Angry Robot

BEST GAME OF 2007: Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Now before I go all “Ratchet is the best game ever” let me tell you a little about what this game series is all about. I had never played a Ratchet and Clank game before (this whole life without Sony is not that cool in retrospect…I wish I had known earlier) and I didn’t know much about the story. The previous games have always been about this dude named Ratchet, who is the last living member of the specicies called the Lombax. The Lombax are these catlike peeps who have the most amazing ability with building technology. Throughout his adventures Ratchet, along with his trusty super robot friend Clank, has saved the galaxy repeatedly but never found out the truth about his mysterious past. Tools of Destruction begins with Ratchet and Clank going about their ship building business when the planet they’re on is attacked by weird wee fish men in giant robotic killing machine suits. Fun! From then off the actions takes off in classic platforming style that takes the genre to new extremes of fun at a frantic and fantastic pace!

Why is Rachet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction the perfect game? Because it brings a player back to the very simple combination of elements responsible for that first perfect moment of gaming. You’re not concerned with the button position or the mechanics or this or that technical aspect. You don’t need to be worried about tech specs because the controls work perfectly! You’re so fully engrossed within world upon world full of spaceports, ruins, and buzzing futuristic cities that you don’t want to shut your eyes and go to sleep even though it’s 3 am, but then you sleep anyway because you don’t want to burn through this adventure too quickly. Yeah that happened to me, repeatedly.

solution = groovatron

Your ears are treated to delightful dialogue by masterful voice actors with a fun script that seamlessly melds humor and action adventure and leaves you wanting to hear lines over again just to relive the quirk of it all. The soundtrack has all the elements that made the original Star Wars soundtrack so unforgettable (yeah…Star Wars again but in a good way!) and you don’t get tired of hearing the action score loop because each level has music that blends so well with the visuals.

The gameplay is so varied and so fun that even a simple “collect these parts” mission is fun and I can replay it no problem. In fact, when I beat the game I started playing the unlocked challenge mode immediately. Challenge mode is basically this: you have an insane multiplier for bolts from enemies, you play the game through again on a higher difficulty and get even more upgrades to your already awesome weapons. Oh yeah and you start with ALL your weapons and devices. So sweet.

The power of the PS3 blinds you to load times because when you go to a new world you’re flying in your ship and it doesn’t take long to get to the planet so that’s one hidden load there that goes by fast. Then when you land you get a sweeping overview of the planet/city/factory so again it hides itself right before your eyes.

Back to the ship! Space combat is everything I loved about Star Fox. Star Fox is my favourite game of all time ever. Seriously, first Robot Sound that for confirmation peeps. So you can imagine my delight while flying through intensely colourful and expanssive solar systems shooting space pirates.

give me zoni, give me zoni!

Unfortunately, the game has that whole “yeah you saved it mid level, but if you stop playing you have to replay it” thing but you skip through stuff so quickly after the first time it doesn’t take away from the experience – but some (D) might disagree. I usually hate collecting things like coins or gems or whatever because I feel like I’m forced to explore every lil niche and corner to get them for if I don’t I’ll miss out on cool stuff later type thing. But bolts? Whole other story! I love getting bolts!

I love upgrading my weapons and buying devices that do cool things (Leech Bombs, Death Springs, Dreams made Reality made Awesome anyone?). The variety on the guns and devices is great. My personal fav device wise (so far) is the Groovatron, which you throw into the fray and watch as your enemies dance helplessly as you slaughter them to bits with your main weapon of choice! The weapon I’m most addicted to is the Lightning Shocker (upgraded to the Lightning Ravager!)- an electric whip that works wonders on organics but not electrical creatures so I just bust out the ol’Fusion Grenade launcher and have at it. Me likey the weapon selections big time. You can get armour upgrades as well but that’ll set you back mucho bolts and aren’t available as often.

Leviathan souls RIP

I never played any of the previous Ratchet and Clanks. I always liked the commercials but I wasn’t a Sony player at the time. Now I’m super Sonyfied and part of me wants to go back and play through all of them (definitely gonna play the PSP versions), but another part of me says “Wait, lo, nothing will compare to the PS3 version! “ And, indeed, this must be a fruit of many a labor so pause I give to this pursuit.

The thing is (as I was saying before) I just felt like a kid again with no worries in life and just exploring a world of adventure. All I was concerned with was playing in this fabulous world where I was so into it and I was having such fun and it really brought me back to the reason why I love gaming. Beyond that, it made me realize where my allegiance truly falls – Action Adventure is my preferred gaming choice. And because of that choice it would follow that my favourite game of the year would be an Action Adventure…Not a FPS. I haven’t felt this happy about a game since Beyond Good and Evil.

i want a robot on my back...

I don’t usually agree with Best of Year type stuff but I guess this is a big year of gaming for me and even though Halo 2 came and closed that chapter within me, much like Return of the King, I believe you have to take a trilogy ender as a greater part of a whole. So that being said the Halo Triology is one of the best gaming series EVER. That’s just written in the bones of the first gaming cartridge ever made: it is deep ass magic peeps. This year I was very happy to play through the whole series, but for 2007 my most happy and solo experience (because Halo is as much the game as it is playing with others who love it) was Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. That game is amazing. Insomniac Games is amazing. The game made me see that the PS3 is amazing. And that, my friends, is a miracle.

So I’ve said it now, agree or disagree on your own accord but please do share your thoughts on you favourite game this year.

I can wait; I know you have to finish Mass Effect first.