games, which is giving it an edge over the PS4 at the moment.

Yet Nintendo is still the best when it comes to backwards compatibility. The XONE needed a couple of updates to get a decent back catalogue. When the Wii U came out, you could almost put any old Wii game in the console with rarely a fuss in sight. That is how you do backwards compatibility.

For some odd reason, it's not backward compatible with Gamecube games though, even though it clearly could be due to the fact that someone has hacked a Wii U to do it. I don't know why they wouldn't just let me play my Gamecube games on the Wii U because now I have to keep the Wii plugged in for that.

That's why I kept my GameCube and Wii. I was not the least bit surprised that they didn't make the Wii U play GC games. Either it was hardware issues, laziness on their part, or doing so would have made the console more expensive. An issue most people rationalize why the PS4 or Xbone could not do; the consoles would've both costed a $100 more.

CoCage:

C14N:

CoCage:

Yet Nintendo is still the best when it comes to backwards compatibility. The XONE needed a couple of updates to get a decent back catalogue. When the Wii U came out, you could almost put any old Wii game in the console with rarely a fuss in sight. That is how you do backwards compatibility.

For some odd reason, it's not backward compatible with Gamecube games though, even though it clearly could be due to the fact that someone has hacked a Wii U to do it. I don't know why they wouldn't just let me play my Gamecube games on the Wii U because now I have to keep the Wii plugged in for that.

That's why I kept my GameCube and Wii. I was not the least bit surprised that they didn't make the Wii U play GC games. Either it was hardware issues, laziness on their part, or doing so would have made the console more expensive. An issue most people rationalize why the PS4 or Xbone could not do; the consoles would've both costed a $100 more.

Except in this case it clearly wasn't a hardware issue and wouldn't have made it more expensive at all. Like I said, there's a Wii U hack that lets it play Gamecube games so it's already completely able to do it and it's low-effort enough that an amateur figured out how to do it for free. It makes sense because if it can play Wii games it should follow that it could play Gamecube games too since the Wii was already backward compatible. They literally just decided they didn't want people playing Gamecube games on it.

Burnouts3s3:

So, why is Ratchet and Clank criticized for leaving out details in companion pieces while the MCU is praised for it?

Because part of the draw of the MCU /is/ its interconnected nature and is a selling point and you don't have multiple marvel films coming out at the same time, nor do they cross media types. The R&C game and film came out at the same time and crossed platforms. This, to my knowledge hasn't been done before, thus being surprised at having to watch a movie, which for long time fans was rather alienating in its promotion should come as a shock.

New yachts are the driving force behind humanity. Without them as trophy achivements we would all having nothing to aim for in life.

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